Jani Kaunisto – Uninvited Silence

25.3.2023 – 18.6.2023

Currently on-view
Jani Kaunisto – Uninvited silence
25.3.2023 – 18.6.2023

Jani Kaunisto’s (b. 1972) exhibition “Uninvited Silence” at Nelimarkka Museum marks the end of an era. The works in the exhibition are intensely personal, with lines, colours and characters that reflect the landscape inside the artist’s head. They balance between representational and non-representational art. The works have been created over the last three years, a time when the fierce family drama of having children has subsided and the inevitable tinge of abandonment has crept into life. Living and working in a small community in South Ostrobothnia allows the artist to delve deeper into his own thoughts and identity, but for long periods of time his work has been a rather solitary pursuit. Silence is ever present, whether it is invited to the village or not.

Kaunisto’s acrylic paintings are created in a single session, with the exception of the largest paintings, which the artist may return to over several days. The collage technique and layering of the large works allow for continued work while still maintaining a sense of impermanence. It is the capturing of these fleeting moments, these inner landscapes, that is important to the artist. Painting once finished offers the opportunity to capture something of the uniqueness, and at the same time the imperfection, of life. They are images in which accumulated experience, idiosyncratic beliefs and subconscious currents are mixed. When the painting session is over, the picture is finished once and for all and there is no point in returning to it tomorrow, because everything will be different then. Painting quickly and all at once, the painter’s honest and sensitive inner self appears on the canvas.

Working in a frenetic way requires appropriate tools. The most important technique in painting is the use of crumpled paper and various rags to work with colour and form. Finishing details can be done with a grill stick, for example. The colour palette is very limited, with different variations of red, warm cadmium red, the colour of flesh, and bright pink. Yellow has also started to appear increasingly on the artist’s canvases. The process of working on a painting always begins with the colour black. Music is important to the artist and it gives a rhythm to the painting process. The final touch is to find a name for the finished work and this is picked from the lyrics of the songs listened to during the day.

Jani Kaunisto – Uninvited Silence is on display in the Nelimarkka Museum’s temporary exhibition space from 25.3. to 18.6.2023.