The exhibition Logic Unfettered: European and American Abstraction Now was opened on 10 November 2007 in Amersfoort, Mondriaanhuis.
Dear artists and organizers of the event and exhibition Logic Unfettered,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, thank you so much for for extending an invitation also to the Embassy of Finland to this special event Logic Unfettered. It is a particular pleasure for my wife and me to be here today as there are also works of two prominent Finnish artists: Matti Kujasalo and Marjatta Palasto presented at this exhibition.
The whole event Logic Unfettered is a special one in many ways.
This is not an art exhibition in traditional sense. There´s a whole lot more to it. You are considering the relationship between aesthetics and mathematics in lectures as well as putting works of art on display that each have their own connection with aesthetics and mathematics, or maybe logical structures or solutions.
The relationship between mathematics and aesthetics is one thing for the artist, another one for a spectator and I think a third element for a mathematician.
I wonder to what extent do the artists see their work in relation to mathematics.
Are the systematic structures, patterns, colours in the works born out of mathematical or logical considerations of the artist? Or are they states of mind of the artist that end up in systematic visual results? Do some of the artists here pose themselves mathematical problems and solve them then by working out certain type of pictures or sculptures? And actually, are the works that we see here rather questions than answers?
Or do mathematics mainly have an instrumental role - giving an artist technical and logical means to carry out certain ideas?
I suppose there is not the same answer to each of the questions from different artists who have their works here.
All artists may well have their own relationship as well to mathematics as to aesthetics. Some may even think that they are just expressing themselves in the most personal way they can without any particular mathematical considerations.
For the viewer mathematics are not necessarily present or the foremost thought as he or she is taking a look at the works presented here. And just thinking of myself I am definitely sure that a viewer of this exhibition does not necessarily have to be mathematically talented to be able to like and appreciate the works on display here. Mere aesthetic elements of these pictures do set them on the level of things of beauty - which we know mean joy forever.
But then - any work of art poses a challenge to the spectator: does the work address me in any way? Do I like it? If yes - why? And also - if not, why not? By asking these questions and trying to answer them the spectator is not only looking at the pictures on the wall but also at his own mindset. And so the abstract art turns in a certain way into a mirror of the minds where the aspirations of the artist might meet with the considerations of the spectator. So the spectator would not be watching just colors, patterns and structures but also, a little bit at himself.
As far as mathematicians and their relationship to works of abstract arts are concerned I do not dare say anything. I just have imagined how nice it would be if mathematicians seeing the works of this exhibition Logic Unfettered would turn the visual language of these pictures into mathematical formulas. So in addition to the name of the work, the year it was made, the name of the artist who made it, there beside the picture would also be a mathematical formula telling in mathematical terms what the picture is about, what kind of problems are posed there and what the possible solution might be.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the beginning of my greetings I mentioned the names of the two Finnish artists whose works are present here: Matti Kujasalo and Marjatta Palasto.
Some of Matti Kujasalo´s works I do know for instance beacause some of my diplomatic colleagues have them in their collections. And also for having once, some ten years ago had a chance to open an exhibition of Kujasalo in Ludwigshafen in Germany. - Marjatta Palasto´s works are a fresh and new acquaintance for me.
In the case of both of these artists it is easy to see that the visual language they are speaking is not Finnish but rather universal. Whether their works then are speaking a universal visual language with a Finnish dialect, I cannot tell, maybe you can. If you do see Finnish elements in them, please tell me. I would be interested to know what these elements are. - To me pictures of Matti Kujasalo for instance are more like genetic maps of any human being, not just those of a particular Finn.
But never mind the visual or other language the pictures are speaking, for my part I am only happy that we have also artists from Finland with their works present here in Amersfoort along with other European and American contemporary artists.
I do thank once more the organizers of the exhibition and event Logic Unfettered. I hope that you will receive a big number of visitors here because this number in the end would be clearly and unanimously understood by artists, by spectators and also by mathematicians.