HARRI PURO: AN ATTEMPT TO SMILE AT A STRANGER

13 January - 6 February 2022

Harri Puro’s paintings are constructed on top of drawn motifs on canvas. The drawings, based on the people in his immediate circle, do not guide the painting beyond its start, rather, these works are alive and change constantly as the process advances. Occasionally a work that began by being horizontal can turn upright, while in the meantime numerous new motifs have emerged on top of the original one. The initial charcoal drawings can be glimpsed between the layers of paint, but the original idea is rarely still present in the finished work, since the figures and shapes adapt and merge into new frameworks. In Puro’s paintings an intuitive way of painting and abandonment of plans leave room for surprizes and for interesting strata.

He seeks to balance between sketches, plans and free improvisation, while constantly occupying the middle ground between figurative and abstract. Sometimes, the figures fragment into completely abstract forms, occasionally they are more easily recognizable when the painter adds new elements or alternatively deletes them. The end result is a consequence of the mutual friction between these two modes of representation. 

An Attempt To Smile At A Stranger is Puro’s third solo exhibition at Makasiini Contemporary. The Rovaniemi-born Puro graduated from Turku Arts Academy in 2020 and his works are in Kiasma’s and Basware’s collections, and in numerous private collections.