The Unreal The paintings in this exhibition present an independent reality, a world that is dependent on our real world yet is separate from it. It is a world that exists on its own terms. As an artist, I am interested in what one could call ‘ordinary fare’. I do not look for the outlandish or the iconic. The scenes that I depict are usually closely familiar as social types and contemporary spaces. There is sometimes an automatic assumption when one looks upon a work of art that presents itself as representative or descriptive of something that we recognize from our own reality. The assumption is that know. What I seek is to deconstruct the reality that we inhabit in order to remake reality (the universe) according the logic inherent in the act of creating a painting. With that Early study for Light (graphite on paper)
The genesis of a painting may stem from many paths, but the origin for these works can be found in memory, drawing, and video documentation. I begin by simply absorbing the spaces through which I move. I am not
two are actually and simply two sides of the same coin. To be concerned with representation in terms of making a work of art means to grapple with all the issues present in works of abstraction, and this applies to my works as
whenever it presents itself. In this way, being on location is essential and I must be present from the very start of
I will begin making sketches – usually very abstract in nature that might look purely like a collection of lines and shapes colliding, interacting, and responding to each
the canvas. If I notice a space that suits my interests I will the spacial dynamics, noting how the people interact with the space and therefore each other. It is after this has transpired that creation is commenced.
recognizable reality that conform to the overall structure a tree replace a block of space, etc. Eventually a set of of the unreal framework. Michelangelo once described the process of sculpting thus: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” The same can be said for painting.
Early study for The Other Side (graphite and coloured pencil on paper)
Therefore the meaning of these paintings is not one that can be demarcated with certainty. They are not commenting on social issues or political conditions. The works are not setting out with a clear intent to communicated a message, or tell a story. The artwork has its own autonomous existence, whether or not the audience places anything on it. The “meaning,” if we can call it that, of the painting is inherent in its structure, in its form, in its very existence. The meaning of the painting is to create a new framework in which to experience what we think we know. To that extent, the meaning lies in the experience of the painting and is a singular achievement between viewer and artwork.
It is sometimes thought that painting can be separated into abstract or representational acts. While there is a certain degree of visual categorization that is possible, the
Erik Nieminen was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1985. He holds a BFA from the University of Ottawa, and an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal. He currently works in Berlin and Montreal.
The Other Side oil on linen 140 x 200 cm (55 x 79 in) ÂŁ 9,500
Ricochet oil on linen 160 x 210 cm (63 x 83 in) ÂŁ 9,850
Evening Migration oil on linen 110 x 160 cm (43 x 63 in) ÂŁ 7,500
Janus oil on linen 160 x 180 cm (63 x 71 in) ÂŁ 9,500
Human oil on canvas 200 x 160 cm (79 x 63 in) ÂŁ 9,850
Lift oil on canvas 125 x 90 cm (49 x 35 in) ÂŁ 6,000
Mirage oil on linen 45 x 70 cm (18 x 28 in) ÂŁ 3,250
Light oil on linen 80 x 100 cm (31 x 39 in) ÂŁ 5,000
Ladder oil on linen 100 x 80 cm (39 x 31 in) ÂŁ 5,000
Pillars oil on canvas 145 x 105 cm (57 x 41 in) ÂŁ 7,000
Pillar-ish oil on linen 30 x 24 cm (12 x 9 in) ÂŁ 2,000
Character 6 oil on canvas 30 x 24 cm (12 x 9 in) ÂŁ 2,000
Character 1 oil on canvas 40 x 30 cm (16 x 12 in) ÂŁ 2,500
Character 7 oil on canvas 30 x 24 cm (12 x 9 in) ÂŁ 2,000
Erik Nieminen Born: 1985, Ottawa, Canada (lives and works in Berlin and Montreal) Education 2003-2007 2007-2010
B.F.A. (Honours) University of Ottawa, Ottawa M.F.A. Concordia University, Montreal
Solo Exhibitions 2016 2011 2010 2006
“The Unreal”, Albemarle Gallery, London “Anonymous Reality”, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa “Anonymous” MFA Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal “Man Machine”, Gallery 115, Ottawa
Group Exhibitions 2015 2015 2015 2014 2013 2013 2012 2011 2010 2010 2009 2009 2009 2008 2008 2008 2007 2007 2006 2005 2001
