HelsinkiRafael Wardi 2020
“My whole life is in my art. Some of my paintings go back a very long way – it has taken a lifetime to create some of them. I believe that good art is a force for positive change. That, perhaps, is the most meaningful impetus for my art.”
Rafael Wardi’s (b. 1928) paintings offer a commentary on painting, literature and poetry, a window to the past and the present, a glimpse into the artist’s interests and passions. His latest oil paintings explore history, featuring subject matter from floral compositions to angels, some assuming the guise of animals.
Wardi is known for his lively treatment of line and his rich, color-drenched palette. His work combines an intimate knowledge of art history with highly distinctive, colorist studies of daily life. He embraces a serial working method, delving deeper into each theme while engaging in a self-reflexive study of the nature of painting. While each floral composition is a unique, each one unfurls its petals toward the same objective.
Wardi is a celebrated artist who has also made his mark as a respected teacher and an early Finnish pioneer of art therapy. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Pro Finlandia medal and the Finnish State Art Prize. One of his most famous paintings is his official portrait of the former Finnish president Tarja Halonen (2002). His work is found in leading Finnish museums including the Ateneum Art Museum and the Sara Hildén Art Museum. Wardi has lived in the Helsinki district of Lauttasaari since the 1920s.
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki