Exhibition opening in the presence of the artist September 4, 2014 5pm.–7pm.
The title of Reima Nevalainen’s (born 1984) exhibition, Rootage (root, rooting, origin) refers to how paintings are as inseparable from their fundamental material as humans are from nature. Like a plant, intellectual life grows, reaching for the heavens, but remains intertwined with the cycle of life. The works on exhibition ponder the fundamentals of existence. The people in the paintings are returned to their origins, to that space at the juncture between matter and spirit.
According to the artist, painting is comparable to the study of anatomy and archaeology. The works’ layers are the paintings’ skin – the figures’ skin, the earth’s sediments. Subtraction is as important as addition in paintings composed with his mixed technique; the layering characteristic of this style materializes when something is missing or broken.
For Nevalainen, the human figure is a tool for creation similar to paint, collage, décollage, and sand. Man appears denuded in Nevalainen’s works, left without his acquired mannerisms and titles. The artist experiences his figures in the abstract. People and paintings are like nature in that they do not represent or reflect physical objects; rather, they are real in and of themselves. The painting’s subject matter and its world are both contrived and real.
The solo exhibition opening at Galerie Forsblom has been long anticipated, it being Nevalainen’s first in Finland since his years in Japan. Nevalainen graduated as a painter from the Kankaanpää Art School in 2008. In addition to numerous solo shows in Finland and Japan, the artist has participated in many joint exhibitions, including the forthcoming one in Serlachius' Art Museum's new Gösta pavilion in October, 2014. His works are included in many art collections in Finland, including the Finnish State Art Collection, the Finnish Art Society, as well as the Helsinki Art Museum and the Pori Art Museum. The artist lives and works in Porvoo, Finland.