Roanoke College

Contemporary Finnish Art


An art exhibit entitled, "Contemporary Finnish Art," will be displayed November 12-December 23 in the Olin and Smoyer Galleries on the Roanoke College campus. The galleries are open daily 1-4 p.m. The galleries will be closed November 24 to 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday. A lecture by visiting artist Kalle Turakka Purhonen will be held Friday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Olin Hall, Room 231 and will be followed by an opening reception. This exhibit also will include the work of Petra Innanen, Martti Jamsa, Hannele Kumpulainen, Raita Virkkunen and Marko Vuokola, and will feature a variety of media.

Innanen, a painter working mostly in oil and watercolor gains inspiration from 1950s movies, B-movies, the circus, burlesque, Hong Kong movies and from music and its visual imagery. Color plays the main character in the paintings. Innanen wants the paintings to be colorful and tempting at first glance, but with a second glance the viewer realizes that something is not quite right. Innanen has had many solo and group exhibitions around the world and also designs record covers for Fiasko records.

Jamsa works with photographs as a concrete physical substance and not as a mere transparent medium for a picture. Some of the black and white pictures appear smooth, wax-like, like paraffin proofs of printed pictures. The photographs have been published nin many books around the world. Jamsa has collections at the Museum of Photography, the National Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Kumpulainen uses black and white presentation to force one to think of the effect that it has on the emotion of the painting. Kumpulainen is a teacher and lecturer in Finland and is on The Board of Art School Maa and is a member of the Finnish Painters Union and the Association of Finnish Sculptors.

Purhonen builds sculptures and collages of everyday objects. The goal is to ponder the plural meanings these objects stand for in our culture. Purhonen has had many solo and group exhibits in Finland and is a member of the jury for the Young Artists Exhibition and the Acquisition Board of the Finnish Arts Association.

Virkkunen's work focuses on the stories of indigenous people living in the north of Scandinavia and how they compare to life today. These comparisons show the differences in connection with time, rhythm and the emphasis of the different parts of life. The series of works consist of drawings made by ink to paper.

Vuokola's work is through video that shows pictures appearing distant until the viewer focuses and "reads" their visual meaning. Vuokola received a master of arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Finland and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions all over the world, in addition to being a teacher.