Antti Nyyssölä is Triangle Art Association and FCINY’s artist-in-residence from December to February.
Visual artist Antti Nyyssölä’s practice is rooted in the traditions of painting. In the realization process, however, Nyyssölä questions the limits of the medium with unconventional materials and self-developed techniques. Paint is replaced by industrial tape, while corrugated cardboard substitutes for canvas. The material choices both outline Nyyssölä’s working process and create meaning in the final works. “Tape and cardboard have originally been used as packing material at the studio. Matter that is meant to cover has now been upgraded to content.”
The basic principles of painting, such as color and space, are repeatedly brought up and challenged in Nyyssölä’s work. Works created with transparent or white tape question the meaning and necessity of color in painting, but coverings and transparency can always be read in a political way as well, the artist points out. Nyyssölä addresses conventional themes that feel outdated and boring to him. Iconic imagery, such as stripes, squares, or flags, are unmasked from their default meanings and re-evaluated through the disappearing and recoding of colors.
Most recently, Antti Nyyssölä has been making self-bound artist books, sometimes as big as 145 x 200 cm (57 x 79 inches). Nyyssölä has been collecting paper clips, plants, receipts, and such, for years and uses these seemingly random items as material for his books. Each artist book features bits of this archive, and creates its own, tactile map that anticipates the interaction of the viewer. “A large book activates a different kind of physical relation between the artwork and the viewer, as turning a page or seeing a full spread demands moving around, wrestling with, and observing the artwork from different distances.”
Some of Nyyssölä’s artist books have been produced in collaboration with other artists, who take turns contributing to the book in their chosen style and media. This initiative sprang from Nyyssölä’s interest in utilizing art and drawing as a means of language and communication. During his time in New York and away from the “junk archive gathered in the Helsinki studio over the years,” Nyyssölä plans to start collecting material for new artist books. He is interested in the idea of making the artist books more interdisciplinary by collaborating with researchers and other practitioners working outside the context of visual art.