Ola Kolehmainen - Geometric Light
April 05 to May 17, 2014
Since a new phase of his work, which began about three years ago, he experiments with multiple views on a single negative, creating entirely new images that, so far, have never been seen in public.
After long and meticulous work processes, in which Kolehmainen explores the life of the architect, the role of the specific building for the architect‘s body of work and its effect on other architects, the artist eventually detaches his photographic work from the architecture in order to tackle the overriding question of seeing: what do we see? What does the camera see? What is real?
In the spring of 2013 Kolehmainen has undertaken a professional journey to Spain and Italy during which he expanded his dialogue with architecture again by new perspectives: light and cast shadows inside buildings have taken on a crucial role. Now the artist composes multiple views on a single negative, layering them into heavily abstracted originals that are built from geometric, colourful light phenomena. They have a strong painterly effect, at times recalling the constructivist paintings of for example Paul Klee or Frantisek Kupka.
Kolehmainen has already abstracted buildings in his earlier work, paring them down to the ornamental surface. The new works feature an added narrative component, such as in his series on the cathedral of Siena, “Duomo di Siena.” The mediaeval structure, built by unnamed hands yet of great significance, e.g. for the work of Alva Aalto, with its distinctive light and dark stripes is unique for its time. Moreover, Kolehmainen is interested in the overwhelming incidence of light in the oversized building, making him introduce mundane objects such as benches or fire extinguishers into his composition full of silence and peace.
In these recent series, again, the artist reduces aspects of the buildings to an abstract basic statement. By multiplying perspectives in a single image he constructs complex, disturbingly beautiful vistas as pictorial commentaries on European building history.
Haus am Waldsee has invited Ola Kolehmainen for his first solo exhibition at a Berlin art institution in the spring of 2014. Thus, one of the important representatives of the Helsinki School will be presented to a wide, international audience with new and older works in a comprehensive retrospective.
Exhibition curated by Ola Kolehmainen and Katja Blomberg
Catalogue in German and English, edited by Katja Blomberg, publisher: Verlag Walther König.