Kaarina Kaikkonen: I No Longer Hear You Singing
September 18–October 18, 2020
Kaarina Kaikkonen’s (b. 1952) recent sculptures are conceived around tableware from her childhood home. They were inspired by the artist’s compulsion to smash and remold the memory-laden objects, thereby inculcating them with life lessons and reshaping them as an inseparable part of nature and the animal kingdom. In contrast to her previous public installations consisting of silent masses of anonymous men’s jackets, her most recent jacket pieces are highly distinctive individuals. Kaikkonen describes them as portraying psyches and personalities, depicting the arc of life from a particular individual perspective.
Kaikkonen’s jacket installations are a nod to the artist’s father, who always wore a dark suit and white shirt even when fishing or walking in the fields. Her works are deeply personal, pondering poignant themes such as the loss of her parents. By depicting relatable life experiences that are so familiar to many of us, she fuses together the private and the public, the personal and the universal.
Kaikkonen began incorporating used items of clothing in her art in the late 1980s, giving new life to seemingly worthless and threadbare mundane possessions. Her thought-provoking transformation of used materials exudes a sense of compassion, warmth and respect for the people who once wore the discarded items and the ideas they represent.
The exhibition will coincide with Kaikkonen’s solo exhibition at the Hanaholmen Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre (September 26, 2020–February 28, 2021). The Hanaholmen gallery will feature a new installation exploring the same themes as Kaikkonen’s exhibition at Galerie Forsblom. Among the works permanently on display in the Hanaholmen sculpture park is Forwards, a group of Kaikkonen’s sculptures from 2009.
Kaikkonen ranks among Finland’s most internationally acclaimed sculptors. Her award-winning work is found in numerous major European museums including Rome’s MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg.