Reima Nevalainen: Remnant
Galerie Forsblom 8.4.– 30.4.2022
Reima Nevalainen’s (b. 1984) use of collage and décollage is intimately connected to the thematic content of his paintings. What we see on the canvas are vestiges of a complex process of cutting, ripping, and erasing. Nevalainen is tough on his paintings, his self-critique merciless. His technique involves a laborious process of addition, removal, trial, and error. For Nevalainen, painting is a way of scrutinizing physical reality and the way we perceive it – painting is an antidote to the disembodied stream of images that consumes our daily existence. Painting is a way of pausing, waking up, purifying. But a painting does not materialize by screaming for attention; it slowly finds its form through focused looking.
Nevalainen sees people, nature, objects, and spaces as abstractions. In his paintings, abstractions are every bit as real and tangible as anything else – it is more a question of whether they are identifiable. He treats the human figure the same way: Nevalainen thinks of the human body as a sculptural object that is recognizable as a human being only if you happen to have seen a human being before. The ascetic reality he seeks to capture in his paintings is anchored not only in visual perception but in all kinds of sensory inputs. The artist hopes to reawaken a kindred corporeal experience within the viewer.
Nevalainen graduated as a painting major from Kankaanpää Art School in 2008. He was chosen as Finland’s Young Artist of the Year in 2016. He has held numerous solo shows in Finland and throughout Europe, the US, and Japan. His work is found in Finland’s leading museums including Helsinki Art Museum HAM and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. The artist is based in Porvoo.