Helsinki Contemporary has the pleasure of mounting the second solo exhibition at the Gallery by Young Artist of the Year 2015, Ville Andersson.
The exhibition consists of photographs, drawings and paintings. Several of the works depict spaces: either existing, staged or fictive. Andersson has constructed and pictured miniature spaces, into which he has placed his drawings as props. The actual space of the gallery where the exhibition is hung also becomes a part of the works. The drawings and paintings have taken on new, abstract features.
Andersson is a great consumer of culture and looks for points of reference in various art genres, such as music or theatre. His starting point for the As Always, I Withdraw into the Music series was a work of literature of the same name written by Andersson himself. This is not included in the exhibition, apart from a single sentence. In adhesive lettering mounted on transparent plastic film is a quotation from Hamlet: The rest is silence. Andersson has carried this on with the words: Full of sound.
An important role in the works is played by the colour white – a colour that is both all colours and no colour. It is produced by mixing together the whole visible-light spectrum, or by bleaching and removing all pigments. The colour white is associated with many different things in different cultural and historical contexts, such as innocence, ghosts, holiness and grief.
Andersson is moved by the colourlessness of white, and by the way it has come to symbolize emptiness and silence. The starting point for a drawing is always an empty paper and its potential to be filled. Emptiness is a space in which our imagination can flow freely. Just as in a tea ceremony, a single flower in the middle of an empty room can transport the host and guests into an imaginary realm of trees in blossom.
Background noises are momentarily hushed amid the silence, and our senses are sharpened. There is no such thing as “pure” silence, and yet in the midst of it we can perceive the things around us and ourselves in tranquillity. Silence or emptiness do not mean insignificance or that something does not exist. On the contrary, emptiness is highly expressive. In traditional Chinese and Japanese painting the “empty” portion can fill two-thirds of the canvas; it is an important part of the expression.
Andersson has sought to evoke a complete, intense, felt experience that heightens our sensitivity, feelings and sensory perceptions. He uses a clear, disciplined and precise form of expression to achieve an open, nuanced end result, one that respects the viewer.
Ville Andersson (b. 1986, Loviisa) lives and works in Helsinki. Last autumn, he was named Young Artist of the Year, and his prize exhibitions will be seen in May at Tampere Art Museum and this autumn at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova. Andersson graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Art in the spring of 2012 and held his debut solo exhibition at Helsinki Contemporary the following autumn. He has exhibited actively in both collective and solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad, including at: EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art; Gallery Elverket – Pro Artibus, Tammisaari; Vitraria Glass + A Museum, Venice; ARCOmadrid, Madrid; and RARE Gallery, New York. Andersson’s works are in several public collections, including the Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection, Lars Swanljung Collection of Contemporary Art, the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art and the Amos Anderson Art Museum.