Kanteleensoittaja / The Psaltery Player, 1907
Taiteilija- Vasili Kandinski / Wassily Kandinsky

TWO interesting exhibitions are continuing at Helsinki Art Museum Tennis Palace. With her work marked by its strong, expressive power incorporating her keenly physical and sensuous style of painting and choice of subjects, Marjatta Tapiola’s artistic breakthrough arrived in the early 1980s, coinciding with the rise of neo-expressionism.

Comprising 30 works in total, the exhibition embraces a career that commenced with striking self portraits and images of her relationships and family. As the decade progressed the use of human figures gave way to dead animals and skuls. As her career continued to evolve, Tapiola embraced flaming reds as she depicted the monstrous Minotaur of ancient mythology.

Meanwhile, Firebird and Snow Maiden takes its viewer straight into the world of Russian fairy tales. Folktales and their characters have provided continuous inspiration for Russian artists, composers and playwrights over the years, representing part of the living tradition known and loved by all Russians.

Marjatta Tapiola & Firebird and
Snow Maiden
15 February – 26 May
Helsinki Art Museum Tennis
Salomonkatu 15
Marjatta Tapiola, Elämen pää, 1999-2000

Embracing the universal dualism of fairy tales: good and evil, fire and water, joy and sorrow, Firebird and Snow Maiden brings the stories and fairy tales to life through classic Russian paintings. Featuring 152 works by some 33 artists, the exhibition spans the years from the 1870s to the 1930s, incorporating the likes of romanticism, realism, avant-gardism and the early days of the Soviet Union.

James O’Sullivan