Kaarina Heikinheimo: 5+ rooms
Visual artist Kaarina Heikinheimo (b. 1946) is known as a textile artist whose career spans over five decades. Already in the beginning of her artistic work, she created experimental works, often on a large scale. She studied in Helsinki from 1965 to 1968 as a student of Kreeta Pohjanheimo and made her debut at Strindberg’s art salon in Helsinki in 1968. The artist lives and works in Vaasa.
The exhibition 5+ rooms presents a long artistic career as an aesthetic whole, which extends from the first copper wire work made in 1967 to the newest summer textile reliefs from 2023. Kaarina Heikinheimo paints with thread, which, along with traditional linen, means copper wire or surprising glass wire. The artist’s colorfully pleasing textile works have been assembled as spatial installations in five rooms.
As an artist, she represents independent and spontaneous hands-on work. Heikinheimo designs and manufactures everything herself, and according to her words, she loves her work. Her early works include examples of picturesque tapestries referring to neoclassicism, in which the human figure can still be seen. In the later works, natural forms dominate the expression. The column-like textile works, which are standing on their own, tell about the management of the space along with the color and shape. Linen is the artist’s main material. The subjects range from the sea and forest to everyday objects such as a princess cake and candies. Imaginative shapes also fit into the artist’s colorful expression.
The artist’s works have been seen in hundreds of exhibitions in Finland. The list of works that ended up in public collections is impressive and its characteristic feature is numerous commissioned works. The large production extends to hundreds of works, of which this exhibition presents a selection of around 80 pieces, curated by exhibition manager Maaria Salo in collaboration with the artist. The exhibition was produced by Vaasa City Museums.
Kaarina Heikinheimo: 5+ rooms. Photo: Vaasa City Museums.
Nuances of the 1920s Palette – Works from the Tikanoja Art Collection
The exhibition Nuances of the 1920s Palette is on the first floor of the Tikanoja Art Museum. The selected works are from the museum’s own collection and they represent the color expression of the period.
The use of earthy colors gained popularity in Finnish visual arts during the 1910s and it continued in the 1920s. Broken colors were considered “Finnish”. Frithjof Tikanoja’s collection included many works, which were representative of the period, but also exceptional in terms of their color expression. The international influences seen in the colors of Eemu Myntti’s works spoke to his contemporaries. William Lönnberg’s Ironing Woman, was considered by the critic Edvard Richter to represent a rare “true color culture”. The painting also serves as an example of the exhibition’s brighter color palette.
The decade was characterized by urbanization, but the connection to the countryside remained strong. After the civil war, efforts were made to create national unity, which in turn strengthened the interest in the peasantry, home and folk culture. The artists captured glimpses of the period in their works: the city and the countryside, the everyday life and Sundays. From Tyko Sallinen’s rhythmic Saturday Evening cadence, we move on to Werner Åström’s and Alvar Cawén’s works that depict the peace of a Sunday. Other artists in the exhibition are e.g. Wäinö Aaltonen, Matti Annala, Arvi Mäenpää, Jalmari Ruokokoski and Ilmari Vuori.