Tuula Lehtinen, Gallery Halmetoja
The exhibition at Gallery Halmetoja is comprised of oil paintings that reflect on the boundaries of beauty and reality. Lehtinen’s aesthetic playfulness is brash; it laughs at the ideals of Modernism while showing love to the drapery of Baroque, the lightness of Rococo and the smooth surfaces of salon painters. Lehtinen utilizes elements perceived as feminine, such as flowers, lace, textiles and ornaments. She is mysterious and partly surrealistic, but ultimately always stylish in her precision. At their best, her artworks are flirting with banal beauty without ever being banal themselves.
These new paintings lure the viewer to be enthralled over drapery. The references to Baroque painting are evident, and the relishing of drapery at the very least as unbridled. As the folds symbolize the degree of ecstasy, one can interpret Lehtinen’s artworks cheekily, wondering what kind of ecstasy might be revealed from behind the drapes.