”I paint like a God,” is a quote uttered by the iconic Finnish artist Ellen Thesleff (1869-1954). Such shameless self-congratulation is not stereotypically regarded as appropriate coming from the mouth of a woman. History has repeatedly shown that the path of an artist can be a rocky one, particularly if the artist is a woman. Art knows no gender, but history does. The world has presented different faces to women at different times in history, but all women share the common experience of a slowly walked path and the gradual opening of gates, memories which linger in their contemporary encounters. The one thing that has endured through it all is art, a constant companion, an archive of the past, and a beacon of the future – and, above all, more than the sum of its parts.
Verynice, Bloodygood is a group exhibition curated by Marika Mäkelä that strikes up a dialogue between artists born in different eras. Mäkelä envisages the show as a fragment of art history interwoven with the contemporary world, for art is never separated from reality, but always in dialogue with its context. In an instant, history becomes the present and then slips back into history again in the next moment. Each artist in the exhibition captures this fleeting moment in her unique way, in the technique of her choice, whether painting, textile art, or sculpture.
In addition to Thesleff, the exhibition also features works by Leena Luostarinen (1949-2013), Marika Mäkelä (1947), Marjatta Tapiola (1951), Inka Kivalo (1956), Kristina Riska (1960), Marianna Uutinen (1961), Heli Hiltunen (1960), Chantal Joffe (1969), Anna Tuori (1976), Emma Helle (1979) and Ines Sederholm (1991).