Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce Finnish sculptor Kim Simonsson’s third exhibition “Ponytail” is to open Thursday, March 17, 2011. Simonsson lives and works in Helsinki, Finland where his studio is located in the legendary Arabia factory.
Simonsson made discoveries early on that influenced his direction. His realization that he had a talent for sculpting came as a small boy when playing in the snow in his backyard with friends. The friends rolled out three balls of snow, and placed one on top of the other. He made a four foot high Donald Duck. This was his first sculpture and first awareness that he had a talent for sculpting. He attended the University of Art and Design, Helsinki and in the course of his studies he found he had a natural facility for working with clay, and that its versatility made it a great material for sculpture. Hence it became the material of choice for his work.
Following his graduation in 2000, Simonsson moved to Toronto, Canada where he continued to work and develop. He returned to Helsinki in 2004, and in that year, only four years out of art school he was given the prestigious award by the Tampere Art Museum “Young Artist of the Year” which included a solo exhibition on two floors of the Tempere Museum, an auspicious beginning for a young artist.
Simonsson makes life sized sculptures of ponytailed little girls, and animals. His imagery is inspired by Western aesthetics and the stylized figures of Japanese Manga. He creates a topsy-turvy world, juxtaposing the weak and vulnerable with the powerful, and sets the scene for a dramatic struggle between them. Referencing religion and popular culture Simonsson weaves together two worlds, one of violence and innocence. He sets up disquieting contradictions, the sweet innocent girls are mischievous and naughty, the animals vulnerable and weak. Tenderness, contempt, irreverence, vulnerability are intermixed with the artist’s intent to challenge and provoke.
Kim Simonsson’s works are in private collections in France, Korea and the United States, and in the public collections: Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland; Tampere Art Museum, Finland; National Museum of Norway; Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; Shigaraki Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan; Public Sculptures are installed in Kotka Sculpture Park, Finland; and Yrkeshogskolan Sydvast, Finland. In 2012 Simonsson is to have a solo exhibition open at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Finland.
Please feel free to contact the gallery if you have any questions or wish to receive more information about Kim Simonsson. Images may be viewed on the gallery website www.nancymargolisgallery.com.