Raimo Utriainen (1927–1994), the sculptor, is best known for his constructivist sculptures made of thin metal slats placed together in a mathematical style. The peaceful forms of his abstract works as well as their surfaces that vibrate in the light remind us of natural phenomena. They are not a copy of the visible, however, since they are based on forms and rhythms that exist underneath the surface as building blocks of the visible world.
There was also something else about Raimo Utriainen. While working on his most subtle sculptures, he also made large-scale paintings with powerful colours and gestures, often suggestively figurative. This was his way of expressing suppressed emotions that had no space in the ascetic minimalism of his sculptures.
The majority of the paintings were made in the 1980s, during the golden era of new expressive painting. Raimo Utriainen was acknowledged as one of the great reformers of modern Finnish sculpture. His canvases, which are both strong and delightful at the same time, sometimes even grotesque, prove that he was on the pulse of the times even when he was painting.
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