Helsinki Contemporary presents at ART ANTWERP 2023 a curated duo of works by Michael Johansson and Anna Retulainen

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14 – 17 DECEMBER 2023


Helsinki Contemporary is proud to showcase at this year's edition of Art Antwerp, a curated booth featuring works from artists Michael Johansson and Anna Retulainen.
Despite employing different mediums, both artists share a deep resonance with themes rooted in everyday life, the notion of home, and diverse interiors. Retulainen's newest series takes its cues from the intimate observations of personal spaces, particularly her own, while Johansson draws inspiration from ordinary objects we all know and recognize, transforming them into his signature sculptures. The joint presentation of these two artists offers a captivating and multifaceted dialogue between their works.

Michael Johansson: Engine Bought Separately - Krups (Mexican Pink), 2019
Photo: Michael Johansson

Michael Johansson
 is renowned for transforming found objects and everyday items into distinctive sculptures and installations with geometric patterns. Driven by the agenda to densify the world, objects are morphed into precisely stacked rectangular shapes, connected to a certain place, where their original purpose are transformed into catalysts of new meanings. Found objects within the same colour range are reconstructed into a homogeneous image of a fictional life reinforced by our collective imaginary: the compressed scenery from a time gone by. 

After studying at the Art Academy in Trondheim, Norway, and Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee in Germany, Michael Johansson (b. 1975, Trollhättan, Sweden) earned his master's degree from Malmö Art Academy, Sweden, in 2005. Since then, he has participated in several residencies and has exhibited frequently both within Sweden and internationally. Johansson currently resides and works in Berlin, Germany. Some of his most notable solo exhibitions have been held at the Museum Voorlinden (NL) and The Gothengurg Museum of Art (SE).

Anna Retulainen: Bedroom (light), 2023
Photo: Jussi Tiainen

In her working process Anna Retulainen contemplates painting conventions and perceptions, utilizing subjects as merely platforms to achieve a harmonious interplay of movement, layered paint, and vibrant colors. Renowned for her exceptional colorist skills, her style combines expressionism with refined stylization. Themes range from beloved garden still lifes to intimate drawings reflecting her everyday life and those close to her. Drawing is a way of life for Retulainen. At her studio, drawings become paintings, fusions of life and art. 

Anna Retulainen (b. 1969, Orimattila, Finland) is one of the leading figures in Finnish contemporary painting. She has twice been nominated for the Carnegie Art Award, most recently in 2014. In 2018, Retulainen's paintings became the first contemporary artworks to be permanently presented at the Finnish Presidential Palace. Retulainen’s work is represented in most of the major Finnish public collections, as well as in countless private collections.


Art Antwerp is organised by Art Brussels.
The fair is returning for its 3rd edition at Antwerp Expo.


Thursday, 14 December VIP Preview)  11am - 9pm
Friday, 15 December                             11am - 7pm
Saturday, 16 December                         11am - 7pm
Sunday, 17 December                           11am - 7pm