Marjatta Tapiola: Paintings
Galerie Forsblom February 15–March 17, 2019
Opening February 14, 2019, 5–7PM.
Marjatta Tapiola (b. 1951) infuses her paintings with forceful dynamism that wells up from a heightened state of psychological and corporeal presence. Steeped in rich hues, Tapiola’s canvases ooze physicality and sensuality. Her treatment of line is free and flighty, and her compositions simultaneously exhibit confident control and intuitive sketchiness. Her forceful painterly style accentuates the emotional intensity of her monumental works. The large size of the canvas is important to Tapiola, as it allows her room to let her paintbrush explore freely in wide arcs. Tapiola primes all her canvases, and in doing so, she establishes an intimate relationship with their large scale.
Tapiola’s paintings portray motifs ranging from animal skulls to the mythical creatures of Classical Antiquity. Skulls, minotaurs, and centaurs have been her long-term companions throughout her career. Intrigued by fusions of humans and animals, Tapiola sees the Minotaur as a creature that can express itself with greater depth. The subjects she portrays exude power and energy – some merciless in their directness – while others possess a more delicate sensibility, permitting momentary fragility.
Tapiola established her name in the 1980s as a leading Finnish proponent of neo-expressionism. She received the Pro Finlandia medal in 2004 and the Finnish State Art Prize in 2006. Her work is represented in leading Finnish museums such as Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and the Sara Hildén Art Museum. The artist lives and works on her family estate in Sysmä, Finland.