Niki de Saint Phalle



I went to see Niki de Saint Phalle’s exhibition in Taidehalli, Helsinki.

Niki de Saint Phalle was born in 1930 in France. Her father was French banker and mother was American. Family moved to USA in 1933. As a teenager Saint Phalle worked as a fashion model and was on the cover of Life and French Vogue. At eighteen years old Saint Phalle married Harry Mathews and they got their first child in in 1951. Saint Phalle started to paint and it was therapy to her because she was raped by her father when she was only 11.

In 1955 Saint Phalle moved in Majorca, Spain, where her son was born. She was deeply affected by the works of Antonio Gaudi. Soon the family moved to Paris. Saint Phalle’s first exhibition was held in 1956 in Switzerland, where she presented naive style old paintings. In early 1960s Saint Phalle left her first husband.

Saint Phalle started to do shooting artworks, “Shots”, where she shot with gun paint bags and splashing paint created art. After Shots Saint Phalle did works with various roles of women, such as brides and mothers giving birth. They were primarily made of plaster over a wire framework and plastic toys, then painted all white or other color. In 1965 Saint Phalle started to do woman figures what she called Nanas. She also started to do graphic works with writings. In 1971, Saint Phalle and her collaborator Jean Tingueli married.

From 1979 Saint Phalle worked for sculpture park in Italy for nearly 20 years. It was inspired by Gaudi and the works were about Tarot cards. Park was opened in 1998. Saint Phalle moved to California in 1994, where she died to emphysema in 2002.

Saint Phalle decided early to become a heroine and to do some grand. Exhibition in Taidehalli showed that, big sculptures with humor and artworks with social messages to speak out in our times too. Variety of works in exhibition was wide.

Niki de Saint Phalle: 20th of August 2016 – 2oth November 2016 in Taidehalli.
Taidehalli’s website:
You can check more photos I took here:




Narrative Thread



This post is about the 10th TEXO Triennial Of Textile Art in Vapriikki, Tampere.

Narrative Thread – the 10th TEXO Triennial Of Textile Art exhibits new Finnish textile art. The artworks of the exhibition were chosen by international group, what consisted of the experts of textile art, fine art and design. To the group belonged Andy Best and Kristiina Wiherheimo from Finland and Britt Smaelvar from Denmark. There were 230 artworks from 96 artists as candidates to the exhibition. Jury had to be selective: there’s 40 artworks from 38 artists in Vapriikki, the bests of Finnish textile art.

The artworks interpret and comment the phenomenons of our time. The jury emphasized in it’s choices among techniques and skills the meaning of content – the story.

TEXO association is an expert organization what helps forward textile artists. It has been established in 1956. Narrative Thread exhibition is the main event of 60th festival year of TEXO. Exhibition dates: 23.9.2016-5.2.2017.

Vapriikki’s website:
TEXO’s Facebook:



I chose the works I liked the most to this blog post. I list them here beginning from top:

Tarja Wallius: Unelma | Dream (2015)
Leena Illukka: Tervetuloa ja tervemenoa | Come and Go (part) (2013-2015)
Virpi Vesanen-Laukkanen: Onko siellä joku? | Who’s There? (2015)
Johanna Virtanen: Pahan päivän varalle (2015) (work with banknotes in the middle of barbed wires)
Maria Nuutinen: Portrait Gallery (part) (2015)
Janna Syvänoja: Vesi hanhen selässä 2 (2016) (work made from feathers)




Yayoi Kusama



Yayoi Kusama’s In Infinity exhibition in HAM, Helsinki Art Museum was one of the bests I’ve ever seen.

Yayoi Kusama is 87 years old japanese artist and writer. She has worked all her career with a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, scat sculpture, performance art, and environmental installations. Most of the artworks exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. Her art shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content.

Kusama has lived in New York City in 1957-1972 in addition to Japan. Since 1977 she has lived in mental hospital by her own choice in Japan. She has obsession about dots and also phallus repeats in her work a lot. She paints still every day. My Eternal Soul series has been under the work since 2009 and first she thought that it would consists of 100 paintings, but when she has painted 100, she changed it to 1000 paintings.

Her installation where visitors of the exhibition can go in are so impressive, that I consider In Infinity one of the bests exhibition I’ve visited. Installations are also big fun for children. In the last summer there was Kusama’s installation also in Esplanade Park, where trees where covered with red and white polka dot fabric, what made park look happy even in rainy days.

Yayoi Kusama – In Infinity: 7th October 2016 – 22nd January 2017 in HAM.
HAM’s website:
You can check more photos I took here: