Tilpo is the shared pseudonym used by Finnish-born stage designer Hanna Aihonen and Swedish painter Hans Eriksson. The artist couple collaborate by discussing and selecting topics and themes, then developing the works together. Most of the paintings are executed by Hans Eriksson.
On the opening night and during the three days that follow, the public will have an opportunity to witness Tilpo’s process and see how the white canvas is transformed into a finished piece of art.
The title of the exhibition, Bliss, evokes ecstasy, transcendental joy and happiness.
Who among us hasn’t, at some point, wanted to be somewhere else, to break away from the mundane realities of everyday life, from the fact that it’s always what it is, mundane and tedious. This feeling, this desire, is the foundation of Tilpo’s paintings from which they draw their ever-renewing energy.
Tilpo knows reality, observes with clarity. The spaces, people and details in the paintings might well be amazingly detailed reflections of our world, and yet the pictures are always enigmatic, somehow mysterious. Their cryptic nature may be based entirely on colour: the air is pink or greenish and creates an eerie mood. The uncanny quality may derive from the way the works mix different painting styles – rococo and intentionally clumsy naivism. Or it may arise from the utter misplacement of some object, or the utter impossibility of the event, such as the trousers carried aloft by hot air balloons flying over the edge of a forest and into the evening haze.
The execution can vary not only from one painting to the next but also within a single work, from minutely detailed and skilful brushwork to broad, seemingly careless strokes that flirt with risk.
The common denominator of everything that Tilpo does is a sense of freedom. When you have absolute control of your instrument, you can choose everything. For the viewer, Tilpo’s masterful, surprising, strange and inexplicable paintings are a source of great pleasure.That, indeed, is bliss!
– Ilona Anhava
Hans Eriksson (b. 1960) studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Sweden and has had a long career as a painter. Hanna Aihonen (b. 1960) has solid experience in the theatre world. They have been working together as a duo for twenty years. They live and work in Stockholm. Tilpo’s extensive solo exhibition ‘Best Wishes from Us’ at Moderna Museet Malmö closed in September 2022. They have had numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of venues, Including Liljevalchs konsthall, Stockholm; Passagen konsthall, Linköping; Galleria Kari Kenetti, Helsinki; Kungliga Akademien, Stockholm; Imago Mundi, Venice; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki; and Camden Arts Centre, London. The duo have work in several collections, including Moderna Museet, Stockholm; EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art; Emil Aaltonen Museum, Tampere; Göteborgs konstmuseum; and Malmö konstmuseum. They have created commissioned works for the Södersjukhuset and St. Görans hospitals in Stockholm.