Pekka Kauhanen (b. 1954) is a highly distinctive representative of Finnish sculpture who over the course of several decades has created a long line of sculptural figures. Initially following an abstract idiom before becoming increasingly figurative, in the exhibition Kauhanen’s sculptures are displayed in a kind of procession, while the others occupy a broader space by themselves. The show comprises 26 works by Kauhanen, most of them from the 2000s, with the focus being his most recent work.
Kauhanen’s art combines accessibility with multiple layers of interpretation.
Kauhanen describes his sculptural process as a kind of Lego method in which he assembles the piece from components made of different materials that are then cast in bronze, aluminium or stainless steel. The initial form is rendered with clay and plaster models. Kauhanen likes to leave the empty interior of the pieces visible through perforation, for instance.
Titled with exuberant humour, Kauhanen’s works are apt to inspire new ideas rather than reiterate well-worn ones.
Pekka Kauhanen has designed many public works of art for various sites in Finland. One of them is the National Memorial to the Winter War that was unveiled at Kasarmitori Square in Helsinki on 30 November 2017. The exhibition also features a plaster model of the finished work.
The exhibition was curated by curator Mikko Oranen and architect Klas Fontell, both from HAM.