- About Ateneum
We often forget that Wardi is one of the first representatives of abstract art in Finland. He painted abstracts at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s. Although non-figurative, Wardi's abstract work is also grounded in his experiences; the artist has said that he always paints something he has seen. The origin of an abstract painting can be a piece of bark or an old mirror cabinet. Wardi is not a fantasy painter, but he transforms what he sees into fantasy.
When he worked in Rome in the 1950s, Wardi learned about Giorgio Morandi's art and, inspired by him, started to paint still lifes. Still lifes with their objects represented peace and stability to him in a chaotic world. The objects themselves were not important in the paintings but how they were portrayed in light. In his still lifes, Wardi focused on depicting the flickering light around the objects.