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Jussi Goman: Tales of the Tardigrade

Galerie Forsblom January 10–February 9, 2020

Opening reception January 9, 2020, at 5–7 PM


The tardigrade is the hero of the latest series of paintings by Jussi Goman (b. 1980). These microscopic creatures are the miraculous survivors of the animal world: they can live just about anywhere, from the depths of the ocean to hot springs or glaciers. They can withstand massive doses of radiation, extremely high temperatures, and several days in a deep freeze – they can survive in the vacuum of outer space for as long as ten days. The tardigrade’s amazing survival skills seem almost as boundless as art’s limitless power to create and explore new worlds. Goman’s paintings tell tales of the tardigrade through a diverse array of landscapes, celebrating these minuscule creatures like sci-fi heroes that take us on a journey to unknown realms and extreme environments as they jettison from planet to planet.


Goman interweaves playful, good-humored imagery with schoolbook-style notes, lettering guidelines, and cursive writing, adding a ”back to school” ethos to his new paintings. His fluid treatment of time is a striking aspect of his work, which combines nostalgic references to the past with timeless visuals looking forward to the future.


This is Goman’s first exhibition to also include ceramic sculptures that translate his rich and colorful visual vocabulary into three-dimensional forms. Classic motifs such as still life fruit and flowers burst forth from his dynamically fashioned lumps of clay. Goman is an artist who likes to use materials in bold new ways, using varied techniques from traditional glazes to spray paints to enliven the surfaces of his sculptures.


Goman graduated from Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. His work is found in the collections of major Finnish museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki Art Museum, and the Saastamoinen Foundation Collection.

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