Galerie Anhava’s programme for 2019 will begin with “Spatial Changes”, an exhibition by Pertti Kekarainen (born 1965) in which he continues his wide range of work addressing issues of the image and space. The exhibition will contain photographs, sculptures and an installation in the basement space of the gallery consisting of a door, photographs of doors and sound.
Originally trained as a painter and sculptor, Kekarainen has worked on his “Space” and “Spatial Changes” series of works since 2004. In them, he adds various visual elements to the two-dimensional surfaces of photographs, such as lines, bars, spheres and fields of colour that challenge the reading of the image and create new interpretation of space. In his latest works, Kekarainen has been interested in the notion of vibration, the basic vibration of our physical reality that permeates the universe from the movements of particles to the waves of the oceans. The uniform bars, lines and angles of the visual surface have partly shifted the works and the soft points of oscillation create a blurred and spacious weave. In some of the works, the perception of vibration opens up to juddering before being condensed in the next piece into a precise set of lines resembling tremors.
The artist often mounts his large photographs low, placing them in relation to the size and location of the viewer in the physical exhibition space and allowing the viewer to step into them as it were. Alongside photographs, the exhibition contains three-dimensional structures that are a continuation of the large constructions that Kekarainen displayed in 2015. The airy steel frames resemble line drawings of a rectangular space and they are a frugally elegant representation of space alongside the spatial diversity of the photographs. The sculptures, however, are not static objects but contain, instead, a subtle movement: one structure vibrates, another one turns and a third one slowly bends to the side. The piece in the basement of the gallery, which includes sound, is based on the idea of a door dividing two spaces.
Pertti Kekarainen’s works are characterised by a certain slowness, strangeness and an element of surprise. They require time. The first view gradually acquires more observations, transitions and places within the images. One may notice the black tip of a shoe in the lower corner of a photograph the shape of a human figure or a line curving unnaturally in shadows. On the other hand, movement between the works reveals the richness of working in series. The viewer moving about in the exhibition space is made part of continuous spatial change.
Pertti Kekarainen studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and De Vrije Academie van Beeldenden Kunsten in The Hague. His works are in numerous leading Finnish and international public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Saastamoinen Foundation/EMMA; the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; the Hasselblad Collection, Gothenburg; Telenor; the Malmö Art Museum and HAM Helsinki Art Museum. In recent years, Pertti Kekarainen has participated in exhibitions at the following venues among others: Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover (2018); Kunstverein Kunsthaus Potsdam, e.V. (2017); HAM Helsinki Art Museum (2016); Forum Box, Helsinki (2015) and Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (2014).
The exhibition has received support from Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation and the Uusimaa Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation.