Atte Pylvänäinen | Into the Wood

Onoma Galleria
Mon-Sun 11-18, free entry

“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit.”

Kurt Vonnegut, 1997

Designer, furniture designer, and carpenter Atte Pylvänäinen’s first solo exhibition explores the kind of creativity that doesn’t always fit within the confines of creative work. While a furniture designer’s craft requires thoroughness and precise technical specificity, in art, you can measure a chair directly into the air and observe how its shape settles into place.

For this exhibition, I’ve created pieces that can be explained and traced with a single line. I have explored thoughts and ideas I’ve had on my mind while working on commissions and other formal things and transformed them into three-dimensional pieces, striving for the kind of joy that art can bring to make human existence a bit more meaningful. I believe that especially in these times, when everything can be optimized to be technically sensible, design must have an original idea; a thought about the form and shape that feels good.

Pylvänäinen’s work is material-driven; many of the pieces in the exhibition have been created from leftover materials from commissioned works, guided by the materials themselves. The pieces’ sometimes massive scales explore how creativity manifests itself when there are no strict material constraints, when everything can be used in a piece. In larger pieces, material imperfections also become more tolerable and interesting; the flaws have a different relationship to the whole than in smaller, more precise works.

In addition to physical objects designed by Pylvänäinen, the exhibition also features paintings that illustrate another perspective on creativity spilling over the boundaries of creative work. Despite the intense and long hours of work, Pylvänäinen has always felt the need for personal expression. “In moments when I couldn’t dedicate time to my own creative furniture projects, I found an outlet in painting. My paintings serve as a channel to release creativity that might not find space elsewhere.”