The exhibition of works by sculptor Martti Aiha continued the retrospective series of exhibitions by Finnish artists at the Sara Hildén Art Museum. The exhibition was retrospective in nature, but there were also new works that had been especially made for this exhibition, which was the most comprehensive retrospective display of Martti Aiha's work. The exhibition had been compiled by the Sara Hildén Art Museum, and it was shown only in Tampere. The exhibition was produced by the Finnish Art Society.
Martti Aiha's early works at the turn of the 70s and 80s comprise self-portrait sculptures made in plaster of Paris as well as bamboo structures which make good use of the surrounding space. During the period 1980-90 his work took on a playful and ornamental character. In the 1990s Aiha began to look for a new way of artistic expression, first of all through painting. The end of the 1990s saw a new type of bronze sculpture, for which the artist himself shaped the glass parts. At the beginning of the present decade, the sculptor produced lathe-turned constructions, which were painted in bright acrylic paint. These works have features in common with the Surrealists and Dadaists, who have inspired him. The latest works in the exhibition use transparent Plexiglass, which gives an abstract and incorporeal effect.
When planning a new sculpture, Martti Aiha starts off by drawing. This is not a question of making a first draft, but rather that drawing is, for him, a way of thinking. Aiha compares the rhythm of drawing with the dramaturgy of cinema, and explains that, for him, cinema was a way to understand art. Aiha acknowledges the significance of other pictorial artists to his own work. There are references in his first works to literary figures. The theme of the Oblomov series is the protagonist in the novel of the same name, whose persona Aiha analysed through the use of line.
Aiha was interested in the use of line at an early age. He was fascinated by calligraphy, because he admired his father's beautiful handwriting. Instead of incorporating calligraphic letters, however, he noticed that he had created a new type of line of his very own. Nowadays Aiha is known for his use of line, which is described as playful, ornamental, dynamic, and ever-changing. For a time, however, he rejected his characteristic line, as he wished to renew himself as a pictorial artist.
Martti Aiha is inspired by a variety of sources, from conceptual to nature-related themes. The inspiration for his own characteristic line comes from the landscape of his childhood, which is etched in his memory, though it has developed and changed through the years. He describes his childhood landscape as an influential, transparent structure in his memory. The shape of the circle, which often reappears in his works, is also a reference to this, for the landscape is round, as he reminds us.
Aiha's works convey the irrationality and unpoliticality of Surrealism and Dadism, features of art trends that appeal to him. On the other hand, the motifs for his works also include basic questions of human life about the existence of the soul and the mind, as well as about masculinity, femininity and sexuality.
6167 visitors attended the exhibition.