www 2013

Lars Holmstrom Taken part extensively in group exhibitions in Finland since 1970 and abroad since 1979. Several solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad since 1976. Works at Finnish state collections and in several town and private collections and museums in Finland and abroad. A member of The Society of Finnish Graphic Artists and of The Painters' Association, Finland.


Lars Holmström does not want to tie himself down to any particular working method or material, but instead he constructs versatile abstract pictures on the basis of his own feelings and innate regulations. Versatility in his works is not an indication of structural inconsistency. On the contrary, each work must meet the uncompromising requirements by the artist: all parts must be compatible and able to create a tone of controlled harmony. Rhythm, pulse and movement are born out of this joint chord.

In his exhibitions Lars Holmström usually shows serigraphies based on abstract expression as well as large three-dimensional constructions. Relief paintings are located somewhere in between these two. Holmström´s recent pictorial studies carry forward the ideas already realized in his "rust prints" and works made by lampblack and ice cubes. He himself calls these new paper works his "minimalistic material studies". Large photographic collages, e.g. "Autumn Rye" (2000) and "Rape-field" (2002), were born out of Holmström´s observations of nature and present interesting experimentations on repetition and continuity. The interplay between numerous individual pictures creates a fractal-like entity.

Both the graphical works and the large architectonic constructions of Lars Holmström bear the idea of surfaces arranged in layers and the use of perspective. The dynamics of his serigraphies is based on the principles of repetition and movement. Repetion occurs when the pictorial motif is duplicated as a mirrow image; movement is inherent in the layers of colour advancing in a wave-like pattern. A more subtle movement is felt on the fringes of our vision: Holmström intensifies the colour in the extreme, but at the same time lets the black contours break up and ripple into invisibility. Out comes the sensation of breathing or a pulse - a feeling of movement repeating itself out of our sight.

While the illusion of depth is acquired by the cromatic changes of one colour and the manipulation of contours, Holmström´s constructions outline their space differently. When the forms are analyzed in a three-dimensional way, colours are allowed to give up their structural duties and devote themselves to a uniform and radiant glow. Forms are still arranged in layers with the help of repetition, often as a combination of two identical pieces, but now in relation to time and space, which seems to affect the proportional qualities of the constructions as the viewer moves around them.

By means of his relief paintings Lars Holmström has found a tool for spontaneous painting as well, which, surprisingly, is not in conflict with the methodic and the systematic process. In Frequentia (2002) the thin, veillike surface of paint applied on top of bright colours, arranged in layers, is counterforced by geometric patterning of metal pegs, which bind the light and colour flashing through the surface into dynamic frequences. A strong sensation of movement is transferred into rhythmically pulsating cycles of movement and pause, thus resembling the force of life itself.

The series of mixed media works Linieübungen (2002) was created during a couple of weeks of intensive working. It was an experiment to test Holmström´s ability to concentrate. Drawing lines with a liner, spacing them as evenly as possible, demanded absolute and complete concentration from the artist. The resulting series resembles EEG-charts, graphs that reveal some of the lines gone astray because of some external disturbances. The principle of using layers is evident also in these works: the drawings are made on intertwined strips of paper, which creates three-dimensionality into the otherwise disciplined form language.

Text: Anne Paldanius, 1.4.2003