At Market Art Fair 2017 Helsinki Contemporary presents a solo show of Miikka Vaskola’s new and recent paintings that represent both the abstract and figurative aspects of his body of work. Vaskola’s career is at an interesting point: With a large museum solo at Turku Art Museum behind him, it’s with great pleasure we present him to present him to a broader Scandinavian public.
Miikka Vaskola works with large-scale, even monumental, paintings. His oeuvre consists of abstract landscapes but also realistically created figures and figurative imagery. His materials such as charcoal, iron oxide, ink and chalk build up the very recognisable aesthetic. He works persistently, investigating how different materials react with the canvas. The process is long – sometimes it takes years to complete a work.
Vaskola’s works are firmly rooted in the moment. When he starts painting, he does not know where it will take him. A crucial aspect of what he does is continual motion, repeated searching and trying things out. Time is visible in his works as seeking, failing and correcting, as renewed attempts to find that certain something that makes the painting complete.
The slowness produced by the long working process is central for understanding Vaskola’s paintings. The works offer a chance for lingering reflection and a continuous source for finding new associations.
The figurative elements that appear in some of Vaskola’s paintings are in constant dialogue with the abstractions. The images often take us back to times past, just as the abstractions can be seen as excavations into the mind. The subjects often play with surreal elements, confusing the viewer and triggering their imagination.