Pauno Pohjolainen
11 Jun – 12 Sep 2010
Turku Art Museum will host a retrospective of work by Pauno Pohjolainen (b. 1949), one of the top names in Finnish sculpture. The exhibition will be on show in Turku from 11 June to 12 September, and will then travel to the Kuopio Art Museum in the artist's hometown.

Pauno Pohjolainen made his artistic debut in 1974, at the annual Young Artists' Exhibition in Helsinki. In the 1980s, he rose to fame in the Finnish art world with works that challenged the notion of painting as a two-dimensional surface. As a consequence, he is today primarily known as a sculptor. In 1997, Pohjolainen was awarded Ars Fennica, the most prestigious art award in the Nordic countries.

In addition to his non-commissioned sculptures, Pohjolainen is known for many public artworks, and he is also regarded as a pioneer of Finnish ecclesiastical art. Drawing inspiration from ancient cultures and the visual world of the Russian Orthodox faith, his works have the ability of appropriating the space where they are exhibited. Pohjolainen's works evoke fundamental questions; they speak about life and death, suffering and forgiveness. "There are things that cannot be explained in words. Making pictures is a kind of return to the archaic and symbiotic visual experience of the child, and that is the mood I try to convey," says Pohjolainen.

Pohjolainen comes from a family where manual skills and crafts were important. This may explain some aspects of his work. Pohjolainen's principal material is wood, including aspen, alder and pine, to which he adds other materials, such as resin and pigments. He likes the look of wood grain, and has repeatedly emphasised it in his work. Other common factors in his works are their large size and intense colours: yellow, blue, black and white.

After a career spanning decades, Pauno Pohjolainen is again in the midst of a powerful creative phase, and his grasp remains intense and arresting. In his show at the Turku Art Museum, Pohjolainen will present both older work and new pieces completed specifically for this exhibition. The exhibition was curated by Mia Haltia in cooperation with the artist.

The first publication to extensively present Pohjolainen's art will be published in conjunction with the exhibition by PARVS Publishing. Essays in the book are by Mia Haltia, Curator at the Turku Art Museum, Dr Kimmo Sarje and Dr Juha-Heikki Tihinen.

Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2014