23th September - 23th October 2019
Curated by Giancarlo Carpi and Riikka Vainio
Giving coherence to the expositive history and the past cultural context of some artworks regenerating them - by “retouching” them in the context of new social and aesthetic opportunities in the continuity of that context, as giving them a shape. This is somehow the operation of Katja Tukiainen and secondly the curators’ one, with the choice of proposing at Futurism & Co Gallery some paintings, modified in the Macro Asylum atelier - during the week preceding the exhibition - and even before, exhibited in 2016 in her first solo exhibition in Rome (at the Core Gallery - Luna Park Abbandonato): these are her "Italian paintings". From this sensibility for the context, as for the Italian language that she knows and speaks - we can open the discussion on her formal research that has often seen the integration of "old fashion" and "lolitesque" elements, also in the realization of sumptuous and captivating settings in Hotels and other places. Katja Tukiainen, one of the most important Finnish contemporary artists, is also one of them because she was the creator of one of the first and most consistent representations of the aesthetic category of cuteness, with its modules of fusion between subject and object, violence and loving passivity. Category then variously reinterpreted in the following two decades by hundreds of artists having, in Japan, its most powerful and conceptual manifestation in the Superflat movement. The recurrent icons of her work are seductive and rebellious girls, derived from the comics, related also for this reason to the icons of Yoshitomo Nara, Mr. Aya Takano. But far from being their remakes, the artist has built with them an imaginatively autonomous world, based on the pre-eminence of the purple, pink and magenta colors in an expressionistic key on morphological models that, while they are more or less similar to the basic childish scheme - Kindchenschema - are however physiognomically complex and personal - do see for example the strange coexistence of an "old" and childlike appearance in the large sculptures in fiberglass - Cuteness overload. A way perhaps also ambiguously sadistic, oscillating among gentleness, tenderness and nastiness with conscious reference to Henry Darger. The exhibition also offers some more recent paintings, which show an accent on the energetic and muscular sides of her favorite subject, with formal-logical inventions such as the transformation of girls' stockings into amazing fluorescent vital rings. Perfectly expressive of the theme. Then on to the small ceramic sculptures that recover some objectual fusion of the represented as if they were acrobatics and articulated poses of the small winking subjects.