25.9.2021–9.1.2022 PETRI ALA-MAUNUS, LA-LA LAND
Petri Ala-Maunus (b.1979) is well-known for his landscape paintings, which, at a first glance, look like romantic pastoral scenes from the 19th century. In his paintings, the majestic scenes have become larger and more impressive than reality. Executed with great attention to detail, the artworks look photographic. Sometimes the colour palette looks as though it was limited to three or four tones with an image editing programme, sometimes even just black and white.
These paintings depict nature as something untouched, almost heavenly, showing no people or signs of destruction caused by human beings. Or do they? In some of the works, Ala-Maunus breaks the illusion by adding drips or areas of garish colour that stand out from the rest of the painting, or leaves parts of the surface unpainted. Ala-Maunus interest in popular music, steaming from experiences in his youth, can be seen in the content of his video work as well as in his paintings. Along side these themes, Ala-Maunus has also maintained a diary of self portraits of which there are more than 3900 made over the last four years.
In addition to his most recent work, this large solo exhibition of Petri Ala-Maunus showcases artwork from public and private collections retrospectively from the past ten years or so.
At the beginning of the 1990’s, Ala-Maunus studied art at the Kankaanpää Art School and continued at the Helsinki Art Academy finally completing his MFA in 2011. Along side his own production, Ala-Maunus taught painting at the Tampere University of Applied Arts and Science in the TAMK fine art programme between 1999-2014. In 2010 Ala-Maunus was awarded the Finnish Art Association’s William Thuring Award and in 2019, he was nominated for the Ars Fennica art award. Ala-Maunus’ work can be found in numerous national and international art collections, such as the Amos Anderson Museum, the Helsinki Museum HAM, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Saastamoinen Foundation, the Sara Hildén Museum, the National Collection, the Wihuri Foundation and the Zabludovicz Collection.
Photo: Petri Ala-Maunus, Re-imagining Rurality, 2020. Photo Jefunne Gimpel