Ilari Hautamäki and Yorgos Stamkopoulos Oscillations



Ilari Hautamäki
Yorgos Stamkopoulos

8 May – 15 June, 2024

Franz-Josefs-Kai 3/16, 3rd floor
1010 Vienna

Opening hours
Wed – Fri 12 am – 6 pm
Sat 12 am – 4 pm

Closed on public holidays

With Oscillations Collectors Agenda presents Ilari Hautamäki (*1983, Helsinki) and Yorgos Stamkopoulos (*1983, Katerini) in dialogue with each other.

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Within his artistic practice, Finnish artist Ilari Hautamäki invites us into his vibrant, secret garden, reminiscent of his childhood summers spent in the Finnish countryside. The artist delves into painting with an abstract mindset, meticulously dissecting rhythm, composition, and colour while refining fundamental aspects of the craft. Characterized by rhythmic brushstrokes that conjure organic foliage, which is then composed within frames and grids, his modernist approach shines through as he contemplates form and backdrop, aiming to craft a stimulating, powerful image.

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For Collectors Agenda Hautamäki continues the principle of his process and presents an edition of eight framed canvases, with the title Sketch for dawn. The motifs draw inspiration from his studio, where he initially experimented with replicating the leaves of a Yucca plant. As his fascination with botanical elements grew, a fresh visual lexicon naturally emerged, driven by his intrigue in the organic interplay of shapes and hues. Delving into their inherent chaos, Hautamäki both elucidates and explores abstraction and representation. A “perfect chaos” emerges from this combination, serving as an example of his exploration of how the wildness of nature can be harmonized with a strict, functional, dimensional structure simultaneously. Each of the works features a similar motif, yet the artist approached each painting individually, imbuing them with distinctiveness.

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The works by Greek artist Yorgos Stamkopoulos defy conventional boundaries of the process of painting by challenging the norm where control over the artwork is often deemed crucial. His work becomes a play between control and unpredictability, structure, and chaos. By layering and removing paint on the canvas, the artist achieves a dynamic surface that bears both the traces of his hand and those of chance. His works are not just visual representations but multifaceted explorations of the artistic process itself that are not limited to the medium of painting but extend to ceramics and bronze sculptures. The dazzling compositions feature abstract forms, expanses of colour, and seemingly endless lines. Within his process, the artist applies a casting material, forming a skin-like layer over the canvas. Subsequent tiers of paint are added by the artist, only to be later removed, yielding his sublime paintings.

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Besides paintings, Yorgos Stamkopoulos presents a new series of untitled ceramic works. The series is crafted from a negative print of one of the artist's earlier works—a sort of artistic footprint. Once the painting was made, it was intentionally destroyed, yet its essence remains captured. Stamkopoulos employs this technique to retain the memory, aura, and impact of the original piece, all without the need for its physical presence. The fired clay, subsequently glazed, lends the work a charming naivety and playful allure. Unlike painting on canvas, where control over the medium is more evident, here Stamkopoulos had to exercise restraint in the process. Ultimately, this series serves as a poignant reflection on the intricate interplay of memory and time.

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The works of both Ilari Hautamäki and Yorgos Stamkopoulos intersect through their intuitive, impulsive and organic artistic expressions, bridging the divide between abstract formal language and a mutual exploration of the essence of memory.

In juxtaposition, Ilari Hautamäki’s rather abstract, rhythmic, and gestural works form interesting connections with Yorgos Stamkopoulos unpredictable, romantic painterly language. Classic paintings meet fired, glazed clay and the aura of Finnish nature encounters the shimmering lights that can be found in the Greek countryside. A different type of landscape evolves, dense with motion that emanates from the techniques of both artists.

This exhibition acts as a cartography of the mind, probing the potential of artworks as mnemonic devices and tools to aid memory. It's akin to strolling through the gardens or the personal archives of the two artists, where only imprints of documents remain, revealing traces of information in the form of fragmented images reminiscent of relics.

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Text: Livia Klein
Photos: Florian Langhammer

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