Osmo Rauhala. Before the horizon was broken

29 januari 2007

In the exhibition Before the horizon was broken, which will run from 17 February to 3 June 2007, the Groninger Museum will display video installations and paintings by the Finnish contemporary artist Osmo Rauhala. Rauhala is regarded as one of the major Finnish artists of today. His work is in some aspects to that currently shown in the exhibition in the Groninger Museum entitled Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931).The Spirit of Finland, which displays the work of the nineteenth-century Finnish artist.

With his work, Osmo Rauhala attempts to realize a better understanding of himself and his surroundings. In doing so, he makes use of philosophical, theoretical and scientific ideas that are based on direct observations of the nature around him. Rauhala researches certain recurring patterns in nature as the building blocks, the alphabet, of the world. He recognizes similar patterns in deer antlers, bolts of lightning, and the course of rivers. Rauhala noticed that in addition to these patterns, there are abstract figures, such as the oval and the spiral, which recur in all aspects of life, from DNA to the Milky Way.

The oeuvre of Osmo Rauhala is a visual articulation of scientific calculation and underlying connecting theories. With the aid of satellite photos, Osmo Rauhala has charted the seven most important rivers in the world. The meandering paths with their many tributaries display remarkably many similarities with the patterns of a flash of lightning or even our own blood vessels. With these works, Rauhala not only demonstrates the presence of a universal pattern but also emphasizes the importance of rivers as the arteries of life. The fact that the rivers in question are not only the most important but also the most polluted rivers in the world supports Rauhala’s criticism of the way mankind treats the environment.

Osmo Rauhala spends his summers in Finland, were he manages and works on his family’s biological farm. In the winter, he moves to New York, where he concentrates on his visual art in his studio. Elements from the old Finnish epic The Kalevala are apparently effortlessly converted to stories with modern relevance. Here, Osmo Rauhala has clearly been inspired by Akseli Gallen-Kallela and his interest in The Kalevala. As such, Osmo Rauhala is an ideal present-day addition to the exhibition Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931).The Spirit of Finland, which will be on show in the Groninger Museum until 15 April 2007.

Main sponsor of the exhibition: NOKIA
Co-sponsor: KONE

Exhibition curators: Patty Wageman, Rianne Schoonderbeek

For more information: Josee Selbach, +31 (0)50-3666555, jselbach@groningermuseum.nl, Roel van Venrooij, +31 (0)50-3666555, rvanvenrooij@groningermuseum.nl, www.groningermuseum.nl