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Kerttu Saali - Artists -

Portrait of Kerttu Saali, 2023.

Born in Helsinki, 1994 | Lives and works in Helsinki


For Kerttu Saali, the most important thing about painting is freedom: She nearly always paints without a plan or goal. Focal to her process are the basic elements of painting: color, light, and form. She is influenced conceptually and stylistically by earlier painters, such as the Impressionists, and their treatment of light. Her works always capture something beyond words' reach, and the unconscious side of artwork has fascinated Saali ever since she began painting. Through her paintings, she hints at the existence of something ineffable, and in doing so, she reveals how paintings speak their unique language. 


Last year Saali expanded her practice from oil painting to woodcarving. Her carved picture frames are like extensions of her paintings, which appear to spill outside the boundaries of the linen canvas. Although woodcarving and oil painting are slow processes requiring time and patience, Saali is interested in how these organic but technically different materials communicate as an intertwined unit. Instead of marginalizing the frame as secondary to the painting, Saali makes it a visible and equal part of a larger artistic entity. 


Kerttu Saali graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2023. She has participated in many group exhibitions, including Young Artists 2023 at Kunsthalle Helsinki. Her previous exhibition at Galerie Forsblom was in the spring of 2022. Her work is found in numerous private collections, as well as the public collections of the Saastamoinen Foundation, the City of Tampere, and the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU in Brussels. 

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