Jyrki Setälä

4.5.2023 - 28.5.2023

Welcome to the opening ceremony 3.5. from 5 to 7 p.m.

Fairly solid world

In Jyrki Setälä’s works, cut-out pieces, long cherished scraps and bundles of lines wander and settle at a convenient conversational distance. Unexpected encounters between those shreds and scraps create new tensions. The author holds a silent conversation with his elements and it feels as if they    also communicate with each other. Occasionally one topic takes over the entire surface, while some others sink into the color fields.

Sometimes it feels as if chatter fills the entire surface of the painting, at other times only a quiet murmur can be heard. In the works, you can sense the structure and architecture of long conversations. The temporal process in Setälä’s creation can be deduced, but we only see fragments of its course. The works can be placed in the context and tradition of abstract art and thus be viewed in a restrained manner, in a modernist sense, deprived of references.

However, their warm and even humorous spirit also evokes and plays with associations. With Setälä’s subjects, the viewer is close to recognition. On this fine border, like under a thin film, the subjects remain barely non-representative. I don’t believe Setälä himself constructs his works as narratives, nor would he imagine features or history for his elements. His processes don’t have a fixed goal or accurate script. He progresses from one solution to another and settles down again to ponder his next move. Sometimes the unfinished piece might desire a self-provoking gesture or element that pushes and accelerates the sleepy phase in a new direction.

The work progresses at a variable tempo. What we can see is the last stage of a series of events. Setälä has collected heaps of materials in his studio, from which he searches and selects suitable pieces.  It is a place where the author gently controls chance and arranges opportunities for happy accidents to occur. In the end, a fairly solid world will emerge.

–  Mikko Rantanen

  Jyrki Setälä is an Espoo based visual artist, he finished his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1998. Setälä’s last solo exhibition was in gallery Topelius, Helsinki 2021 and a group exhibition in Keuruu museum, summer 2021. His work is found in the collections including the City of Helsinki, Rovaniemi Art Museum and Vexi Salmi’s collection.

“My work is characterized by combining collage and painting as an organically growing process. Open curiosity as the work progresses, listening to the work’s suggestions and negotiating with it guides the work.”
Jyrki Setälä

Photo: Jyrki Setälä, Color meadow, 110×135 cm, akryyli ja paperi, 2023

Thank you for supporting my work Arts Promotion Centre Finland.