The language design of the new paintings of Samu Raatikainen, Young Artist of the Year 2003, who lives in the UK, is minimalist and the number of different shades limited. His latest works are based on an idea formed around the mutual dialogue between white and pure colour. This change has been driven by contemplation of colour and time. What kinds of shades of white are there? Since time links all studies of art to art history, how are the works seen in this context? How do they relate to early non-figurative painting?
Besides works in the Traverse series, which consists of two combined panels, the exhibition also features various variations of paintings in the Veiled series (1-7). The front parts of the paintings are equidistant white dots done in freehand. Because the sides turn at an angle of 45° behind the work and have been painted in orange or grey, for example, can´t be seen directly from the front. In this way the paintings appear to float on the wall.
One variation on the Veiled series of paintings in the exhibition is a long painting designed for a gallery space. The painting comprises of eight parts (2 x 40 cm, 2 x 60 cm, 2 x 90 cm and 2 x 135 cm), which mathematically increase in width. The total length is seven metres. The sequence of the parts is based on aesthetic consideration. The parts on the left hand side and upper parts of the painting are in Golden Green Lake and the right hand side and lower part in Magenta. The lines of white dots in front parts of the work lead the eye from one part of the work to another.
When I look at Samu Raatikainen´s paintings in changing light conditions, I notice how the focus of my attention changes the whole time. It seeks contact with the dots in the front of the paintings, the sides of the paintings and pauses to examine the reflections on the wall of the gallery. The convergence of the front edge and side of the painting, where the colour contrasts are greatest, also catching my eye.