Galleri Riis

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Paul Osipow
New Paintings
October 19 – November 18, 2017

We are pleased to announce an exhibition with new paintings by Paul Osipow (b. 1939 in Kotka, Finland), one of the pre-eminent Finnish artists working today.

This is our 11th solo exhibition with the artist, since his first with the gallery in 1989. For the greater part of his artistic career Paul Osipow has emphasized abstract and non-figurative painting and is a leading proponent of its development within the Nordic art scene, where he continues to inspire new generations of artists.

Osipow's exhibitions in the 1990s revealed his gradual movement away from a pure geometric expression to one unrestricted, inspired by pioneers of modern painting with samplings from late Impressionism, Cubism and Fauvism. Throughout, Osipow has maintained a bold approach to abstract and figurative concepts in terms of what and how to paint. With pragmatic distance and profound seriousness he experiments with the medium's fundamental and constant questions regarding surface, color, space and form; to depict or not, thus creating intriguing artworks and contributing to an analytical criticism of his medium.

In the preparatory works for this new series of paintings one can sense inspiration from Nordic vernacular rag rugs, but in the works to be shown in this exhibition, a connection has also been made with the craft of mosaics reflecting Osipow's longstanding interest in the ancient Mediterranean cultures. Composed of brick-like horizontal bands of painted dots, the paintings have been crafted with a certain crudeness and delicacy which results in a strong and direct visual language. Osipow includes the left and right margins of the canvas in these compositions - revealing traces and notes like a prisoners graffiti from the disciplined workdays in his Helsinki Studio. The meticulously laid segments form a long line of contemplation on a painterly foundation which Osipow has constantly developed since the 1960s.

In 2005 Osipow was featured in a major exhibition and publication at the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo. A retrospective exhibition of his works is planned for the Kunsthalle Helsinki in 2018. Osipow is represented in private and public collections throughout the Nordic region, including the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo and the National Art Museum in Helsinki.