Galerie Gmurzynska is thrilled to once again stage its outdoor art project this summer, featuring a new body of sculptural works by the young Finnish artist Jani Leinonen.
In this suite of highly finished sculptures, which together comprise the Seven Deadly Sins
, Leinonen revisits a subject at the core of ancient Christian ethical teachings predating the Early Middle Ages, which were subsequently proclaimed by Pope Gregory I and elaborated in Thomas Aquinas’ standard work the Summa Theologica.
The so-called Seven Deadly Sins
have long fascinated and inspired Western art, ranging from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy
to the famous painterly interpretations by Hieronymus Bosch and Peter Brueghel the Elder. In the twentieth century Bertolt Brecht together with composer Kurt Weill transposed this topos to modern-day America in their satirical musical piece The Seven Deadly Sins
While Leinonen’s own take on the Seven Deadly Sins
can be seen as informed by a Brechtian sense of dialectic and irony he further confronts questions of morality and virtue with the always-optimistic and affirmative visual codes of contemporary advertisement, specifically through his détournement of the ubiquitous logos of some of the globe’s most powerful brands.
While effectually heightening the flamboyant appeal of these brands’ corporate identities selling everything from soft drinks to gas, his visual and artistic exploration of social injustice and corporate hegemony remains always creatively humorous.
The work The most terrible things, war genocide and slavery, have resulted not from obedience, but from disobedience
reimagines again boldly appropriated corporate logos giving reference to Leinonen’s recent retrospectives at the Kiasma Museom of Modern Art in Helsinki as well as at the ARoS Kunstmuseum in Aarhus named School of Disobedience
. Besides the recent retrospectives, Jani Leinonen was part of Banksy’s Dismaland
in London and the Milan Triennial last year as well as representing the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2009.
Press release courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska.