Katja Tukiainen: Delacroix & moi
Galerie Forsblom, February 14–March 15, 2020
Opening with the artist in attendance, February 13, 2020, at 5–7 PM
In her new exhibition, Katja Tukiainen (b.1969) draws inspiration from the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix. She painted her first Delacroix study in 2014 based on the famous painting La Liberté Guidant le Peuple. In her new works, she takes greater liberties adapting Delacroix’s structures, figures, and atmosphere to suit her own ends. As a tribute to Delacroix, the exhibition includes a portrait based on an old photograph of the artist.
The girls and other female figures that typically populate Tukiainen’s art also take center stage in her new exhibition. The idea is not to emphasize their femininity, but to show how universal humanity can be portrayed through women and girls. Too often, female figures are reduced to embodying the attributes of their gender, but Tukiainen refocuses our gaze simply on what it is means to be and behave human.
Letting chance join the game, Tukiainen – an admirer of Delacroix’s flighty brushwork – has allowed her intuition to take her recent paintings in a more expressive direction, reveling in the fun of contemplating how pictures painted long ago might continue their story today, over 200 years later.
Both painter and comic artist, Katja Tukiainen holds an MA in Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. She debuted in the Artists' Association of Finland’s the Young Artists Exhibition in 2001, and she has held solo exhibitions at Rome’s Museo D’arte Contemporanea, the Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA, and at the Lönnström Art Museum. Her work is found in major collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Saastamoinen Foundation, and the Finnish State Art Collection. Tukiainen was the first comic artist to receive the State Art Award in 2007, followed by the William Thuring Award in 2011. She received the Finnish Comics Society’s Puupäähattu award in 2003. The artist lives and works in Helsinki.