Spain’s facade under the lense of Ola Kolehmainen
Galeria Senda presents the work of the Finnish photographer and his route through Spanish architecture in “Sketches of Spain”.
“Sketches of Spain” is Ola Kolehmainen’s third solo show at Galeria SENDA. In his work, the artist uses architecture as a starting point and inspiration to create abstract compositions, influenced by minimalism, that result in large-scale photographs.
Galeria SENDA aims to develop exhibitions that involve the international art scene with the city of Barcelona. In “Sketches of Spain”, the artist has selected photographs which he has captured in constant visits to Spain during the last ten years. The show does not only reflect how Kolehmainen views Bofill, Mies van der Rohe, or Ambasz’s works, but also how artists and architects influence each other.
For the artist, Mies van der Rohe has been a key figure for his professional career since the beginning. Besides the doubtless place in the history of architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Pavillion has been a constant source of inspiration for Kolehmainen, bringing him new ways of thinking and presenting his work. The series “Arquetypes” is the result of a new perspective towards this construction, this time in a small-scale compared with the usual sizes of his works. His almost miniature photographs reflect a different Pavillion predominated by the little details and surprising us by the beauty in things that might go unnoticed. He also plays with reflection in water and Light, inviting the viewer to abstract himself and experiment.
The piece “House of Spiritual Retreat” is based on the conceptual house of Argentinian architect and industrial designer Emilio Ambasz, designed in 1975 and built in the north of Seville. In the photograph, Kolehmainen captures the influence of Arab architecture and the fundamental Oriental styles found inside the building. Ricard Bofill’s constructions, such as Walden 7 and The Red Wall, have also played a big role in Kolehmainen’s work. In “Walden 7” and “Red Staircase 2”, respectively, the artist captures entire worlds in very specific parts of the buildings. He plays with lights, shadows, and the phenomenon of repetition, in order to achieve a harmoniously geometrized aesthetic.
Kolehmainen’s photographs are the result of an exhaustive study of light and plans, solely based on the natural light and artificial light that already exists in the building. By understanding the construction and the relationship within light, shadows, and reflections, he is able to create photographs in which “abstraction frees the building”. The artist uses architecture as a primary matter for his purely abstract work, and transforms it.