Today the Another Space / Six Perspectives on Contemporary Painting exhibition opens at EMMA in celebration of the 85th year of the Finnish Painters’ Union. The outcome of close collaboration between the Union and EMMA, the exhibition features Finnish artists Petra Innanen, Olli-Pekka Merimaa, Miika Nyyssönen, Pirkko Rantatorikka, Satu Rautiainen and Anssi Törrönen.
Held every fifth year, this time the Finnish Painters’ Union anniversary exhibition offers something radically new. Instead of the usual curation by an art critic or a Union exhibition team, the task was given to an artist couple from Orivesi, Aarne and Arja Jämsä, who have behind them a long career as artists and art teachers.
For the Jämsäs, curating is about more than just selecting artists or works of art. They gave the artists the task of creating something new for the exhibition, communicating with them throughout the process.
According to Finnish Painters’ Union chairperson, painter Maaria Märkälä, “The works were created in close communication between the curators and the artists. However, the process was not based on directing the artists, but encouraging them in their creativity.”
In their selection criteria, the curators stressed the importance of intuition in creating and experiencing art. Moreover, they claim, taking risks and feeling uncertain are things that neither the artist nor the viewer can avoid. Artists take a risk whenever they show their works, while viewers expose themselves to the effects of the art.
“The theme of the exhibition, ‘another space’, is present in painting. It is the kind of electromagnetic radiation generated by complementary colours. It is the hand moving, colours meeting colours. ‘Another space’ also stands for a place that is both illuminated and illuminating," say Aarne and Arja Jämsä.
Founded in 1929, the Finnish Painters' Union is the nationwide organisation for professional painters with currently some 1,300 members. In addition to professional and social interests, the Union works to promote the status of painting in Finland.
Another Space / Six Perspectives on Contemporary Art will be at EMMA from 25 September 2013 to 12 January 2014. The Finnish Painters' Union has also published an exhibition catalogue.
Wednesday, 2.10., 6 pm curator tour with Aarne and Arja Jämsä. Art tours with multiartist Leila Halkeama on Sunday 6.10., 2 pm, Saturday 9.11., 12 pm and Sunday 15.12., 2 pm.
Born in 1970 in Lappeenranta, Petra Innanen graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. In her art, Innanen combines painting, animation, representational art and dance. The artist brought burlesque to Finland in the last decade and has steadily been adding performance art to the themes of her painting, as now in the EMMA exhibition. She has held solo as well as film festival exhibitions. She has also taken part in group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Innanen lives and works in Helsinki.
Olli-Pekka Merimaa (born 1967) is a visual artist from Pori who now works in Hyvinkää. He graduated from the Imatra School of Art in 1993 and was artist in residence in Maastricht, Akureyri, Oaxaca and Berlin in the 1990s and early 2000s. In addition to his career as an artist, Merimaa has also worked in nursing. He is at the moment studying to become a Practical Nurse. The artist’s works can be found in Finnish museums, as well as in the collections of private and public foundations.
Miika Nyyssönen (born 1965 in Mikkeli) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1993. He has participated in many joint exhibitions in Finland and abroad, as well as having many solo exhibitions. In addition to painting, Nyyssönen has also created installations, video and audio works, as well as sculptures. He has also created many public works in the greater Helsinki area and is one of the artists involved in the West Metro project.
Pirkko Rantatorikka (born 1956) is a visual artist from Ylitornio who works in Helsinki. She graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1982. Rantatorikka has held many solo exhibitions of her work in domestic and international galleries and museums. She has also taken part in group exhibitions around Finland and in international exhibitions in Denmark, France and Germany. Her works can be found in the collections of several museums.
Satu Rautiainen (born 1982) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Arts in 2008. Her solo exhibitions have been seen in galleries since 2001 and she has taken part in group exhibitions in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Rautiainen’s works can be found in both public and private collections. In addition to her own artistic work, she takes part, amongst other things, in the activities of Huuto Gallery, which is run by artists. She is also in a five artist performance and installation group called the Unikuvia (DreamVisions) project. The artist lives and works in Helsinki. She writes a blog on her paintings at www.saturautiainen.blogspot.fi
Anssi Törrönen (born 1970 in Joensuu) lives and works in Helsinki. He graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1996 and from the Free Art School in 1992. He has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in joint exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Törrönen was a candidate for a Carnegie Art Award prize (1999) and received the William Thuring Prize in 2009 as well as the Finnish Art Society’s Ducat Prize in 1994.
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