Jaakko Mattila (born in 1976 in Oulu, currently living in Helsinki) will be the first artist with an exhibition in EMMA’s new space, Arena. The exhibition is in cooperation with the Kari Huhtamo Art Foundation which supports artists from the North.
Jaakko Mattila studied fine arts at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College 1998–2001 and received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Arts. He has been active abroad, in such countries as Japan and England. Consequently, as his relationship with the Finnish tradition has only developed only recently, he has retained his own distinct style of painting.
In his creations, Mattila employs various techniques, such as painting in oil, alkyd and watercolour, as well as printmaking, sculpture, collage and installation. The dimensions of his works also vary – from minute to monumental.
According to Mattila, his works neither depict anything, nor do they convey any particular message. Furthermore, they are not linked to any particular time or place. With regard to the exhibition in EMMA, however, Mattila admits that he was inspired by the museum’s architecture. Common shapes in Mattila’s works are spheres, cubes and spirals which create a sense of movement and space. His works are open to various interpretations – they can be fragments of micro- or macrocosms. The designs on the surface of his paintings seem to alternately draw closer to and then retreat from the viewer. Mattila also makes use of gravity by letting paint run down the surface to create patterns, similar to abstract landscapes.
The theme of the exhibition in EMMA is colour and hue in combination with the primitive. The suite of three oil paintings is made up of the primary colours, Blue, Red and Yellow. In his latest, as yet untitled, oil painting Mattila has combined colours to create more than a thousand unique colours. As a contrast, the alkyd painting in grey hues represents a negation of colour.
For years, Mattila has saved the little flakes of dried paint scraped off from his palette. He uses them in installations on the exhibition room floor, like “pointillist paintings”, which he can recreate again and again. His print proofs will also be used in a collage directly on the walls of the room. In this manner, matter strives towards a new, harmonious form.
EMMA’s new exhibition space, Areena, is intended as a permanent showroom for experimental, spatially bound, cross-disciplinary and process-form art, as well as for various cooperation projects and interventions. Areena offers EMMA an opportunity to expand the museum’s cooperation with active Finnish and international artists, both young and established names, and with various foundations and other organisations.