Exhibitions

Anomalies



Joonas Kota
November 22nd – December 15th 2019

Zetterberg Gallery is pleased to present Joonas Kota’s third solo show at the gallery with the exhibition Anomalies. With painting as his main medium, Joonas Kota (b. 1976) is distinguished for his meticulous work and attention to detail. Kota’s works, all borderline between abstract and figurative, often creates parallel realities and drifts between the fragility of the momentary and timelessness. Kota graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2003 and is represented in both private and public collections, including KiasmaMuseum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki Art Museum – HAM and E.W. Ponkala Foundation’s collection. The artist lives and works in Helsinki.

Always a Storm Away // Joonas Kota
Text by Aura Seikkula

As a focal, metaphysical idea of human knowledge, transcendence implies a new, third meaning. The actual possibility of knowing, and retroactively knowing if one knew. Jean-Paul Sartre’s positioning gains meaning in an object-oriented world. In Being and Nothingness (1943/1956) Sartre states “Consciousness is a being such that in its being, its being is in question insofar as this being implies a being other than itself.” This itself, the consideration of its being, has brought meaning to Joonas Kota’s artistic practice.

Kota’s oeuvre revolves around three elements: the symbolic reality, the reality in itself and the transcendental. Here, as for Sartre, the transcendental third element is the actual meaning creating agency. In his earlier works, Kota proposed how an abstracted forest turns into a virtual scape, how a diamond reflects fractions of the world around us and how an Emoji icon has gained symbolic meaning even outside its original context. Interestingly, with these elements, Kota pays tribute to the meaning of motifs in painting, by carefully elaborating on each for each series.

Kota’s Transcendent Diamonds series is such a three-tier consideration of the invaluable jewel. In his latest exhibition series, Kota continues to develop his fascination for this symmetric structure and in its seemingly metaphoric meaning, he defines the actual objective phenomena of the natural world. Fascination with this ultimate natural item is intelligible. A diamond is immune to any impurity due to the arrangement of atoms that are extremely rigid. It is also a semiconductor that displays the highest known thermal conductivity and electron saturation velocity of all earthly materials. Regardless of these facts, the question keeps being directed to human time. Can something be eternal in the world we have created temporal? Kota’s answer is transcendental.

The continuum of our efforts is fragmented. The continuum of our efforts gain an entity only when considered retroactively. So, it is in this process Kota partakes in the continuum of landscape painting by bringing forth one of the most beloved motifs, the storm. Once hated by its contemporaries the Turnerian stormy sea is a meaningful reference, maybe even more so in the era of the climate crisis. For Turner, the sea always set the stage for a tragedy. It was threatening, depicting Nature’s venom in the loss of man’s nullity.

Keeping in mind with Turnerian understanding, each of Kota’s diamonds entails a storm. The meticulously shaped structures have an enchanting draw. The framed, round shape becomes a telescope for terrestrial observation. Here again, Kota’s transcendental consideration gains depth as he acknowledges the overwhelming objectivity of nature. By layering natural phenomenon with scenery and simultaneously arranging our vision with formed regularities of a cubic crystal system, the diamond, Kota proposes a stance for all life forms.

How ’bout a Little Rainbow Reflection?



Riikka Hyvönen
September 13th – October 6th 2019

ENGAGING IN NOTIONS OF BEAUTY // RIIKKA HYVÖNEN

Art is Seduction – Not rape 

Susan Sontag, 1966[1]

For Susan Sontag art has the capacity to make us anxious and uncomfortable, as such. For Sontag, art is inviting us to engage in a private, sensual experience through an interpretative dialogue. Art asks for our intellect to interpret, to prove our potential to think and to create meaning. However, we should find a balance in this task. A balance with content and concept without overdoing it. This act of interpreting art is an intellectual task, that is loaded with consciousness and appreciation, simultaneously accepting the volume of the artistic process and its results. As Sontag notes, art aims to seduce us with this engagement, not to rape our consciousness.

Riikka Hyvönen is on an exploration of beauty with her expressive and thought-provoking acts of the construction of contemporary identity and the nature of its various representations. Hyvönen has built the foundation of her practice on the forms of objectification through which the female body is dismantled and constructed online and in print.

