Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Gothic Art in Spotlight: Uncanny Giants of Ron Mueck

Last weekend I went for an art road trip in a small but selected company. This means that we left the capital of Finland and traveled through ten art museums and other summer exhibitions during three days.

The route took us from Southern Finland to West, the city of Tampere, and then to Eastern Finland. You can roughly see the route here in this map in purple, it's unimaginatively named as 'Art Road Trip'. The distance me and my entourage traveled was about 600 km (370 miles).
Map made with karttaikkuna.fi
The places we visited on Friday were:

Riihimäki art museum
Hämeenlinna art museum (Riihimäki and Hämeenlinna are the names of different cities)
Sara Hildén Art Museum

Sara Hildén (1905–1993) was a Finnish businesswoman and a patron of arts. She started an art foundation (named after her) in 1962. The foundation concentrated on modern art but they do hold exhibitions of contemporary art these days. This summer they are hosting a solo exhibition of Ron Mueck. Previously they've had solo exhibitions of many famous artists, among them Andy Warhol.
Mueck is an Australian artist, and has made only 40 works. 10 of them are displayed this summer at Sara Hildén Art Museum in the city of Tampere. The works are extremely life-like sculptures that are in some way out of proportion. They are either outrageously large and hence uncanny or very small. 

I found the exceptionally large works delightfully disturbing. among them were a giant couple under a parasol, a human-sized dead chicken and a baby the size of a whale. 
The sculptures are detailed, they have individual hairs and pores and everything. This might be a weird thing to say, but the sense of 'flesh' was very strong in the exhibition. 
Unashamed I used random people as measuring sticks for these art works. The sculptures would not look so exceptional, if you could not understand the size of them. I think this gigantic baby is fascinating and at the same time repelling. 

What do you think of Ron Mueck's art?

Next week: the treasures of Serlachius Museums, among them something that will probably remind you of Doctor Who!


  1. It's disturbing and well done, hence I appreciate it, even if I would not want it in my living room. I like art that makes me feel things! Have you seen Patricia Piccinini's art? I caught an exhibition a couple of years back where I was actually able to hold a little one of her creatures, it felt uncannily lifelike and strangely huggable.

    1. I've seen only photos of Piccinini's works but they do look amazing! :) Oh, it would be so interesting to get to touch one of them. :D

  2. I'm actually not a fan of his artwork. It combines two of the easiest ways to get a reaction out of a viewer... Making something big, and making it gross.

    1. I understand what you mean. I sort of saw these works more like special effects for movies; more like entertainment and less like art. :)

  3. O_O that baby sculpture is definitely quite disturbing, interesting as well though!