60 years old | For Marianna Uutinen, artistry is also a political act: “I hope I can remind you of another reality and push for peace and love”

Painter Marianna Uutinen seeks to connect with their viewers with her works. The surfaces of paintings are often three-dimensional, emphasizing the materiality through which the exchange of experiences is conveyed.

PAINTER Marianna Uutinen remembers himself as a very sensitive and wild child who drew so much that he sometimes hid in shame his work between the radiator. He received plenty of encouragement at home and at school, and it was best to get into the painting district on Sundays.

“I experienced painting as a salvation and I always waited for Sunday because I felt so good about it. It was the world I fled to and drowned in. I did not exist, there was no subject or ego, but only a calming and liberating state of being, ”he says.

“Exercise, tennis, dancing, intense physical exertion have been equally important and liberating to me from a young age. My work with large paintings on the floor is also very psychophysical. ”

STUDY TIME The school of the Finnish Academy of Arts had a new bohemian life for Uuten, who came from Pieksämäki and had little experience. Work ethic at school was tough. He sought abstract expression, and the materiality of the works became important to him.

“However, abstract expression was not enough for me in terms of content. I got stuck after school, started researching things and drew cartoons. I wanted to connect abstraction to humanity with references that reflect man, ”he recalls.

“That’s when I started consciously using the colors and objects of the girl world because I happened to be a woman and a girl, not to bring up the issue of women. I don’t think gendered and I get hurt a little if I’m called a female artist because it defines me through masculinity. ”

In the news was the first solo exhibition at Galleria Krista Mikkola in Helsinki in 1989. Soon she was already performing in Stockholm, in other European countries, in New York.

He had also fallen in love during his studies with his teacher, a painter To Paul Osipow, and traveled with his ten-year-old life partner and current good friend to work in different countries.

“Paul is a very international guy. It was a really constructive coexistence on both sides. We had very fruitful conversations. When you are with an experienced artist, you get so much knowledge, meet a lot of artists and see a lot of art. I will be grateful for all that for the rest of my life, ”says Uutinen.

“I don’t comment on whether it’s good for an artist to fall in love. But for all people it makes good love. Being in love doesn’t necessarily just do good, it depends on the person. ”

THE MILLENNIUM At the beginning, Uutinen was invited to become a professor and director of the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts. He developed the department’s international relations, established positions, developed staff and teaching content, and created an international master’s program.

“I’m sorry to say, but there wasn’t much time left for teaching. There was also no time for my own artistic making, even though it is my whole life. I didn’t want to go on anymore because the situation was so stressful, ”he says.

Soon after leaving administrative duties, Uutinen became very seriously ill and had to fear for a long time for his life.

“It was such a struggle for life that I wouldn’t trade it out. I got so much caring even from strangers, I loved myself unselfishly for the first time and I was so happy and euphoric when I was in Paran. ”

“Fortunately, I have my spiritual world. I’m probably a Buddhist to some extent, and that experience opened up that world just fine. ”

So painting, like hatha yoga, is for Uutis a door to spirituality, a state already familiar from childhood, where the mind guiding selfish desires becomes silent and disappears.

Being an artist is also a political act for him.

“I want to emphasize humanity. My work is not any decorative items, although they do have decorative elements. I hope to be able to recall another reality and push for a cause of peace and love. We are all the same energy, we are one. ”

IN SPRING The news had an exhibition at the Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki, and he is currently participating in the Malmö Konstmuseum. (in) visibleexhibition. Next year will have its own exhibition in Stockholm and a joint exhibition in Kerava and Amos Rex in Helsinki.

The news will soon return to its second city of work, Berlin. He celebrates his birthday in Capri, Italy.

“I have no expectations other than to be able to paint and develop in my art and also as a person. If it goes well, it will happen. That’s so great in this profession that this never ends and can always get better. And the freedom that comes with that is the most important thing. ”

Marianna Uutinen

  • Born in 1961 in Pieksämäki. Lives and works in Helsinki and Berlin.

  • Student at Pieksämäki High School in 1980.

  • Studied at the school of the Finnish Academy of Arts 1980–1985 and at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris 1991–1992.

  • Numerous solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Represented Finland at the Venice Biennale in 1997.

  • Works in several collections, including Ham and Kiasma in Helsinki, Emma in Espoo, the Moderna Museum in Stockholm, the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk and the Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul.

  • Professor and Director of the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts 2004–2008.

  • Taught at the Nordic School of Art in Kokkola, Konsthögskolan in Malmö and Kunsthøgskolen in Bergen.

  • Finland Award 2006.

  • He enjoys exercise, especially dancing, hat yoga and boating.

  • Turns 60 on Friday, July 23rd.



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