COMING UP/ With a Strong and Colourful Brush – Paintings by Maija Isola
16 April – 12 September 2021
Maija Isola’s (1927–2001) career as a painter spanned nearly five decades. She is best known for the print patterns she created for Finnish design house Marimekko, many of which remain in production to this day, but her artistic output remains less well known.
This exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Maija Isola’s paintings from the 1950s until the 1990s. At the core of the display will be a collection of 43 works gifted to the museum by the artist herself. They will be complemented by further works on loan from other private and public collections.
Maija Isola’s paintings from the early 1950s are characterised by their abstraction, and she later went on to draw influences from both Pop Art and Informalism. In her works, she captures the light, colours and shapes of Paris, North Africa, Mediterranean islands and the Appalachian Mountains. Her paintings are invariably prompted by an intense personal experience, bright sunshine or light reflecting on water. They are rich with fantastical imagery and characterised by a surreal timelessness. Above all, Maija Isola was an individualist, and her potent and colourful visual expression is in evidence throughout her body of work.
The exhibition is curated by Päivi Viherluoto.