Heikki Marila (b. 1966) ranks among Finland’s leading contemporary artists. His latest works were born of a compelling impulse to paint. Among his sources of inspiration were the magnificent ceiling frescos of the churches and castles seen by the artist on his recent travels in southern Germany, which struck him as resembling “cream cakes” in their extravagant opulence. Marila is fascinated by the lavish splendor of Baroque and Rococo art, a chapter of art history that is echoed intriguingly in his new paintings. Their idiom of expression is much flightier than Marila’s usual style – the series itself, in fact, charts his evolution towards a more buoyant visual language. He places heavy accents on details, hinting at the presence of something great that remains hidden. Although the artist has abandoned figurative expression in favor of pure abstraction, the compositions evoke the idea of figures floating in the heavens. In keeping with the historical theme, some of his canvases are oval in shape, marking a return to the round and oval forms favored by Marila in the 1990s.