K o r r e t

As the cruel early summer sun reflects off the buildings and streets through the gallery windows, it has softened subtly. Sami Havia’s paintings deserve the most beautiful light possible, they seem to glow with light even from within. Havia has refined his palette and managed to find the exuberant glow of spring. In his works, it seems that even the twilight exudes its own kind of light. Yet Havia is now neither a surrealist nor a fantasy painter. Rather, the exhibition aims for realism. The aim is to present colour as it appears in nature. The comparison with the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists is not far-fetched.

In the paintings, colour touches and appeals to the senses. It can even penetrate the intellectual barrier. It is the emotional core of the works. Colour is often juxtaposed with line. The line is seen as a rational element that appeals to the intellect. Colour and line are like emotion and reason, unrestraint and restraint. Havia is able to break this age-old dichotomy. In his paintings, colour and line are one. The surfaces are full of drawing lines and they form the colour when we look at the work. One can think of pointillists as a metaphor, but instead of dots, Havia uses intertwining lines of different colours to form a surface.

The gaze must submit to the interaction. One must believe in the surface, surrender to the seduction of the lines. The paintings are created in an apparently unforced and free way. Havia has succeeded in creating the impression of spontaneous lines, as if the work had been created in one go. Yet they have a sense of urgency. They are balanced, purely serene. They are soothing to look at and experience, and to look at them is a momentary respite from the stress of a busy world.

In the paintings, rushes, grasses and timothy curve in a landscape created by the sun and wind, which remains intangible as if it were about to disappear. The effect is heightened by the active two-dimensionality of the landscape. No impression of depth has been created in the works through spatial fusion. Nevertheless, the two-dimensionality is not naively passive, but active and narrative in terms of composition and content.

The title work of the exhibition, Korret, was inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s last album, 12. Havia says that the album’s sonorous, human and spatial music spoke to him through its themes and visuality. “As the process went on, the corsica became a metaphor for me as a human being. Swinging in the wind or tearing up in a storm, shining in the sun or moving into the afterlife,” Havia describes the exhibition. The quiet presence and sensitivity of the works offer a cleansing experience in this time.

Veikko Halmetoja

Sami Havia’s exhibition K o r r e t is his second solo show at Gallery Halmetoja, but he has already collaborated with ARTag Gallery and several museum exhibitions Havia was also part of the Mänttä Art Week 2018 curated by Veikko Halmetoja. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2011 and his works are on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, among others, the collections of the State Artworks Commission and the Saastamoinen Foundation. His next solo exhibition will be at the Massey Klein Gallery in New York in 2026.

The exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland

Näyttelyteksti suomeksi / The text in Finnish

Photos of the exhibition by Jaakko Kahilaniemi