Nir Hod, I Love You, Nina, 2019–20. Installation; silk flowers, flowers,candles, balloons. The Life We Left Behind, 2019. Oil and chrome on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Makasiini Contemporary. Image: Jussi Koivunen
Still Still Life presents an overview of the various forms of the still life in modern and contemporary art. The common factor uniting works in the exhibition is a conception of the still life and its essence. Works belonging to the collection of the Sara Hildén Foundation are complemented with works loaned by contemporary artists.
The modernists used the still life as a tool for the free examination of artistic challenges connected with composition, light and form. The still life, they believed, existed for the sake of art and had no reference to anything outside itself.
The contemporary still life has broken out of its frame and off its two-dimensional surface to become an installation made up of objects and various materials that spread into the surrounding space. The contemporary still life also addresses its own situation as a form of art.
The centuries-old popularity of the still life is based on man’s special relationship with objects as part of the material world: we employ, make use of and derive pleasure from them. The still life is still a tool for exploring and expressing different contents and value systems.
The exhibited works offer a platform for discussing our relationship to objects and materials. Viewing them gives us an opportunity to think about things for a moment – or perhaps for a little longer. “A work has to be aesthetic for it to entice one into something more conceptual." (Toni R. Toivonen).
The exhibition is complemented by a presentation of photographs by school pupils and students on the theme of vanitas in Café Sara. The project, carried out in collaboration with the Association of Fine Arts Teachers of the Pirkanmaa Region, presents photographic works by school students of different ages commenting on the profusion and superfluity of goods in today’s world.
The exhibition presents works by the following artists: Greta Alfaro, Arman (Armand Fernandez), Hans-Christian Berg, Fernando Botero, Claudio Bravo, Anthony Caro, Jacob Dahlgren, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Saara Ekström, Erik Enroth, Susanne Gottberg, Juan Gris, Emma Helle, Nir Hod, Daniel Jacoby, Elina Juopperi, Zhanna Kadyrova, Antero Kahila, Pentti Kaskipuro, Arto Korhonen, Fernand Léger, Li Mingzhu, Heikki Marila, Giorgio Morandi, Inka Nieminen, Pablo Picasso, Anna Retulainen, Nicolas de Staël, Toni R. Toivonen, Anu Tuominen, Rafael Wardi, Klaus Weber.
Heikki Marila, Flowers XIV, Flowers XXXII, 2009. Oil on canvas, 250 x 200 cm. Front left: Antero Kahila, Ambassadors 1, 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 70 x 180 cm. Sara Hildén Foundation Collection. Image: Jussi Koivunen.