Photo: Veikko Kähkönen

Welcome to the exhibitions and events of the Academy of Fine Arts in spring 2018!

The Academy of Fine Arts celebrates its 170th anniversary in 2018, and the year starts off with an exhibition put together by Markus Konttinen and Anna Tuori, who both are painters and alumni of the academy. Under the name ‘Teachers and Students’, the exhibition features works by 26 painters who have studied at the academy between 1995 and 2017, including the artist duo Nabb and Teeri, as well as Outi Pieski, Janne Räisänen, Stiina Saaristo, Kim Somervuori, Kaarlo Stauffer, and Pauliina Turakka Purhonen. The exhibition can be seen at the Exhibition Laboratory, and the programme also includes a panel discussion on the topic of painting in the context of the Academy of Fine Arts held on Thursday, 25 January. The discussion will be led by Konttinen and Tuori, while the panellists are the academy’s student Tuuli Kerätär and alumni Jukka Korkeila, Marika Mäkelä, and Aki Turunen. All Academy of Fine Arts alumni and everyone interested in painting are welcome to join the discussion!

Next up, at the end of February, is an exhibition that studies the concepts of materiality, spatiality, light, and movement. The exhibition team consists of artists Mika Helin, Emmi Venna and Anton Verho, along with students of the Academy of Fine Arts Praxis Master’s Programme Eeva Holkeri, Aleksandra Kiskonen, Ingrid Orman, Mariliis Rebane, and Saskia Suominen.

Opening on 23 March, an exhibition titled Tilallisia rajauksia will explore the fundamentals of contemporary art by means of site-specific art. The artists in the exhibition are students on a course on site-specific art taught by Tanja Kiiveri. The works on display will be made on site, specifically for the space in the Exhibition Laboratory. The nature of the space will not only serve as a backdrop for the art but also provide a deeper meaning and affect the students’ work.

The spring season will be capped with the much-anticipated MFA Degree Show Kuvan Kevät, open from 5 May until 3 June, which will showcase the works of visual artists who are about to graduate from the academy. This year, students of painting have a particularly large representation among the graduates, but we will have to wait and see whether it’ll be paintings or something entirely different that they have in store for us.

International guests on public lectures

The third Saastamoinen Keynote Lecture will take place on Wednesday, 17 January, at six in the evening in the Exhibition Laboratory. The guest speaker will be Polish art critic and curator Adam Szymczyk, one of the major influencers in contemporary art, who’s known as the artistic director of Documenta 14, curator for Berlin Biennale 2008 and director of Kunsthalle Basel. The esteemed international art publication ArtReview recently ranked him as the fourth most influential figure in the art world. The first lecture in the series was held in January 2016 by Okwui Enwezor, director of the Haus Der Kunst Museum in Munich and curator of Venice Biennale 2015. Last year’s guest lecture was given by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, curators of the Istanbul Biennial 2017.

The Prognostics series continues its lectures on Wednesdays this spring. The lectures in the series highlight some of the trending areas of art and new forms of creating and displaying art, which not only challenge the established forms of art, but also shake up social norms and political thinking. The first lecture of the spring will be given by artists Sophie Behal, Isadora Epstein, Eoghan McIntyre and Benjamin Stafford on 28 February. The Keynote and Prognostics Lecture Series are sponsored by the Saastamoinen Foundation.

Thesis project exhibitions continue in the Project Room

Master’s thesis project exhibitions will continue in the Project Room, where the space will either be reserved for one artist at a time or shared by several. The Project Room is known as an art space where visitors can see practically any kind of new and surprising art. The first exhibition of the year will display painting installations by Lasse Juuti until 21 January. The theme of the exhibition is influencing and impact, as well as painting itself.