press release

Lars Bohman Gallery has the pleasure to present an exhibition with the Finnish artist Jussi Niva. Niva's recent paintings seemingly take the photographic image as a starting point - not its descriptive qualities but its relations to light, space and time. What could be seen as reflections of light transcribed into different tones of colour, modernist or industrial architecture, in the end the paintings are about the picture, not depicturing, with occasional fragments of reality.

The paintings have titles such as Invisible, Past and Loud, and Misplaced (in Yellow) that indicates the act of seeing, of different perspectives of time and even of experiences of sounds. Typically the titles points to a displacement in the act of seeing or reading the work.

The works, made within the recent years, are painted a hard surface, MDF-panels, and are frequently made up of several panels, with one or several elements being irregularly shaped. The works are highly spatial with the paintings taking command of the gallery space, and with the different panels mirroring each other and presenting a kaleidoscopic view of the abstract subjects.

Jussi Niva has worked with combinations of painting and photography, and painting bordering on sculptures such as in the series Expose, 1996-2000. Having worked early on with photography, he took his colour tones from colour photography, not from the world of painting. The paintings come across as imbued with presence with tweaked up colours and high contrasts between light and shadow. The irregular shapes of the panels further enhance the spatial qualities. The paintings could be seen as fragments of a larger whole without beginning, end or focal point. Without actually depicturing anything, the paintings seem to have connections to experiences and to memory, where the Madeleine of Proust has yielded to the anonymous urban environment of our times.

Jussi Niva was born in Pello, Finland, in 1966. He lives and works in Helsinki, Finland, and is a professor at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. He studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts1984-1989. He has since exhibited widely both in the Nordic countries and in Europe. His work was recently included in the Carnegie Art Award 2008 and is currently on view in "The Site of Painting" Pori Art Museum. He started to participate early on in major international exhibitions such as documenta IX and the Nordic Pavilion, the Venice Biennial, 1992 and 1993. Jussi Niva exhibited for the first time at Lars Bohman Gallery in 1995. Niva has works in major museum collection in the Nordic countries such as Malmö Art Museum, KIASMA Helsinki, and The National Public Art Council, Sweden.

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Jussi Niva