Portrait of a Hare, 2019, Brass, original substances of a dead animal
Toni R. Toivonen
September 13–October 12, 2019
Vienna Design Week
In collaboration with Galerie Forsblom, Collectors Agenda is introducing Toni R. Toivonen’s work for the very first time to the Austrian public, showing a series of small-format works with hares, mice, and other small animals.
Toni R. Toivonen believes in the reality of materials, also in the painterly context in which he moves. According to the artist, his brass works are no depictions of an animal; they are in fact the animal, its salt, grease, and other fluids entering a chemical reaction with the brass plate, conserving the animal’s “last presence.” At the heart of Toivonen’s practice is a concern for the duality of life: “You need to have shadows in order to understand the light. You need to see death to understand life in a way.”
His practice may be discussed in different contexts. The chemical reaction on brass is reminiscent of early photograph which works with gelatin silver prints. His work may also evoke a graphical approach involving the making of prints. And the highly bodily aspect that is linked to the production of the work and carried forward in the work itself suggests a sculptural approach.
Text: Florian Langhammer