ALVAR GULLICHSEN / paintingsGNARS - Gullichsen-Nyqvist Art Systems / sculptures 14.10.2017 – 12.11.2017
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.
Visual artist and curator
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