The spring climax of Galerie Forsblom’s 40th anniversary program is a jubilee exhibition presenting the work of Marjatta Tapiola (b. 1951), which fills the entire main exhibition space and corner gallery in Helsinki through summer. The show also marks a special tribute to the centenary of Finland’s independence. In her new works, Tapiola – a long-term explorer of the myths of Classical Antiquity – returns to the theme of carnality and the Minotaur. Her style is more abstract than ever in certain paintings, the representational elements being transfigured into abstract metonyms by her confidently spontaneous brushwork.
Through her masterful command of line, Tapiola exquisitely captures life’s cruelty and carnal indulgences in her airy paintings. Their gamut of emotions swings from suffering to an intense sensuality that seems ready to burst into a wild dance any second. Fiery passion pumps in the veins of her red, orange and purple color spectrum. Tapiola paints in tempera, an ancient technique dating all the way back to the art of Classical times. With the twists of her brush, Tapiola infuses her contemporary works with a sense of antiquity.
Tapiola established her name in the 1980s as a leading Finnish proponent of neo-expressionism. She received the Pro Finlandia medal in 2004 and the Finnish State Art Prize in 2006. Her work is represented in leading Finnish museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Sara Hildén Art Museum and the collection of the Saastamoinen Foundation. The artist lives and works on her family estate in Sysmä, Finland.