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INFO 2019 english

23.8. – 14.9.2019
Opening on Thursday, August 22, 5 pm. The exhibition will be opened by Member of Parliament Niina Malm.

Kulttuuritalo Virta
Imatran taidemuseo
Virastokatu 1, 55120 Imatra





The Baltic Drawing I exhibition extensively introduced the drawing arts in the Baltic countries. In this second exhibition, the focus is on Finnish drawing arts, whilst other Baltic Sea States are also represented, except for Denmark. The reason for this selection of participants is the gap generated in Imatra’s cultural life by the discontinuation of visual arts training in the city. The decision of the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences to discontinue the training in Imatra ended the over 60-year collaboration between the Imatra Art Society and the educational institution. The Baltic Drawing II exhibition includes the works of several artists who were trained or taught in Imatra. The exhibition is a deliberately concise and diverse introduction to the drawing arts of our time, whilst it simultaneously reflects the high quality and national significance of the training in Imatra.

New expressions of art have traditionally spread to Finland through various isms. Informalism that spread to Finland in the 1960s was more strongly based on the purity of expression than any of the preceding isms. The March group represented this era of art in Finland. Of all the artists in the group, Ulla Rantanen focused on drawing the most. She can be seen as a person who has elevated drawing into an independent art form. Following a discussion with her and museum manager Eero Laajo, it was agreed that the work by Ulla Rantanen that is owned by Imatra Art Museum will be included in the exhibition.

Another leading figure in the March group was Jaakko Sievänen (1932 – 2013). Sievänen was an excellent drawer but drawing was also an essential element in his paintings. The long career of Sievänen as the rector and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts was significant for the new generation artists. At the Imatra exhibition, Jaakko Sievänen’s wife Outi adds a new dimension to this master of his era.

Of the current drawing teachers of the Academy of Fine Arts, the exhibition includes Stig Baumgartner and Pernilla Lindholm Czapnik. Also a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts, Radoslaw Gryta has also worked hard to promote drawing in Imatra. As a sculptor, Gryta is a master in large-scale works and the same approach is also visible in his drawings. Whilst Gryta’s influence is visible in the works of many of his students, the contribution of artists trained in Imatra also extends further back: for example, the opportunities provided by the drawing arts are reflected diversely in the minimalistic and lyric drawings by Arto Nurto and the small artist’s proofs by Kaisa Juntunen that take the viewer beyond the mind. The drawing premises of the arts school have served as a bridge into the past – the time when they were turned into Imatra Art Society’s drawing school. The current chair of the Art Society Marja-Leena Kurittu has actively participated in the evening drawing classes.

In addition to Radoslaw Gryta, who has Polish roots, the country is also represented in the exhibition through artists from the Krakow and Gdansk art academies. The work of professor Janina Rudnicka from the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts that is included in the exhibition utilises video art. Jaakko Rönkkö, one of the best known drawers in Finland, brings to the exhibition his Viljand project, which has also been implemented as a video recording. Marija Marcelionyte, the representative of Lithuania, is the professor of graphics in Vilnius Arts Academy, whilst Sanda Skujina represents the younger generation of artists in Latvia. Now living in Milano, the artist has graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia. Skujina’s background as a ballet dancer is reflected in the physicality of her large-scale works. Marko Mäetamm is among the best known modern artists in Estonia. He is a diverse and exceptionally active artist, whose series of works included in this exhibition consists of everyday observations of the environment.

St. Petersburg is located close to the Finnish-Russian border and cannot be ignored when addressing the visual arts tradition. This time, the influence of the St. Petersburg Academy of the Arts is reflected in the drawings of Svetlana Lunina and Jan Neva, who have studied there, and in the drawings of Marina Kuznetsova, the Academy Research Fellow with the St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design. Of the artists included in the exhibition, Jaakko Rönkkö and Radoslaw Gryta have also studied in St. Petersburg. In addition to Kuznetsova, the exhibition also includes young Anastasia Kodatenko and professor Sergey Borisov from the St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design. Whilst the works of Alexander Frohberg included in the exhibition are extremely ascetic, the link provided reveals that he is a versatile and significant contemporary German artist. Among others, Frohnberg won the first prize in the International biennale of Graphic Art in Kaliningrad in 2016. The second German representative in Eugenia Jaeger, who is not only a respected artist but also an active organiser and curator of international exhibitions. Lars Göran Yeudakimchikov-Malmquist holds a similar role in Sweden. He has also run the operations of the graphics centre in Marieberg, Sweden.    

Juhani Järvinen




The exhibition is co-funded by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland / Southestern Finland