I held my previous solo exhibition four years ago. Since then, I have painted only a few paintings. The main reason for this is my doctoral degree in fine arts, the completion of which ended up taking longer than expected. But now it is almost finished. At times, my dissertation and the related mathematical research tested my identity as an artist. What is a painter, who instead of painting, would stubbornly spend countless hours on geometry problems that he believes are useful for his dissertation?
pass quickly, the toddler becomes a little man and the little girl starts
school. The couple of litres of paint in the corner of the studio quietly turn
into a two-kilo lump. As the mass shrinks, its hardened surface starts cracking
in a weird way. It looks like a chalk-white face that's mumbling to me with its
toothless gums: "You let years pass without needing me. Look at me now: I'm a
shrivelled, dead, useless lump!" But I gradually grow attached to the lump, and
the lump also gets tired of it nagging at me every time I visit the studio. Then
again, why nag at me? The geometry problem is solved, the results are
published, the structure of my dissertation starts to take shape and my writing
takes a run-up. At some point the calm features of the lump begin to fascinate
me more and more. I add two short lines to it for closed eyes and think that I´ve
seen this calm face before, but where? At last I know: it's the face of dying Marat in the painting by Jacques-Louis David. But now this calm
face has changed owners: it's no longer the face of a dying political agitator
but the artist himself, the artist who was afraid of dying as an artist, if
only temporarily, for a few years´ time. Wait a minute: how can a face change
owners? And how can anyone die "temporarily"? In art, maybe anything is
One of the paintings in this exhibition is from 2014, others from this and last year. I notice that my paintings are still about nature and natural themes, but the viewer may detect some human bypaths.
The public defence of Markus Rissanen´s doctoral thesis Basic Forms and Nature will take place on Saturday 20th of May 2017 at 1 pm at SES Auditorium Kino K-13 in Katajanokka, Kanavakatu 12. Welcome!