Symposium: Conversations in Light and Dark

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 10:00 to Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 16:00
Exhibition Laboratory

Conversations in Light and Dark is a two-day event at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, in the dark winter. It revolves around a discussion of painting, and how artists who use painting think about the world. It is concerned with time, collecting – the artist as collector, the studio as archive and the things painters are interested in, what painters are thinking about and what forms an artist, early experiences, enthusiasms, connections to other artists, sometimes from another age or geographical location and of course painting and light. It aims to create an environment where artists and other practitioners talk like they do amongst each other, so there will be coffee and some open-ended discussion, which will form around presentations by our speakers.

Terry Winters (keynote), Declan Long, Alex Olson, Yuki Okumura, AGF aka Antye Greie-Ripatti, Kukka Paavilainen, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Daniel Werkmäster, Aino Lintunen

Curated by Fergus Feehily

Exhibition Laboratory
Merimiehenkatu 36 C, inner yard
00150 Helsinki


Terry Winters was born in New York in 1949 and received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1971. Following his first exhibition at Sonnabend Gallery in 1982, his work has been the subject of numerous museum surveys. These include the Tate Gallery, London; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzales, Valencia and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Basel; The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Retrospectives of his drawings and prints have been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; as well as the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. A complete archive of his printed works is held at the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine. In 2013, Winters was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Winters is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery in New York and Los Angeles. Winters lives and works in New York and Columbia County.

Jonatan Habib Engqvist is an independent curator and writer. Co-curator of Sinopale 6, Survival Kit 9 (2017), organising New Småland and running Curatorial Residency in Stockholm (CRIS). Co-curator of the Momentum 8, 2015, project manager at Iaspis (2009-2014), curator of Reykjavík Arts Festival 2012, and curator at Moderna Museet (2008-09). He has written for and edited several books and journals, and is editor in mischief at Recent exhibitions include: Public Face, Konsthall Jönköping, Bouchra Khalili — The Opposite of Voice Over, Färgfarbriken, Stockholm, Raluca Popa – Two Titles, RCI, Stockholm, A Kassen, National Gallery of Iceland and No Bad Days, Kalmar Konstmuseum. Books include: Studio Talks: Thinking Through Painting (with Bength, Rydén, Sandström, Arvinius+Orfeus Publishing, 2014), In Dependence – Collaboration and Artists´ initiatives (Torpedo Press, 2013), Work, Work, Work – A Reader on Art and Labour (with Enqvist, Masucci, Rosendahl & Widenheim, Steinberg Press, 2012), Dharavi: Documenting Informalities (with Lantz, KKH, 2008, Academic Foundation, New Delhi 2009).

Antye Greie (also known as AGF) is a composer, music producer, sound artist & curator, poet, feminist. She lives and works in Finland. Her artistic tools are language, sound, listening, voice, and communication which she expresses in mixed media. Since 2011, she is the organiser and co-founder of Hai Art in Hailuoto. Hai Art has realised an international conference on remote art & sound, 10+ artistic residencies, extensive sound programs with children like the iPad Orchestra Hailuoto, built an acoustic sculpture The Hailuoto Organum in public space, facilitated a children MediaLAB and numerous sound art camps. Antye campaigns for diversity in the arts with the women collective female:pressure. She runs her own music publishing label AGF Producktion and has collaborated with Eliane Radigue, Gudrun Gut, Kaffe Matthews, Vladislav Delay, Craig Armstrong, Ellen Allien amongst many others.

Aino Lintunen is a student focusing on painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki. She holds an MA in art education from Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture (2016) and has studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. She writes along with painting and has developed an interest in the shared area between the two ways of embodying a thought.

Declan Long is Programme Director of the MA Art in the Contemporary World at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. He is a regular contributor to Artforum and Frieze magazines and has recently published the book 'Ghost Haunted Land: Contemporary Art and Post-Troubles Northern Ireland' (Manchester University Press, 2017). In 2013 he served as a member of the Turner Prize judging panel.

Yuki Okumura is an artist and translator born in Aomori, Japan, 1978, who currently lives and works between Brussels, Maastricht, and Tokyo. Engaging identity, individuality, and authorship, each of his recent projects revisits art history by rendering the first-person perspective of an artist, often from the 60s–70s conceptual generation, with whom he has certain artistic and/or biographical overlaps. Recent shows include Welcome Back, Gordon Matta-Clark, statements, Tokyo and M HKA, Antwerp (2017), The Absence of Work, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2016), Hisachika Takahashi by Yuki Okumura, Maison Hermès Le Forum, Tokyo (2016), Un-Scene III, WIELS, Brussels (2015), and Measuring Roman Ondák, MISAKO & ROSEN, Tokyo (2015). Edition.nord, Niigata, recently published his latest artist's book, YUKI OKUMURA (2017).

Alex Olson lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Solo exhibitions include Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Altman Siegel, San Francisco; Laura Bartlett Gallery, London and Lisa Cooley, New York. Group exhibitions include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Hammer Museum (in collaboration with LAXART), Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Public Fiction, Los Angeles. Olson is a founding member of the Artists Acquisition Club—a nonprofit consisting of artists, writers and members of the Los Angeles art community who aim to honor artists by collectively purchasing and gifting significant artworks to major Los Angeles institutions.

Kukka Paavilainen is a painter based in Helsinki and born there in 1976. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 2005 and also in Art History at the University of Helsinki. She is now finishing her DFA thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki with the title Painting as Research. Instead of a theoretical approach, she wants to illuminate the position of an artist in the middle of the creation process – the painter’s voice in the field of contemporary painting. Paavilainen also teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts. Her solo shows include The Screen, Photographic gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki (2014), Paintings from the Tunnel, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (2010), New Paintings, Galleria UPP, Venice, Italy (2009) and Debut exhibition, Forsblom Projects, Helsinki (2007). She has works in the following Finnish public collections: Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art and Tampere Art Museum.

Daniel Werkmäster is an art historian and Museum Director in Uppsala since 2014. Before that he was Director at Norrtälje Art Hall 2002–2014, and has for several years also been working for the Uppsala University Art Collections. The Uppsala Art Museum is a museum and a place for modern and contemporary art. The Art Museum presents national and international art and has a special responsibility to monitor and support art and art life in Uppsala Municipality and Uppsala Region. Werkmäster is specialized in contemporary art but has also been working in the field of modernism. He has had a particular interest in Finnish art and has been working with several Finnish artists in Norrtälje, Uppsala and other places. In 2015 he was curator for “Tila Haltuun!” at Korundi in Rovaniemi, the Association of Finnish Sculptors’ pentennial members’ exhibion, and was awarded the Association’s honor medal Pro Sculptura in 2016.

Fergus Feehily (b. 1968, Ireland) is an artist working within the field of painting and Professor of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki. Solo exhibitions include INCA, Seattle (2017), Capital, San Francisco (2015), The Suburban, Milwaukee (2015), Misako & Rosen, Tokyo (2013 and 2010), The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2012 and 2009), Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London (2011), The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (2011) alongside Matt Connors, Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne (2010) and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen (2008). Group exhibitions, including Why not live for Art? II - 9 collectors reveal their treasures, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo (2013), Painter Painter, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013), Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & the Francis Bacon Studio, BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts, Brussels (2013), Painting Expanded, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (2011) and Twenty, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2011). His work is included in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art and The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.