Exhibition tips for the year 2015

What’s going on in 2015 in Finnish visual arts? Here are some of the major visual art events taking place in 2015 in Finland that you shouldn’t miss:


Salla Tykkä – Giant
Jan 23– Mar 8
Darkroom, Turku Art Museum, Turku

Salla Tykka_GiantSalla Tykkä received the Tiger Award for Short Film at Rotterdam Film Festival for her film Giant (2014). She is the first Finnish artist to receive this acknowledgment. In Salla Tykkä’s works, main themes are audiovisual memory and the power structures within the everyday life visual narratives.

Giant (2014) takes the viewer to Romanian boarding school where gymnastics is performed with discipline and trained fanatically. Views of the girl gymnasts and empty gym halls are combined with archive films starting from 1970s and young top athlete’s interviews about their love of the sport, their fears and dreams. With a hypnotic precision the camera follows the movements and the sport belonging to a bygone totalitarian era.

Turku Art Museum


Robert Mapplethorpe
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
Mar 13 – Sep 13

After renovation, Kiasma is re-opening to the public on 13 March with the retrospective exhibition of American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

The exhibition offers a broad overview of the key periods of Robert Mapplethorpe’s career. Mapplethorpe’s pictures blend beauty and eroticism with pain, pleasure and death. Mapplethorpe also photographed his celebrity friends such as Patti Smith, Andy Warhol and Richard Gere. Although solidly anchored in their time, his photographs are also universal and topical even today.



Jeremy Deller – Do touch
IHME Festival, Helsinki
Mar 27 – Mar 29

The annual IHME Contemporary Art Festival consists of a commissioned work of art in a public space as well as lectures, films, workshops, discussions and art-education projects. The mission of IHME festival is to enhance the status and visibility of visual art, to improve the relationship between visual art and the public, and to make it more accessible.

The British artist Jeremy Deller is designing the IHME Project 2015 entitled Do touch. In Do touch, the public on their everyday rounds will momentarily be faced with their shared past through museum objects in public spaces. People will have a chance to inspect selected objects from the collections of Helsinki’s historical museums as part of the IHME Project. In Jeremy Deller’s work the Festival’s objectives are combined in a unique way: producing and presenting art in the public space, bringing people together, sparking collective associations and connecting with new audiences.

IHME Festival


Young Artist of the Year 2015: Ville Andersson
May 16 – Aug 23 Tampere Art Museum, Tampere
Sep 09 – Nov 1 Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum, Turku


The Young Artist of the Year is one of the best known art awards in Finland.  Every year, the award exhibition brings a talented contemporary artist under the age of thirty-five into the limelight. The Young Artist of the Year 2015 Ville Andersson uses different techniques such as painting, ink drawing and photography. In his works you can find abundantly both cultural and art historical references. The emotional atmosphere of his work has been described as versatile, inexplicable and discrete.

Tampere Art Museum
Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum


The Unexpected Guest
7th Turku Biennial, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum, Turku
Jun 10 – Aug 30

Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum announced an open portfolio submission in February 2014 for artists working in Finland, under the theme of The Unexpected Guest. The jury of the Turku Biennial selected nine artists and guests nominated by artists to participate in the exhibition. Next summer the seventh international Turku Biennale will host 18 top contemporary artists or artist groups from Finland and other parts of Europe.

The artists and their guests participating in the exhibition:

Aino Kannisto with guest Satu Haavisto
Maija Närhinen with guest Jacob Dahlgren
Marjatta Holma with guest Stig Baumgartner
Krister Gråhn with Jarno Vesala (applied for the exhibition with a joint work)
Anna Breu (a group of artists) with guest Erkka Nissinen
Aulis Harmaala with guest Gil & Moti
Kalle Mustonen with guest Ottmar Hörl
Milla-Kariina Oja with guest Dénes Farkas

Turku Biennial


XX Mänttä Art Festival
Pekilo and other locations, Mänttä
Jun 14 – Aug 31

Mänttä Art Festival (arr. Since 1993) is an annual summer displaying a vast selection of Finnish contemporary art.

The 20th Mänttä Art Festival focuses on transcultural artists. Curators for the exhibition are artists Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger. Through their work they have examined cultural collisions, global networks and the status of individuals.

Mänttä Art Festival


Jani Leinonen
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki

hungerkingJani Leinonen’s exhibition in Kiasma is built around a new piece called The School of Disobedience. It is a metaphor for the entire show, a retrospective of his work to date, but also a real school, where Leinonen invites famous Finnish and international opinion leaders and activists to serve as lecturers. Visitors are playing the role of students.

Jani Leinonen graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2002. Scince then his works have caused a lot of exceptional attention in media. In his works consumerism, popular culture and multi-national corporations are brought under scrutiny through public manifestations. Iconic images are served with a twist, and the initial humour serves as a catalyst in the grim awakening to the social problems of today.

In Food Liberation Army (2011) a Ronald McDonald statue stolen from a Helsinki restaurant ends up being executed in an al-Qaeda style YouTube video. Leinonen’s Hunger King in Budapest (2014) criticized the change of the Hungarian constitution in 2013 where the homeless are punished for using “public space as a habitual dwelling.”.



Anselm Kiefer – Works from the Grothe
Serlachius Museum Gösta, Mänttä

Kiefer-Am-Anfang-2008_webThe new, acclaimed extension to Art museum Gösta was opened in summer 2014 and it shows several contemporary art exhibitions a year. The new pavilion tripled the exhibition space of the original Gösta Museum of the Serlachius Museums, based on the heritage of the Serlachius family.

The exhibition Anselm Kiefer – Works from the Grothe will show around 30 of Kiefer’s monumental works from the German Grothe Collection, the most extensive private collection of Kiefer’s work in the world. Anselm Kiefer has created his own unique world in his works, in which he utilises multi-layered references to history, literature and philosophy. Kiefer’s works cover paintings, sculptures and installations. The most important works are Kiefer’s typical monumental paintings, in which, in addition to paint, he uses different contrasting materials like dried plants and barbed wire.

Serlachius Museums


Salla Tykkä – Giant, 2013
Ville Andersson – Reflection, 2013Jani Leinonen – Hunger King, 2014
Anselm Kieder – Am Anfang, 2008

Compiled by Iina Havo, a trainee at Frame Visual Art Finland