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Heli Hiltunen, “Half Remembered Light”

Stockholm, 6.10–21.11  2016

Galleri Andersson/Sandström is proud to present a solo show with one of Finland’s most established contemporary artists, Heli Hiltunen (b. 1960). Hiltunen moves in-between the boundary of photography and painting. In this exhibition, Hiltunen will take the viewer on a journey through melancholy landscapes, fragmented narratives, and dream-like states in what has become her signature style.

Heli Hiltunen has long been known in Finland. In 1999, she was nominated for the Nordic art price Carnegie Art Award and participated in the touring exhibition which earned her international recognition. In 2001, she was awarded Ars Fennica, Finland’s most prestigious art price, with the motivation to continue her exploration of photography and painting as it visualizes the eternal connection between the life and the arts.

The slippage and liminality between painting and photography is important to the artist. She claims to be neither a painter, nor a photographer, but freely moves between her self-constructed worlds and images. The exhibition will present photography, collage, and paintings in oil, ink, and acrylic. Within each technique she is presented with the possibilities and limitations of the medium and the freedom to reinterpret her subject matter.

A poetic expression runs like a red thread through the exhibition. Layers upon layers of histories are built in art works that are then reflected in one another. Together they tell a story about longing. Hiltunen herself expresses a longing to see the world more clearly, to be able to understand it better, but something is always distracting her from seeing the whole picture. The feeling is visualized in several of Hiltune’s works where a dirty window, thumb print smudges, or sun glares limits us from experiencing the totality of the image.

“In my work, I think the main theme is memory and oblivion. To remember and maintain a lived experience we often have an image made of it. Subject matter for me is hovering between that experience and its image. Thus, memory and remembering is analogous with construction of an image.“

In the piece Plywood Patchers Tale (2016), the artist infuses an already existing story in the work by using vintage photography, purchased in Hiltunen’s childhood village Heinola in Finland. The work presents constructed fragments of a story to the viewer. The series Summer Night Studies (2015-16) is made up by double exposed photographs of the Scandinavian sunset. The light and the lack of focus creates a dreamy feeling and reminds us of the elusive existence of the summer night.

Heli Hiltunen was born in 1960 in Heinola, Finland and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in 1990. Today she lives and works in Helsinki. Her works can be found in collections of the Finnish government, the Public Art Agency (SE), Kiasma (FI) and Helsinki Art Museum (FI). Heli Hiltunen has participated in several group exhibitions with Galleri Andersson/Sandström, this is her second solo exhibition with the gallery.