Heikki Marila and Mariko Mori exhibitions open 1st of April at Galerie Forsblom in Stockholm

By on March 27, 2017

Welcome to the opening of the exhibitions New Paintings by Heikki Marila and Renew by Mariko Mori at Galerie Forsblom in Stockholm! Opening reception with the artists in presence on Saturday the 1st of April, 12 pm to 4 pm.

The exhibitions will run between 2 – 29 april.

Heikki Marila: New Paintings

Galerie Forsblom has the pleasure to present an exhibition by Heikki Marila (b. 1966), one of Finland’s great contemporary painters. Marila is perhaps best known for his Swedish audience as the first prize winner of the Carnegie Art Award in 2012, a distinction that earned him international attention. With his bold and powerful paintings, Marila engages with art history genres and motifs such as portraiture, still lifes and biblical themes. His expressive floral still lifes have been especially lauded; they are reminiscent of seventeenth century Dutch painting traditions, which he has refined and transformed into his own unique artistic language.

The artist’s first solo exhibition at the Stockholm gallery consists of a suite of new works, or variations, inspired by two seventeenth century Dutch still lifes. The classic paintings “Still Life with Oysters, a Silver Tazza and Glassware” (1635) by Willem Claesz Heda and “Still Life with a Lobster, Fruit, Silver and China Ware” (1660) by Abraham van Beyeren are currently in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, respectively. In the new works, Marila explores not only this particular form, the still life, but also leaves empty space open to further interpretation in the paintings.

“I’ve always tried to use existing forms; it gives me the freedom to explore the actual painting,” says Heikki Marila. In a sense, the impasto layers of paint and striking materiality of the works hint at the themes and iconography featured in Marila’s paintings. Through the often monumental format of the paintings, Marila produces striking contrasts to the original, often intimately shaped iconography of the motifs, focusing instead on the potential of the paintings.

Heikki graduated from the Turku School of Fine Arts in 1992. His expressive paintings have garnered significant attention and he shows regularly in Finland and internationally. His work is represented in many institutional collections, including the Sara Hildén Art Museum, as well as in several private international collections.

Mariko Mori: Renew

It is with great pleasure that Galerie Forsblom presents an exhibition of work by Japanese artist Mariko Mori (b. 1967). The exhibition focuses on her sculptural objects and is the artist’s first commercial exhibition in Sweden.

Mori’s breakthrough with a Swedish audience came in 2000, when the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö presented her critically acclaimed exhibition Dream Temple in partnership with Fondazione Prada. But already in 1997, Mori was featured at the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale with Marianna Uutinen and Mark Dion, among others. The exhibition addressed, among other things, issues of ethnicity and the dissolution of national borders.

With artistic media including photography, installations, video, sculpture and performance art, her earlier work is deeply influenced by Japanese tradition and history and often calls them into question. Mori’s early work featured herself as an actor, and like Cindy Sherman, she took on culture and the female body by staging various scenes that placed cultural expectations under a magnifying glass. She worked with multimedia and new technology early on, and has created pieces that take the viewer on illusory journeys and stories.

Futuristic and spiritual elements have increasingly taken centre stage in Mori’s work in recent years. The dissolution of time, the past, the present and the future are recurring characteristics, and the search for continuity and unity comprises a thematic thread connecting the sculptures shown in the exhibition. Mori touches upon issues related to spiritual freedom, and the meeting of matter and space creates infinitely beautiful and sensual sculptures.

Mariko Mori studied at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (1992-1993) and Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, United Kingdom (1989-1992). She participated in the Venice Biennale in 1997 and 2005. Her work has been shown in many exhibitions, including at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom; the Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; and Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom. Mori’s work is represented in several collections, for example at the Centre Pompidou and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA.

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