Ville Löppönen’s solo exhibition Five Space Helmets After Les Demoiselles d’Avignon will be on show at Helsinki Contemporary in April. It takes its starting point in two of Pablo Picasso’s cubist masterpieces, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937). Through these two works Löppönen has dealt with metamorphosis – transformation – both in his own art and in the surrounding world.
Löppönen’s production has long been characterized by working from a photograph, precisely imitating reality. His works were last shown in the gallery in spring 2019. It was then that his expression took its first steps in a more abstract, more expressive direction, and his working process drew inspiration from art history. Picasso’s cubist works have inspired Löppönen to change the way he paints for Five Space Helmets After Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. This new way of working has led to an accentuation of painterliness, to forms that are freer than before, and to more vigorous brushstrokes:
“From the viewpoint of painterliness the topical aspect is linked to the transformation going on in my painting. This is a metamorphosis, or a reshaping of form. Cubism’s approach has interested me and given me room to look ahead at things through a multiplicity of viewpoints.”
Metamorphosis is also manifested in Löppönen’s new works in the fragmentariness and multiplicity of points of view characteristic of our time. He has observed the world from several different directions, as Picasso once did in the cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Löppönen’s paintings contain human figures and organic forms floating in a vacuum-like space, figures that seem to be in the grip of metamorphosis. The form may be more fragmented than before, but we can still find harmony and beauty in it.
Löppönen is fascinated by the idea of light as a creative force and as a driver of metamorphosis. Light is part of a painting’s colours and forms, but Löppönen has also contemplated the deeper nature of light – how it can change something that already exists and our interpretation of it.
More about the show helsinkicontemporary.com