Questions of representation and objectification gain duality in her work. Hyvönen considers self-identity as a constructed mass deception that we have agreed upon. Her witty, playful and controversial work is both founded in the present while she extends commercial values in visuality to reconsider common female stereotypes and cultural assumptions on beauty. Her famous Roller Derby Kisses sculptural painting series portrayed the achievements through the intimacy of female skin and there captured the massive, momentary marks that gain new importance only inside a small group of enthusiasts. Proceeding from this consideration of personalized beauty, she looks at the objectifying process of editorial shoots. In her recent photo installations series, her content and concept were built from the fashion magazines editorial photoshopping. Here the models’ faults, the photoshopped ones, are highlighted on plexiglass duplicating the original photo of the model. Hanging large-scale and heavy the pieces scrutinize our conception on digitally constructed beauty.

Having her interests stemming from pop culture and aesthetics, Hyvönen’s insightful criticism reaches beyond prevailing questions of body image and feminism. She attests the ways in which popular gestures end up as mechanisms of cultural consolidation. And as requested by Sontag, she lets us find these meanings by engaging with her proposal.

Hyvönen continues merging sculptural elements in her painting process. This time by turning her painterly gaze to the natural world. With the exhibited series she captures the momentary joy of light erupting on a surface, touching it with a prism. She finds her references from social media to employ a selection of experiences. For Hyvönen, light’s metaphors are a multitude. Whereas the spectrum can form upon a heavily bruised skin, as in Roller Derby Kisses, Hyvönen is aware of the weight of its connotations. Can you paint a rainbow without touching upon – any of – its denotations? Regardless, one is clear. Light can break though anything. Even the darkest of the hour.

[1]Susan Sontag Against Interpretation, 1966 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Riikka Hyvönen (b. 1982 Rovaniemi, Finland) lives and works in London. Hyvönen holds a BA of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London and is currently finishing her master’s studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.

Text by Aura Seikkula

SUMMER 2019



Jani Leinonen, Aurora Reinhard, Jiri Geller, Riikka Hyvönen, Joonas Kota & Mari Keto
June-August 2019

SUMMER 2019

The Summer show 2019 at Zetterberg Gallery brings together works by Jani Leinonen, Aurora Reinhard, Jiri Geller, Riikka Hyvönen, Joonas Kota & Mari Keto.


The exhibition runs through June – August 2019.

If these are our heroes who needs enemies



Jani Leinonen
2019

Jani Leinonen
If these are our heroes who needs enemies
January 18–February 10, 2019

Zetterberg Gallery is pleased to open the exhibition programme of 2019 with Jani Leinonen’s solo ´If these are our heroes who needs enemies´  on January 18th.

Leinonen’s exhibition questions why certain hero-statues still stand in the centers of the European capitals, and why so many do not know – or if they know – subvert – the unspeakable atrocities of some of these historical figures?

The works in Jani Leinonen’s exhibition consist of about two hundred scattered hero statues of different sizes. There are more than 160 sculptures in the main work of the exhibition – even some Finnish heroes fit in.

Leinonen’s exhibition draws our attention to the collective loss of memory that those heroic descriptions maintain: they wipe out the shocking acts of the rulers of history and replace them with sacrificial heroism, romantic adventures, and noble generosity. The exhibition speaks of unobtrusive but effective ways of building and maintaining social power – also through art.

#partypopper



Joonas Kota
2018

Joonas Kota: #PARTYPOPPER

November 30–December 16, 2018

Excerpts from Dr. Sam Inkinen’s essay “A Dialogue at the Studio, or Observations on Art and the Artist – Postmodern, Metamodern, and the Internet Zeitgeist as Key Themes”(November 2018)

Broken



Aurora Reinhard
November 2–18, 2018

Aurora Reinhard is known for her photographs, sculptures and videos often dealing with themes of gender and sexuality, moving between documentary and surreal approaches. For her latest body of work Broken, the artist has sought inspiration in the everlasting myths and art history of Western imagery while contemplating her dual role as the artist’s muse and the heroic creator of art.