“Öffnen Kunst”, Toskana-Halle, Berlin “Around the World in 30 Days”, The Ballery, Berlin “City of Ottawa Acquisitions”, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa “Concurrent”, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver Kunsthalle Kreativstadt Weißensee, Berlin “Reflections”, Albemarle Gallery, London UK “Art” Kunsthalle Kreativstadt Weißensee, Berlin “December Choice 11”, Wallack Gallery, Ottawa “December Choice 10”, Wallack Gallery, Ottawa “Art and Technology: Intertwined Creative Ventures”, Mechtronix, Montreal “December Choice 09”, Wallack Gallery, Ottawa “Art 09”, Toronto “Time Off”, Galerie Art Mur, Montreal “Cinéma”, Calligrammes Gallery, Ottawa “Shut Up and Paint”, MFA Gallery, Montreal “Strata”, Espace Artefacto, Montreal “De-Re-Construction”, University of Ottawa, Ottawa “Painting and Source,” Gallery 115, Ottawa “2006 VASA Art Contest Exhibition,” University of Ottawa, Ottawa “2005 Mayor’s Art Festival,” Ottawa City Hall, Ottawa “Les Artistes de Calligrammes saluent les IVes Jeux de la Francophonie”, Calligrammes Gallery, Ottawa
Awards 2014 2011 2010 2008 2007 2007 2006
Elizabeth Greenshields Award Elizabeth Greenshields Award “Art and Technology: Intertwined Creative Ventures”, 1st prize award. Lillian Vineberg Graduate Award in Painting and Drawing The Edmund and Isobel Ryan Visual Arts Scholarship for Painting Royal Canadian Academy Painting Scholarship Award VASA Exhibition Award
Bibliography “Anonymous Reality”, Exhibition Catalogue, June 2011 Anja. “Erik Nieminen-Anonymous Reality”. Visual Encounter. June 30, 2011: http://visualencounter.blogspot.com/2011/06/erik-nieminen-anonymous-reality.html Di Nallo, Lidia. “Erik Nieminen – Concordia Artist Sees Life Through his Own Eyes”. The Bridge Magazine. Fall 2009: pgs 26-28 Itzkowich, Claudia. “Arte en Ottawa: toda una revelación”. Revista Bleu & Blanc. July 2011. pg 34. Juxtapoz Magazine. “Erik Nieminen’s (Un)Altered Reality”. Online Magazine, June 20, 2013. http://www.juxtapoz.com/illustration/erik-nieminens-unaltered-reality “Kunsthalle Weissensee”, Catalogue, December 2012. Kronsten, Venetia. “Five Painters: Albemarle Gallery”. Idol Magazine. December 18, 2013. Online: http://idolmag.co.uk/blog/five-painters-albemarle-gallery Lin Lain, Shear. “Interview: Erik Nieminen”. Awe50me. August 15, 2013. Online: http://www.awe50me.com/2013/08/15/interview-erik-nieminen/ Le Van, Katy. "À la Galerie Karsh-Masson", Voir, July 14, 2011: pg 20. Online: http://www.voir.ca/publishing/article.aspx?zone=3§ion=20&article=77824 Made in Mind Magazine. “Issue 01”, Online Magazine. May 2014. Pgs: 32-37 “MFA’s take off”. Montreal Mirror. March 19-25: pg 57 Moghaddam, Maria Sabaye. “Disconnect Broods in the Air”. Iranian.com. June 27, 2011: http://www.iranian.com/main/blog/msabaye/disconnect-broods-air Paradissis, Athena. “Checkout Artist Erik Nieminen.” CheckoutArt. November 14th, 2009. Online: http://www.checkoutart.ca/artists/checkout-artist-erik-nieminen/ Poets and Artists Magazine. “Poets and Artists Issue 29”, Online Magazine. November 2011. Pgs: 63-66 Poets and Artists Magazine. “Poets and Artists Issue 66, Curated by Daena Title”, Online Magazine. July 2015. Pgs: 5-6. Simpson, Peter. “Scene Through Plate Glass”. Ottawa Citizen, June 13, 2011: pg C1. Online: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Scene+through+plate+glass/4935249/story.html?cid=mggadrop_story Simpson, Peter. “Erik Nieminen and the Swirling City: New Paintings. Beat Big Blog, June 13, 2011. Online: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/06/13/erik-nieminen-and-the-swirling-city-new-paintings/ “Strata”, Exhibition Catalogue, April 2008 “Time Off”, Exhibition Catalogue, 2009 We and the Color. “Distorted Urban Oil Paintings by Erik Nieminen”. Online, August 5, 2013. http://weandthecolor.com/distorted-urban-oil-paintings-by-erik-nieminen/29590 Weiner, Paul. ”Erik Nieminen interview”, Critique Collective. August 23, 2013. Online: http://critiquecollective.com/2013/08/23/erik-nieminen/ Collections City of Ottawa Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa Private Collections Kanata Ford Related 2015 2011 2010-2011 2008-2009 2007-2008
Artist Talk, Concordia University Artist Talk, Concordia University Artist Mentor, Jeunes Volontaires Program, Government of Quebec Teacher Assistant, Painting Class. (Juliana Espana Keller), Concordia University. Teacher Assistant, Painting Class. (Elise Bernatchez), Concordia University.
© Albemarle Gallery 2016