Autumn 2017 at Helsinki Contemporary

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Maiju Salmenkivi: From the series Wald, 2017, ink on paper, 100 x 70 cm
Photo: Jussi Tiainen


Helsinki Contemporary’s autumn exhibition season includes sound, moving image, the rich colours of a vegetable garden and urban space, plus everyone’s favourite stories. Coming up are four much-awaited solo exhibitions from Hans Rosenström, Anna Retulainen, Maiju Salmenkivi and Liisa Lounila, plus the Classics group exhibition, which brings together visual art and literature, and is a collaboration with the publisher WSOY.


Hans Rosentröm’s narrative sound installation creates a new tension in the gallery space. The work is a continuation of the sound piece shown at the international ARoS Triennial in Aarhus, Denmark, in June. In this exhibition the work is joined by two series of photograms, in which Rosenström investigates time and the mutability of nature via the formation and melting of ice.

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is showing Rosenström’s Off Seasons soundwork out of doors on 17.8–3.9. as part of the programme for the Helsinki Festival. Off Seasons is a collaboration with the Danish artist duo Stormglas and uses the creations of four Nordic contemporary composers.

Rosenström (b. 1978) lives and works in London, and is known for his powerful soundworks that get under the skin, in which the presence of the person experiencing the work plays a key role. In 2016, he was awarded the William Thuring Prize and in 2015 he was a candidate for the Ars Fennica award. 


Anna Retulainen’s highly anticipated exhibition takes the viewer into the small moments in everyday life and tells about small memories ranging from childhood to this very day. Retulainen colours her memories until they become visible; fragile and layered.

Retulainen’s (b. 1969) exhibition has come together concurrently with three major museum exhibitions; her new paintings will also be seen in the Serlachius Museums’ main summer exhibition, Kesäpäiviä, Summer Days, which is showing front-rank Nordic artists, and also in the Pleasure exhibition, produced in collaboration with Helsinki Art Museum, HAM, and opening in Helsinki in August.


In this exhibition Liisa Lounila deals with the past and with the feeling of emptiness associated with loss. In the video installation a landscape speeding past a moving car prompts an expectation of a view that is never fulfilled.

Lounila (b. 1976) lives in Helsinki, but has spent time living and working in New York on several occasions. She is known for videoworks that employ various techniques to involve the viewer, glitter paintings, neon-light sculptures and palladium and silver covered everyday objects. Lounila represented Finland in the Nordic Pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale and was a candidate for the Carnegie Art Award in 2013.


In the magical tales in Maiju Salmenkivi’s works things are a little out of whack. Appearing in Salmenkivi’s characteristically playful, colourful acrylic and oil paintings – and now also watercolours – are ordinary, yet mysterious gardens and parks, which also spread out into the gallery space. The paintings contain familiar elements from the urban environment, such as the streets of Helsinki.

Salmenkivi’s (b. 1972) works were last seen at Helsinki Contemporary in the Field Trip group exhibition in summer 2016. She has shown widely in solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad, and has works in prominent Finnish collections, including EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Turku Art Museum and The Wihuri Foundation Art Collection.


This year, the centenary of Finnish Independence, WSOY is publishing a limited commemorative edition of 2000 numbered copies each of 12 classic Finnish books chosen by readers, for which contemporary artists are making new covers. The original works for the covers will be shown at Helsinki Contemporary in December. These works will then be auctioned on 17.12, and the profits donated to charities of the artists’ choosing.

Besides the covers the exhibition will also include: other works created during the process by some of the exhibition artists; archive prints of Mika Waltari’s The Egyptian (Sinuhe egyptiläinen); and translations from over the years of Arto Paasilinna’s The Year of the Hare (Jäniksen vuosi).

The exhibition artists are Saara Ekström, Susanne Gottberg, Karoliina Hellberg, Kuutti Lavonen, Jani Leinonen, Heikki Marila, Rauha Mäkilä, Stiina Saaristo, Anu Tuominen, Anna Tuori, Miikka Vaskola and Henry Wuorila-Stenberg.