GERARD A. GOODROW
“Solin’s painted bent-metal sculptures could be more appropriately described as drawings in space. By cutting out forms and bending the malleable sheets of metal, he achieves a feeling of lightness and grace that is rare in this field, the sheet of steel being treated like a simple piece of paper.
Similarly, although the themes he chooses are just as weighty as the material itself, the fluid lines and vibrant colours of his forms lend them an elegance and serve to transform any negative association into one of beauty and vitality”
Solin’s figures are loaded with archaic, erotic energy which lends them vitality so that they seem to dance before our very eyes. Timo Solin is an artist profoundly attached to life, and his work expresses all the joy of living. His sculptures exude a radiant energy full of a warm feeling for life.
Considering his penchant for the subconscious in his work, it is not surprising that Solin is an autodidact; that is to say, he is free of the constraints of academic art for art’s sake. On the other hand, he is by no means an “outsider”.
Gerard A. Goodrow, Curator of Ludvig Museum, Cologne 1994
Timo Solin’s apparent superficiality
As an artist Timo Solin is remarkably consistent in all his work. It is enough to have seen just a few of his sculptures to be able to immediately recognize a work by him.
To Timo Solin every kind of aesthetic or ethical development seems alien. This is partly because his shapes and subjects are taken – as he sees it – from deep archetypal sources where timeless modernity is the very fount of inspiration, but also because his art derives its force from an apparent superficiality in the true meaning of the word, a superficiality that may best be described as a need for a work to have immediate impact and a liberating accessibility beyond the need for disruptive interpretations.
But this understanding of art history and knowledge of various traditions in interpretation – in which not least the Jungian archetypal theory seems to him to be one way of looking at his art – never intrudes between the viewer and the work. If one wants to understand or appreciate his figures, there is no need to look for information outside the work itself, or even to look for knowledge that the artist is supposed to have.
In all Timo Solin’s work sexuality is in a constant state of change, not least in his bronzes, where the interplay between depth and surface, the present and the absent, the convex and the concave is taken furthest. And the boundary line between the shiniest of surfaces and the darkest of voids is both a frontier and a transition.
The people in his sculptures, drawings and paintings – usually women – are powerful, strong and gentle at the same time, and they display a drunken exuberance, as if they had just come out of a sauna, of course, though with a clear gaze and strong willpower. If the world depended on these beings, it could not be improved, it would already be a better place to live in.
He is a genius with lines and there is magic in the way he makes the metal come to life.
Timo Solin can be played anywhere in the world; his compositions might even sound better the farther he is from home. The Guardian, almost five metres tall, in pale yellow-ochre tones, which I can see in a photo from the Utsukushi-Ga-Hara museum, seems almost unbelievably in harmony with the Japanese mountains in the background.
The rivalry between analysts and artists is a standard theme in the history of psychoanalysis, and Freud himself realised full well how close the analyst is to the artist in creating an imaginary reality.
Timo Solin is one of those artists that have already done the job; he is playing on the psychoanalysts’ home ground. His art does not grow out of some insipid and suppressed sexuality that requires a voyeuristic interpreter. On the contrary, it is a conscious dispensation of a clear, conscious content and not the expression of a latent or suppressed, unconscious, libidinous hangover.
He is an exponent of modernity inasmuch as he clearly and unreservedly depicts the utopian sides of sexual liberation in his malleably liberated, comparatively autonomous and energetically mobile sculptures formed from sheet metal. Timo Solin’s figures are in, and an expression of, a state beyond good and evil, and in this sense they are hypermodern.
It can be argued that Timo consciously uses as his starting-point a psychoanalytical tradition, but as an artist he is freed from the socially corrupting mechanisms of intellectual coteries, so the morally destructive treadmill of intellectual theorization does not affect him. Fully aware of the sublimating powers of the practicing artist, Timo Solin is to a high degree his own master, which gives his art a more universal appeal than is possible for the many who are imprisoned in the social and mental straitjackets of their time.
– Kurt Almqvist is a writer and one of the founders of the Swedish Jungian Institute The Institute for Analytical Psychology in Stockholm.
NILS PETTER SUNDGREN
His studio is like an engineering workshop. Many works lie around in various stages of completion. Most of them are the small-sized sculptures that have made Solin famous.
So Timo is a self-taught artist who has never been to art school. He was born in Tampere (Tammerfors), Finland. Both his parents were textile workers and are now retired. His Dad sketched quite a bit, but like most fathers he was not particularly enthusiastic when his son told him about his plans to be an artist. His parents thought he ought to be a carpenter or a bricklayer or something like that. Well, an artist doesn’t get a monthly salary, of course. It’s always tricky at the beginning.
Strong, goddess-like women dominate Timo’s artistic world. The large guardian sculpture in the studio holds her arms round the child standing at her feet.
Timo Solin is a lone wolf in Swedish art life.
TERESA DEL CONDE
“Timo Solin is a contemporary sculptor who has extracted his inspirations and answers not only from other artists but also from History of Art itself.
Solin has said that “it is impossible to live without history, without it’s events and protagonists… each one of us is tied to our own cultural heritage”.
Timo Solin’s cultural heritage is not necessarily only that of his native land, Finland, nor of the country where he now lives, which is Sweden, but also embraces that of a varity of latitudes and eras.”
Teresa del Conde – Director, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico, 1991.
Timo Solin saws, welds and paints his material until he produces a genuine expression: a symbol of the dualistic nature in every person, the melting-together of Beauty and the Beast, of Eros and Logos, of man and woman.
But he does all this without forcing a theoretical ballast upon the viewer; the sculptures can be experienced and interpreted where they stand, on a table in the living room or outside a public building somewhere in Sweden, Japan or Germany.
Kristina Mezei, art critic, 1994.
JOSÉ LOUIS CUEVAS
“Expressionism does not necessarily have to be tedious. What we do, is that we always associate with horror-filled worlds that Nolde and other Germans represent. Or so we think of predecessors Edward Munch and James Ensor.
Mexican Orozco was also a solitaire expressionist.
In Sweden, lives and works an exceptional sculptor, Timo Solin, whose works are a delight to the eye and makes us smile, through his great sense of humor.
“EL INFORMADOR DIARIO INDEPENDIENTE, Guardalajara , 28 april 1996 – José Louis Cuevas”