ALVAR GULLICHSEN / paintingsGNARS - Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems / sculptures 14.10.2017 – 12.11.2017

Gopi Highlife 3, 2016
acrylic on canvas
255 x 350 cm

Alvar Gullichsen´s current series is directly concerned with transcultural visual pattern imagery. His advanced, highly personal explorations of this possibly universal geometric language are closely related to his ongoing inquiries into shamanistic, transcendental experiences and traditions. Gullichsen - and others - see these rich geometries as mysterious pathways of knowledge and understanding shared by humans across diverse eras and cultures.

Gullichsen´s journey of discovery - of re-connection with ancient, even eternal ways of seeing and knowing - is clearly evident in these recent large-scale paintings. Best known for his transcendent surrealist riffs and hilarious social critiques, Gullichsen experienced what he calls "a big-time transition" in which he journeyed to West Africa to find a place to peacefully create without pressure. Once there, a new way of working began to emerge, from semi-abstraction to abstraction. As Gullichsen recalls:

"I was looking for something that ‘felt right´ - something that corresponded with an inner archetypal or geometric language which I remember from somewhere. In other words, I realized very clearly that these emerging patterns were not something I had merely imagined. Rather, I understood that not only do they exist ‘out there´, but that our ancestors have been seeing them for thousands of years - as a universal language of form and pattern."

Of course, his reconnection with universal forms and patterns started from a specific and personal place. Gullichsen acknowledges a Scandinavian quality, a sort of "cleanness" in his paintings, saying: "In a way I sort of rediscovered Modernism through these paintings. I´m not ever trying to imitate Modernism, but it is somehow in my blood."

GNARS-Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems

Klaus Nyqvist is a visual artist and founding member of the artist collective ROR (Revolutions on request), through which he first met Gullichsen. Nyqvist is also known as "Klaustrofobia", one of Finland´s leading VJ´s (Video Jockey) with video performances in contexts as diverse as night clubs, festivals, live television broadcasts and theatrical productions.

In 2013 the two-man artist group GNARS was born - with Klaus Nyqvist designing and crafting sculptures based on Alvar Gullichsen's geometrical pattern designs. The resulting objects look like a mixture of modernist totems and alien technology - or simply very beautiful, magical objects. The pieces are born out of a synergy between the two artists, and are realized by Klaus in their shared studio's workshop, with the exception of one, which was fabricated by Henrik Helpiö in Uusikaupunki.

Gullichsen's and Nyqvist's collaborations also include designing the music club LeBonk in Helsinki (2010) and the stage design for the Pori City Theater production of the play Maire (2012). Their biggest project so far has been a 14-meter steel sculpture titled Ukk'ram (2015), which has been described as a shamanic space ship / submarine hybrid. Commissioned by Markkuliitto and situated in Noormarkku, Pori, the piece is included in Pori's collection of public art.

Mark Maher
Visual artist and curator

View show on ARTSY

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Gopi_Highlife-4

    Gopi Highlife 4, 2016
    acrylic on camvas
    255 x 172 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/GNARS_Protruding_pattern_1_2013

    GNARS-Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems: Protruding pattern 1, 2013
    painted MDF
    66 x 78 x 76 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Gopi_Highlife_1

    Gopi Highlife 1, 2016
    acrylic on canvas
    120 x 160 cm

  • gullichsen2/Alvar_Gullichsen_Here_and_Now_2015_626

    Here and Now, 2015
    acrylic on canvas
    172 x 255 cm

  • gullichsen/GNARS_Architectural_1_2017

    GNARS / Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems / Architectural 1, 2017
    painted MDF
    47 x 37 x 30 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Lion_of_Zion

    Lion of Zion, 2016
    acrylic on canvas
    70 x 85 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Gopi

    Gopi, 2016
    acrylic on canvas
    160 x 200 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Gopi_Pavilion

    Gopi Pavilion, 2016
    gouache on paper, framed
    94 x 122, cm

  • gullichsen/2017/GNARS_Extruded_pattern_1_2013_

    GNARS / Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems / Extruded pattern 1, 2013
    painted MDF
    51 x 29 x 41 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_CANAL_GRANDE_2017

    Canal Grande, 2017
    acrylic on canvas
    255 x 350 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/GNARS_Extruded_pattern_2_2017

    GNARS / Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems / Extruded pattern 2, 2017
    painted MDF, resin and glass fibre
    113 x 45 x 113 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Shipibo_Big_Space

    Shipibo Big Space, 2017
    acrylic on canvas
    160 x 200 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_TEMPLE_MUSIC_1_2016

    Temple Music 1, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    75 x 74,5 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_TEMPLE_MUSIC_2_2016

    Temple Music 2, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    75 x 74,5 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Artists_Heaven

    Artist's Heaven, 2016
    acrylic on canvas
    111 x 111 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/GNARS_Protruding_pattern_2_2017

    GNARS-Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems: Protruding pattern 2, 2017
    painted polyuretan. plywood and aluminium
    138 x 131 x 138 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Space_Stretching

    Space Stretching, 2016
    acrylic on canvas
    172 x 255 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_Primary_1_2017_626

    Primary 1, 2017
    acrylic on canvas
    160 x 120 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_GOPI_VARIATION_1_2016

    Gopi variation 1, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    44 x 42,5 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_GOPI_VARIATION_3_2016

    Gopi variation 3, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    46 x 45 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_GOPI_VARIATION_2_2016

    Gopi variation 2, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    75 x 74 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_GOPI_2016

    Gopi, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    83 x 82 cm

  • gullichsen/2017/ALVAR_GULLICHSEN_PRIMARY_2016

    Primary, 2016
    acrylic on paper
    74 x 73 cm