“Bringing together the colors of the rainbow in the dark!” Being able to do so might be the reason why Finland is allegedly the happiest country in the world. But it is the maxim that guides Jasmin Anoschkin (b. 1980) in her work. Together with five other Finnish artists, she is showcasing recent creations at Marianne Heller’s gallery. Spotlighting ceramics, glass and jewelry, the exhibition is entitled “Finland – Artworks from the happiest country in the world”. The other artists represented are Erna Aaltonen, Johanna Rytkölä, Pekka Paikkari, Heiki Viinikainen and Terhi Tolvanen.
Jasmin Anoschkin paints, draws, and works in wood and ceramic. Colorful handcrafted objects with names like “My Little Poro”, “My Little Rainbow Hairdo” or “Lila Koala”, as well as a life-size wooden sculpture of a horse, painted in red, and entire series of nude drawings, bear witness to an irony-imbued energy and vitality, to an ability to spontaneously translate feelings, thoughts and ideas into seemingly naïve creations with roots in folk art, pop art and toys.
Erna Aaltonen’s work is themed around vessels. Like Rytkölä and Paikkari, she already exhibited at the gallery in 2010 and 2014. Aaltonen, who was born in 1951, is fascinated by abstract sculptural shapes, particularly the ideal shape of a sphere, which she does not throw on the wheel but hand-builds from thin, ribbon-like stoneware strips. The finely textured surfaces of the fired monumental pieces create captivating reflections of light.
The sculptures created by Johanna Rytkölä (b. 1956) owe their graceful presence, reminiscent of dancers swaying to music, to their sumptuously rich colors, their elegance and rhythmic structure. This goes for both her imposing, extraordinarily tall stoneware sculptures and smaller pieces like her Tango vases. Some of her creations evoke associations with the ornamental Art Nouveau style. Life is movement, and Rytkölä’s works convey our enjoyment of it. So it’s no wonder that her art has also conquered public spaces in Tampere, Helsinki and Vantaa.
Pekka Paikkari (b. 1960) has made a name for himself for his monumental wall pieces and objects composed from countless fragments of stoneware slabs, whose break lines lend them a graphic quality. Due to their material, they also bring archaeological finds to mind. Reconstructing something broken and restoring wholeness, as well as the dialectic of loss and gain, are central themes for Pekkari. Thus, his creations also tell us something about the conditio humana.
Born in 1978, Heikki Viinikainen has turned his fascination with glass into a career. After studying glass and ceramics design, he first worked at the Lasikomppania cooperative’s Nuutajärvi Glass Village. Established in the wooded area between Turku and Tampere in 1793, it was Finland’s oldest glassworks until it was closed down in 2014. After setting up his own studio, Viinikainen creates glass items for everyday use, as well as art objects. Exploring the physical and formal potential of glass, he strives to create an ideal interrelationship between material, space, color and light.
Born in Helsinki in 1968, the jewelry artist Terhi Tolvanen visualizes the relationship between humans and nature in her pieces. Her roots are an important source of inspiration for her. “My roots and my path, that’s what inspires me.” Living in the country in France allows her to observe nature, colors, the processes of growth, and different moods created by light and shadow. Her work is also influenced by the “Dutch approach”, which she became familiar with while studying at the Rietveld Academy. Living in and with nature and creating jewelry as an art form obviously also makes for a happy life outside Finland.
Galerie Marianne Heller