Ari Pelkonen’s Hands on the Back of My Head, 2014 and
Valpuri Kylmänen’s Sacky, 2014
PC GALLERIES PRESENT...
BY VALPURI KYLMÄNEN AND ARI PELKONEN
November 12, 2014 – January 17, 2015
Public Reception: Thursday, November 20th, 6 – 8pm
PC Galleries are pleased to present Helsingistä, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Helsinki-based artists Valpuri Kylmänen and Ari Pelkonen. This exhibition is the first in-depth presentation of the artists’ work in the United States, and is the first exhibition organized for PC Galleries by newly appointed curator Jamilee Polson Lacy.
Helsingistä intertwines Kylmänen and Pelkonen’s ongoing artistic experiments with printmaking traditions, collaborative processes and gestural renderings of life. Kylmänen displays the latest series of her signature lithographic prints, in which bizarrely staged and slightly abstracted still-life tableaus figure prominently. Pelkonen includes a small body of work which includes his most recent “woodcut paintings”—woodcut printing on canvas combined with layers of acrylic paint—of tightly cropped and abstracted human figures.
Kylmänen and Pelkonen have been instrumental to one another’s practices as both commercial printmakers and experimental fine artists for over a decade. To honor their cooperative history, this exhibition also unveils their first fully collaborative artwork: Breakfast in Helsinki, a set of tonal wallpapers installed as a large-scale mural in Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery.
Helsingistä is on view concurrently at PC Galleries with City of Champions: A Portrait of Brockton, Massachusetts, a solo exhibition of photography by Providence-based artist Mary Beth Meehan. Both exhibitions are the first in the annual exhibition series Many Cities, One Providence: Urban Art Exchange at PC Galleries.
About the Artists
Valpuri Kylmänen’s lithographs depict objects and scenes which are visualizations of outrageous word combinations sourced from quirky, everyday situations and conversations—phrases like violent, violet, vent; pushing the cushion; no parking from here to corner—are translated into beautifully silly still lifes. Further demonstrating the folly and everyday comedy that inspires her work, the artist messily draws and handprints each artwork, using barely-there pastel color palettes on lightly tinted papers.
Valpuri Kylmänen (b. 1980, Rovaniemi, Finland) is an artist, educator and master printer living and working in Helsinki, where she co-owns and operates Helsinki Litho, an internationally renowned fine art lithography workshop. Her lithographs and installations are included in numerous museum and private collections, and have been shown throughout Finland, the EU and Southeast Asia. Kylmänen holds a MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and trained as a master printer at the Tamarind Institute for Fine Art Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ari Pelkonen works with a mix of traditional printmaking and abstract painting. He continues to explore this technical and aesthetic cross-looming, which he calls “woodcut painting,” in order to find the middle ground between the spontaneity of painterly gestures and the slow, methodical tendencies of woodcutting and engraving. Resulting from the dissonance between such techniques, Pelkonen’s portraits of the human body are quite melancholic and, at times, haunting.
Pelkonen (b. 1978, Pori, Finland) is an artist and educator living and working in Helsinki. His cross-disciplinary artwork is included in numerous museum and private collections, and has been shown throughout Finland, the EU and Japan. In 2012, upon being named the Finnish Young Artist of the Year by the City of Tampere, the Tampere Art Museum published a catalog raisonné and presented an eponymously titled retrospective exhibition of his work at the Tampere Art Museum. Pelkonen holds a MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.
Helsingistä is organized by PC Galleries Curator Jamilee Polson Lacy and jointly supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Frame Visual Art Finland, PC Galleries and Western Exhibitions of Chicago, where Helsingistä was first exhibited in July 2014.
Related Public Programs
Public Reception in conjunction with Gallery Night Providence
Thursday, November 20, 6-8pm, Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery
Artists Forum: Printmaking Mini-Symposium
Friday, December 5 at 1pm, Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery
Join Providence College Associate Professor and printmaker James Janecek, PC Galleries Curator Jamilee Polson Lacy and multiple New England-based printmaking artists and professionals for a series of short lectures and portfolio presentations held within Helsingistä. Registration required by Monday, December 1st; email email@example.com to register.
Class and Group Tours
PC Galleries offers guided tours for classes and groups of all ages. Class and group tours are free of charge but require reservation. For more information, to discuss the specific needs and interests of your class or group, and/or to schedule a tour of Helsingistä, please contact PC Galleries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PC Galleries at Providence College present exhibitions and public programs focusing on contemporary art, innovative artistic practice and interdisciplinary cultural activity. Operating within two gallery spaces as part of the Department of Art & Art History, PC Galleries support the educational, service and community-oriented mission of the College with dynamic visual arts presentations, including those that foster audience participation, cross-departmental collaboration at the College and cultural exchange at local, national and international levels. PC Galleries ultimately strive to produce projects by artists and intellectuals who demonstrate how and why creative practitioners are vital forces in promoting diversity and shaping contemporary global culture.
All PC Galleries exhibitions and public programs are free and open to the public.