Artist Samu Raatikainen's exhibition features his open-ended interpretations of faraway stardust landscapes and nature's details. His paintings are made of mixed-media panels placed together, and with the resulting paintings form a space where the abstract and the figurative interact. Juxtaposing these images changes the nature and meaning in the individual panels. The panels take on other "personalities" and turn into unrecognisable spaces, which are constructed using the interplay of light and dark colours.The paintings bring together active images with reflective or slow, silent, monochromatic panels. This introduces unusual time into the painting's content and viewer experience. Time is also highlighted by the fact that the images of some of the paintings were completed at different times. Some might have been forgotten for a long time but were rescued when they were placed as parts of later productions. This juxtaposition creates a tension: rediscovered images are displayed with minimalist panels in carefully considered arrangement and composition.
For Raatikainen, painting is not merely paint and its application but also exploration of the meanings of various techniques and their interpretation. The paintings featured in this exhibition demonstrate this aim in their mixture of techniques and experimentations with various materials, for example aluminium and graphite. Raatikainen's use of mixed media is characterised by intuitive drawing and working the paint surfaces by washing. This information created from the resulting random image is then reworked in a controlled manner.
When I look at Raatikainen's paintings of stardust, I can jump to 13.8 billion years away while pondering the birth of all visible matter. Other paintings take me on a walk in the woods. On a dry day the trees and plants sway in the wind as different textured surfaces, while stones and sand stay muted. Water mirrors everything around it as an active element. As I walk on, I notice traces of something that used to be there. The landscape appears to be an endless process of changing matter, a momentum that started the second the universe was born.
This exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.