Born in Espoo, Finland 1984 | Lives and works in Porvoo, Finland
Humans and nature serve as the subject matter of Reima Nevalainen’s collage paintings – not as conflicting elements, however, for human figures and nature coexist as equals in his compositions. Nevalainen mines his subject matter from personal experience, trusting in the intuitive power of the subconscious. 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.
Nevalainen employs a collage technique to achieve a layering effect, combining sheets of paper, sand, and scratched shreds of canvas. In his latest works, his style of painting verges closer than ever on drawing. Whereas he previously embraced a powerful sense of materiality, he now favors line and the repetition of simple forms. Surface becomes line, and line becomes an abstract system of signs and indices. His art has an organic quality and a strong resonance with nature that evokes the Japanese aesthetic concept of beauty expressing itself as imperfections.
Nevalainen graduated as a painter from the Kankaanpää Art Institute in 2008, after which he spent two years painting in Japan (2011–2013). He was selected Finland’s Young Artist of the Year 2016 and has recently finished his first two extensive solo exhibitions in relation to the award at Tampere Art Museum and Aboa vetus & Ars Nova Museum. Both exhibitions featured his latest paintings, a selection of his earlier major painted works and a wide array of drawings from throughout his career. Nevalainen’s works are found in notable Finnish collections including the Helsinki Art Museum, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Pori Art Museum, and the Finnish State Art Deposit Collection, as well as in private collections.