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›Intimate‹ 03/09/2021—22/10/2021

›Intimate‹ 03/09/2021—22/10/2021

Frankfurt 03/09/2021—22/10/2021

The Finnish artist Jukka Rusanen (*1980) inspires with his refreshing view of the world. Jukka Rusanen is an artist in whose cosmos of images two spheres are cleverly merged: that of subtle color and that of the confident line. The drawing and the painting. Here, the two do not stand side by side or even in competition, as with other artists, but the color and the gesture interact with each other, becoming one. The trace is articulated in the color, merges and yet each remains clearly recognizable on its own. Similar to the instrumentation of an orchestral piece, this painting has something grandiosely symphonic. At the same time, it comes across as full of lightness, completely unemotional, and that is exactly what makes Jukka Rusanen's art so attractive and likeable. Smetana improvisations played on the Rococo spinet. It is a comparison not without reason, but more on that later.

One of the artist's most recent exhibitions was entitled ›Sketch‹ and it captures the sketch-like airiness and the confidently thrown-together nature of this art very well. Sketches are something very spontaneous, which, due to their immediacy, always convey something very close and personal to us, as the line makes the artist's inner movement visible in a seismographic way. And only great artists can pull off such a feat, because behind the reduced, behind the concise, lies the accumulated experience of a life that is compressed in the moment of the artistic process. Anyone who allows their audience such insights, who opens up as an artist in this way, is ultimately revealing something intimate: ›intimate‹, as the title of this exhibition suggests.


Such painting requires no further staging, it does not need the pose of the painter prince. This painter is interested in painting, not in personality cults. The big stage belongs to the pictures that see themselves as part of a process behind which biographical information is hidden, but which does not push itself forward. It is always about the artistic means themselves, about the symbiosis of gestural notation and coloristic tone. What looks so quick and random is the result of years of artistic practice that is based on setting color chords and throwing lines almost as if in a trance. This produces figurative pictures that can just as easily be read as non-objective because they support themselves through the artistic elements, regardless of the motif, and work as a composition in and of themselves. These are pictures that are suitable as a projection surface for our own emotional state precisely because of this fluid openness.

Anyone who looks at these pictures is close to themselves, is completely at one with themselves. And yet we as viewers enjoy it when we can decipher something behind the shimmering traces of color that leads us back into the world and yet immediately carries us away again, knowing: This is pure painting that refers above all to one thing, namely to its own means, to itself. Art as if made by nature, and yet: art.

Floral motifs and arabesques, floating on a light, often white background, were also a feature of the Rococo. And it is perhaps no coincidence that when asked about it, the artist names this period of transition at the end of the 18th century as his favorite era.

By the way, a visit to Venice also helps to understand the art of Jukka Rusanen. Anyone who has ever been to the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale will recognize in this grandiose, bright building with a tree rising in the middle that this symbiosis of line, color and form, of art and nature, is a characteristic of an artistic attitude that finds its counterpart in the clear light of the wide sky above the world of a thousand lakes and celebrates its very own style in the imagery of Jukka Rusanen. The style of color, light and movement. — Prof. Dr. Martin Oswald, 2022

In the exhibition ›intimate‹, the Finnish artist Jukka Rusanen talks about the relationships between things. The starting points are the rhythm, themes and materiality of classical painting, which he approaches using traditional painting techniques, collages and fabric weaving.

For his work Alku, Jukka Rusanen learned the skills of weaving and hand-woven the work himself on a loom.

The often large-format canvas works are impressive due to the mostly pasty application of intense oil paints on a flat background. You can see highly abstracted quotes from the most important art historical past; fragments that are deconstructed by Jukka Rusanen in a uniquely sensitive, almost poetic way. In relation to French Rococo paintings, its characteristics of carnality, sensuality, materiality, vanity, beauty and intensity ultimately come to light.

Installation views: Credits Eric Tschernow

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