Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum

Outi Heiskanen’s retrospective exhibition at the Ateneum from October 2021

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From 8 October 2021 to 9 January 2022, a retrospective exhibition by the arts academician Outi Heiskanen will be on display on the third floor of the Ateneum Art Museum. Heiskanen is a virtuoso printmaker, but also an experimenter who questions the rules and breaks boundaries. Heiskanen is also known as a pioneer of performance art and land and environmental art. The exhibition is curated by an expert on Heiskanen’s art and her long-time friend, Tuula Karjalainen PhD, together with the chief curator at the Ateneum, Sointu Fritze.

Outi Heiskanen: Quake (2005). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Outi Heiskanen: Quake (2005). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.

A multidisciplinary artist who draws on nature and the mysteries of being human

The arts academician Outi Heiskanen (born 1937) is one of the most successful and famous Finnish artists. Heiskanen’s retrospective exhibition brings together different facets of her diverse and multidisciplinary art. The exhibition, featuring more than 300 works, presents prints, drawings, paintings and installations, as well as recordings of performances from a period of more than fifty years. The exhibition also features a whole gallery’s worth of joint works by Outi Heiskanen and the photographer Janne Laine. Shedding light on the course of the prolific artist’s life is a rich selection of photographs and moving images, created, for example, by Sakari Viika, Jorma Puranen, Tarja Stranden and Georg Grotenfelt.

The mythical world created by Outi Heiskanen is full of stories about the mysteries of being human and our relationship with nature. In her characters, the boundary between man and animal can be blurred when the focus is on our basic instincts and the cycle of life. Her works, created using various techniques, intertwine womanhood, motherhood, eroticism and death. The works are characterised by her undeniable virtuosity and a desire to experiment, which is sometimes even anarchistic in its flouting of the rules.

Outi Heiskanen’s most important mentor, the graphic artist Pentti Kaskipuro (Mestari K; ‘Master K’), has said: ”Outi is the yeast that makes the dough rise, whatever the context. Her artistic expression is completely untouchable: she relies on tradition, yet she is completely original and open-minded.”

The opening of the exhibition coincides with the publication of the biography Outi Heiskanen – Taiteilija kuin shamaani (‘Outi Heiskanen – Artist and shaman’), written by Tuula Karjalainen (Siltala 2021).

An artist who loves to perform created performance, land and environmental art

Community and close friendships have played a key role in Outi Heiskanen’s art since the 1970s. The performances by the Record Singers and Bellini-akatemia (‘Bellini Academy’), which were formed around Heiskanen, were legendary. One of the most memorable performances was Kluuvin ruhje (‘Kluuvi fracture’), which was seen at the closing event of the Ateneum Art Museum before its renovation in 1984. Siirrettävä Tuonela (‘Movable Tuonela’), which was created by Heiskanen and her artist friends in 1983, spread around the park of the Meilahti Art Museum, constituting one of the first exhibitions of environmental art in Finland.

Outi Heiskanen has broken unwritten rules both in her art and in her life. Heiskanen is the most spectacular brand of her time: a brave and unapologetic pioneer. A master of puns and games, the most public of the artist’s many pseudonyms is Immi Piilo, an outsider artist who made her debut in 2010 and whose works, featuring uninhibited splashes of colour, are also included in the exhibition. Colours became more important to Outi Heiskanen during her several trips to Asia, from which the influence of Tibet, in particular, is reflected in many ways in her art.

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Contacts

Anna Kari, Communications Officer, tel. +358 40 717 8185, anna.kari at ateneum.fi

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Images

Outi Heiskanen: Quake (2005). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Outi Heiskanen: Quake (2005). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
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Outi Heiskanen in Syysjärvi in 1988. Photo: Sakari Viika.
Outi Heiskanen in Syysjärvi in 1988. Photo: Sakari Viika.
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Outi Heiskanen: Hat (1974). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
Outi Heiskanen: Hat (1974). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
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Outi Heiskanen: Mila - Repa II (1985–1986). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Skop collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
Outi Heiskanen: Mila - Repa II (1985–1986). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Skop collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
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Outi Heiskanen: Blood Root (1992). Private collection. Photo: Janne Laine.
Outi Heiskanen: Blood Root (1992). Private collection. Photo: Janne Laine.
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Outi Heiskanen: On the Float (1976). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
Outi Heiskanen: On the Float (1976). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
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Outi Heiskanen: Sea Serpent (1978). Private collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Outi Heiskanen: Sea Serpent (1978). Private collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
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Outi Heiskanen: Dream Play: Fleeting Virginity (1984). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Outi Heiskanen: Dream Play: Fleeting Virginity (1984). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
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Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum
Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum
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0294 500 200http://www.ateneum.fi

The Ateneum is the home of Finnish art and part of the Finnish National Gallery, together with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Our collection includes more than 20,000 national treasures; works of art that we all own together. We have art dating from the 19th century to modernity. www.kansallisgalleria.fi/en

 

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Latest releases from Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum

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