To Wander, to Paint – About the Art of Mika Hytti
Juha-Heikki Tihinen, curator, PhD in Art History
Mika Hytti’s new exhibition Kinesis fills Forum Box with lively paintings that show the painter’s long-lasting work and artistic dialogue in the form of paintings. Hytti works intuitively and the process contains both painting and pondering on the essence and meaning of the paintings. This happens through working, looking and searching. Colours and forms are decided work by work as the artist develops his thinking on paintings.
Hytti is interested in the experience or presence that takes place between the viewer and the artwork before anything is put into words. The artist is looking for the image before words or the images of the area that remains behind the words. What do we see before we name a work of art? Is it colour, forms or a combination of them without verbalising? What happens when the work is named? Is it transformed or is the visual thinking and experience given its verbal equivalent? One can ask if anyone or anything exists without a name. Hytti’s works can be thought as painting philosophy visible.
The paintings in Kinesis are different in size, style and colours. Hytti shows powerfully how abstractions and figurative content are in a dialogue even when the figurative elements are rather few. This is when the viewer observes the rhythm of the patterns and how different gestures of the painting are juxtaposed on the canvas.
Some paintings have lush colours and organic patterns while the others tend more towards monochrome that can sometimes be combined with a repetitive and almost geometric pattern.
Hytti’s works are inspired by many things, lately experiences in nature or the thinking of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855). The name of the exhibition Kinesis is a reference to Kierkegaard’s idea of the transformation of coming into existence. The ideas turn into paintings during the course of work and the works may change radically before finding their final form. Hytti works on several paintings simultaneously, so the works travel side by side towards completion. In spite of the time spent and the trouble taken by the artist, in their final form the paintings feel like they were born to be just the way they are.
The names of the paintings offer the viewer references to their relationship to the outside world, but one can easily spend time with them without looking for figurative contents. From the point of view of material Hytti’s paintings are lush and layered. Their visual style is diverse and embracing. Pigments and different organic forms are deeply touching. How can fragile and strong be one and be present at the same time? Hytti gives a lasting form to multisensory, temporal and spatial experience in painting.
The Kinesis exhibition feels like Mika Hytti is visualising the thought presented by Olga Tokarczuk in the novel Flights “– it is pure form looking for content but after finding it, it tires instantly and throws itself to another wind.” Doesn’t Hytti show clearly how a painter explores visibility relentlessly and time after time travels to the core of the visible to bring something from there and creates works of art based on that, just to let them go and to start all over again. He wanders between the visible and invisible constantly and tirelessly, so we can wonder at the works of art.