Critics’ Picks

View of “Sugared,” 2012.

Helsinki

Jiri Geller

Zetterberg Gallery
Ludviginkatu 3-5A
May 5 - June 10

The most striking works in Jiri Geller’s latest exhibition are three neon-colored sculptures, spiderlike objects that seem to lack all materiality and weight as they burst through the gallery wall, rise up from a pedestal, or float in front of a black wall like a crown of thorns. Made of painted steel, they are nasty little pieces, simultaneously charming in their candy colors and dangerously sharp in their spiky forms.

This Finnish artist has made it his practice to realize all his chosen objects in a lifelike manner and at actual size. He has previously sculpted both an escalator that leads nowhere and a section of a Hokusai-type tsunami wave, both of them massive. He has also exhibited balloons and melting ice-cream cones as well as works based on fictional subjects, such as Donald Duck’s skull and Uncle Scrooge’s gold coins—each doppelgänger perfectly approximating its respective object or subject. Geller’s background as a silversmith gives him the ways and means to be exact in every detail. Consider, for example, the set of five life-size skulls, Sugared IV, 2012, painted in colors evoking black licorice, cream fudge, and colorful tutti-frutti candy. While such hues can make your mouth water, each looks far too sweet not to be poisonous—the smell of death lurks beneath each sunny, colorful surface.