8 september 2020 - 17 january 2021


Vantaa Art Museum Artsi

From Form to Surface explores sustainable development, climate change, and humankind’s relationship with consumption and materials through contemporary art. 

Artists from Finland and Russia take a stand on social injustices, humanity’s complex relationship with nature, and being in the world. The material of the exhibition works is ceramic. 

What is humanity’s place in the world and its role in shaping it? 

Johanna Rytkölä’s set of abstract works Dipping into the Summer Night takes the viewer into a summer lakescape or into the depths of outer space. The enormous Shout by Pekka Paikkari – known for his monumental works – wavers between hope and despair. Åsa Hellman’s works lead exhibition visitors to a place of quiet in the forest. Kirsi Kivivirta’s harmonious wallworks invite contemplation. The expressions and gestures of Tommi Toija’s now-trademark human figures portray the intricacies of being human. The human figure is also central to Maisa Majakka’s works. Her ceramic sculptures and wall reliefs are rooted in the interfaces between childhood and adulthood, and in human interaction. 

From Form to Surface is showing something rarely seen in Finland – Russian contemporary sculpture. Natalia Khlebtsevich’s installation imitates the aesthetic of traditional western museum collections, but instead of ancient relics, on display here is household waste, such as dishcloths and sponges, encapsulated in ceramic. On closer inspection, the artist duo CrocodilePOWER’s striking sculptures that stimulate the imagination are also made out of everyday objects.

The exhibition is accompanied by a tri-lingual catalogue (Finnish, Russian, English), with profiles of the artists and an essay by the philosopher-writer Antti Salminen on the ontological crisis of sustainable development. 

In its audience and publicity work Vantaa Art Museum Artsi is, for the first time, focusing on the Russian speakers among exhibition goers and the public. Our partner in planning and carrying out the multilingual audience work is the Cultura Foundation, which promotes Russian speakers’ participation in Finnish society.