Satu Rautiainen

Village Bohemian
24 Jan – 30 August 2020

Satu Rautiainen’s primary media are watercolour and oil on paper. Reinventing the tradition of watercolour painting, her large-format works often feature metaphoric spaces within spaces. Although Rautiainen’s focus remains on two-dimensionality, in her recent exhibitions she has taken a step towards installation and textile art. An exhibition may at first sight appear like a room furnished with textiles or wallpaper. Sometimes Rautiainen mounts paper on board or integrates paintings into pieces of furniture. In addition to the brush, she also paints with stencils.

Village Bohemian is an exploration of the decorative and the primitive, of superficiality and depth. The rooms created by Rautiainen are inhabited by an invisible and strong-willed being who uses paint as a material to build assemblages, huts and structures that reflect upon and challenge the purpose of life. But the elements in the exhibition are also part of the artist’s own world, which she builds around herself by painting on paper. The imagery includes archetypes and symbols, such as children’s building blocks, pieces of protective wall, sculpted shrubs and trees.

Traversing the boundaries of madness, rationality and play, the exhibition also pays homage to outsider artists and lifestyle activists whom Rautiainen admires, such as Enni Idi and Kati Sinenmaa, as well as to their dedication and holistic practice. Rautiainen’s own work is connected with social issues such as marginalisation, homelessness and melancholia but also with freedom and the passion for creative work. She is fascinated by the idea of returning to the roots of manual craft. Balancing on the boundary between industrial art, craft and fine art, she is able to read and simultaneously rewrite the history of women from the perspective of womanhood and painting.

Satu Rautiainen (b. 1982) is a Finnish painter living and working in Helsinki. She graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008 and has since then actively exhibited her work and worked in artist-run groups. Rautiainen has work in many collections, including those of the Finnish state, Helsinki Art Museum, Saastamoinen Foundation, Wihuri Art Foundation and Espoo Museum of Modern Art – EMMA. In addition to painting, she is interested in textiles and textile design.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the VISEK Centre for the Promotion of Visual Art.