12:00 – 18:00




New WaveGreen Door, and Free Form – the names of Ilari Hautamäki’s (b. 1983) new paintings indicate his new direction. The artist’s solo exhibition, Flux, which will be displayed at Helsinki Contemporary from February to March, is full of life. It is a mental and physical breakaway, a liberation, a painting motif’s stir on the canvas, as only movement can lead to change.

Being in a state of constant flux – experiencing and accepting it – is one of Hautamäki’s premises behind the exhibition. The present is fleeting, and not even painting can catch this moment. “With every inhale and exhale, in a blink of an eye, the surrounding world and, at the same time, we humans, as individuals, are changing, whether we want it or not.” In the new paintings, movement is present as energy, growth, and whirling compositions of various elements. Hautamäki has stepped back from working in a series, and the change happens from one work to another.

In the Flux exhibition, wild nature is positioned inside a frame as part of an urban environment. The body of work that will be on display at the gallery is simultaneously rambling and clear-cut. Of the elements seen in Hautamäki’s earlier works, geometric background forms, in particular, are now in the minority. Collage-like compositions, the contrast between organic and industrial, and flowing repetition of plant ornaments are still present in Hautamäki’s acrylic and oil paintings. This time, the works are more simplified and abstract than in his previous gallery exhibition, Spirit (2021).

Hautamäki’s painting process is twofold: spontaneous and yet planned. Compositions floating in the air are mainly created through improvisation. “When a painting has a good twirling state, a spiral you are not even thinking about when you look at it, you know that the movement is just right. If the movement ends, you must remove something or add power.” In a cyclical creative process, Hautamäki considers composition, order, and the colour scale in advance. The finishing stage is the slowest one needing the most accuracy. In this stage, nuances and subtle gestures important to Hautamäki emerge. “They bring that certain something that cannot be reached with other media – a kind of emotional presence.”

In one of the exhibition’s key works, Green Door, a rectangular painting is positioned at the right edge of the canvas, and the left side remains empty. A human-sized hole invites the viewer to approach, peek behind the foliage curtain and into the painting’s depths. Hautamäki focuses inside the image by detaching it from the background, at the same time shifting the emphasis from the middle to the edges. Hautamäki has approached the theme of spatiality with a new type of composition, creating a viewing experience and harmony that enable the viewers to immerse themselves in their subconsciousness.

Alternating opaque and transparent layers of paint create an impression of movement through the surface and in depth. The densest strokes add to the impression of three-dimensionality. Some of the paintings are composed of colour contrasts or with a minimalist palette of only two or three colours. The exhibition includes a few works without the artist’s favourite colour, the symbol of growth and renewal, green. Red, the complementary colour to green, is gradually gaining ground.

Ilari Hautamäki (b. 1983) is a Helsinki-based visual artist. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, in 2011. His works have been on display in various solo and group exhibitions, including those at CHART Art Fair, HAM Gallery, Art Center Purnu, Mänttä Art Festival, Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Jyväskylä Art Museum, and the Young Artists exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki. In 2018–2019, Hautamäki took part in The Touch exhibition series at Tornio Art Museum, Seinäjoki Art Hall, and Sinne gallery in Helsinki. His latest solo exhibition at Helsinki Contemporary, Spiritwas on display in spring 2021. Hautamäki’s works are included in Helsinki Art Museum HAM’s collection and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation art collection. In 2019, he created a public artwork, which the City of Helsinki commissioned for the Munkkivuori comprehensive school.

Fri 17 Feb 2023 – 26 Mar 2023 12:00 – 18:00



Bulevardi 10, 00120 Helsinki