© Kuvasto 2016. Photo: © Bank of Finland
MUSIC OF FOREST AND COLOUR
The first step in Göran Augustson’s (1936–2012) career at the beginning of the 1960s, coincided with the crazy adolescence of Finnish Art. Free-form informal painting was quickly accepted as “national modernism”. While in contrast, Augustson’s teacher Sam Vann’s works, with their geometric abstract lines, were seen as being cold and intellectual, foreign intruders.
Augustson was not a faithful follower of the precisely defined problems and their theories regarding form and construction. He became a magician in developing freeform compositions in colour and lines. At their best, Augustson’s paintings take wing in movement and rhythm, as seen in “Forest symphony”. The name’s hint of music contains an old analogy. The syncopation of rhythm and colour belong to the thinking of pioneers of modernism, such as Vasili Kandinski. There is no forest green in Augustson’s work, but wind-bent trees and branches are there for those who want to see them.
Many constructionists reduced their colour palette back to the most minimal and hard tones, but this asceticism didn’t suit Augustson. He used softer shades without avoiding even the sentimental. It made some people raise their eyebrows, but they made his works more spirited and open. So, therefore it is not a surprise that Augustson rose to be one of his generation’s most popular abstract artists.