Veikko Hirvimäki: Past and Present
Galerie Forsblom Stockholm
January 18–February 15, 2019
Opening in the presence of the artist, January 17, 5–7pm
Galerie Forsblom presents for the first time at the gallery in Stockholm, the well-established Finnish artist Veikko Hirvimäki. Hirvimäki started his career as a painter but it was his three-dimensional sculptures that made him famous in the 1980’s. Since the millennium, he has worked with wood as the primary material in his sculptures. With rough strokes and color on the raw wood, utilizing seemingly simple means, the animals and creatures he portrays are personal and palpably present.
Hirvimäki’s connection to nature and great interest in shamanism and mythology is a significant part of his works. In his installations, he brings the animals to life and some of them literally run through the white walls into the gallery space. It is like a collision between nature and culture, our history and our own time, past and present, as the exhibition title indicates. Interpreting his works by animism, the animals and nature can be understood to have souls, just like human beings. The sculptures can also be read with a sense of humor and with intrinsic human characteristics or specific qualities; as sly as a fox, agile as a cat or wise as an owl, like in the myth of the fables. The sculptures mounted directly on the walls recall hunting trophies, but here the animals are depicted fully alive, caught in the moment of action.
Hirvimäki’s upbringings in the countryside of Petäjävesi in the midst of Finland has influenced his art and sculptures. Nature lies close to his heart, as well as the preservation of the earth’s resources. Hirvimäki’s works connect to the modern man, but at the same time remind us of our heritage, our history, while telling us his story.
During his career, Veikko Hirvimäki (b. 1941) has been commissioned to create numerous public sculptures including at the City Hall, Äänekoski, Finland, the Children’s Hospital and the Parliament, Helsinki, Finland to name a few. His works have been exhibited in Finland and in Europe and are represented in prominent public collections such as the Saastamoinen-Foundation, Espoo, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland and the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden. Hirvimäki is based in Ballaigues, Switzerland and spends the summertime close to his childhood home in Petäjävesi, Finland. Galerie Forsblom has been representing Veikko Hirvimäki since 1985.