Dancing with Reality
Main Hall ja Kaapo Gallery, 8 June – 9 September 2018
Laurentsius: Abstract Speech
The work of contemporary Estonian artist Laurentsius, aka Lauri Sillak (born 1969), is the subject of Hyvinkää Art Museum's international exhibitions in the summer, displayed in the Main Hall and Kaapo Gallery. The name of the exhibition, Dancing with Reality, refers to the film The Dance of Reality by the Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky. According to the artist, his painting and the film have many common points.
In late 1980s, a young Sillak was pondering whether he wanted to be a professional athlete or an artist. That period marked the heyday of Estonian painting, and since his talent was inclined more towards art than sports, the choice was clear. He studied painting in the Estonian Academy of Arts from 1990 to 1996, and also worked there later as a teacher for eleven years. Now he has worked full time as a freelance artist for seven years.
In his work, featuring a unique brushstroke style, Laurentsius combines poetry, drama, irony and kitsch, touching on questions related to the authenticity of art. He skilfully mixes different stylistic devices, and compares his art to Oriental cuisine: a multitude of different, even contradictory strong spices, which when combined create surprising, coherent results.
Laurentsius often uses existing wallpaper as the background to his large paintings. This habit derives from the 1990s, when there was a shortage of art supplies in Estonia. As a young art student, he used to go to old, abandoned houses to collect pieces of stained, partly loosened old wallpaper. They made free canvases that already had interesting visual elements on them, along with signs of age.
The old wallpapers inspired the artist's imagination more than clean canvases and drawing paper. A few years ago Laurentsius rediscovered the method he used as a student and started to paint again on wallpaper.Along with his large paintings, he also creates small pieces where the decorative frames draw most of the attention. In the late 1990s he co-operated with sculptor Anne Daniela Saaliste, painting tiny roses to complement the absurdly decorative "mega frames". A little later, Laurentsius himself began to make frames using the similar techniques. A new series of these works will be displayed in the exhibition at Hyvinkää Art Museum.
Dancing with Reality is Laurentsius' second major exhibition in Finland, arranged in collaboration between Hyvinkää Art Museum and the Tuglas Society. The first one was organised at Turku Art Museum together with Saaliste 18 years ago. The private exhibition in Hyvinkää mainly features Laurentsius' works from the last five years.
2 January 2017 – 31 December 2018
Yrjö Saarinen's paintings and drawnings from Karin and Eric Sonck's collection
Helene Schjerfbeck room (which exhibits the artist's paintings, photos of her models in Hyvinkää)