September 2006 Happenings
Finnish artist Matti Koskela exhibits at Finlandia
HANCOCK -- Finlandia University's Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC) Gallery
is hosting "Matti Koskela: Tiima," an exhibition of art by Finnish artist Matti Koskela through September 28,
An opening reception for the artist will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday,
Sept. 7, at the FAHC. At the reception, Koskela will discuss his work and public sculpture
commissions. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
An artist, designer, sculptor and professor of art, Matti Koskela is one of Finland's most
prominent contemporary artists. In a career that spans three decades, his work has been
exhibited throughout Finland and in Europe, Russia, Egypt and the United States.
The FAHC exhibit includes a collection of Koskela's gouache on paper and silk-screen prints.
|Finnish artist Matti Koskela in his studio.
Works by Koskela are on exhibit at Finlandia University's Finnish
American Heritage Center through Sept. 28. (Photo © 2006 and courtesy Finlandia University.)
The son of a printer, Koskela grew up watching and helping his father create linocuts and
vignettes in the community of Kajaani in northeastern Finland. It was during these early
artistic experiences that he developed the sense of accuracy and precision that characterizes his artwork today. It also introduced him to the simplicity, elegance and
purity of graphic art that remains an ever-present influence in his work.
Koskela received his early artistic education at the Teacher Training College of Kajaani and
the Finnish Academy of Fine Art School where he was inspired to explore the varying forms of
graphic design. The subject matter of his early work drew directly from nature and evolved
through the years into the balanced aesthetic world of geometric structures. Crosses,
circles and triangles float over muted fields of subtle color creating lyrical reflections
suggestive of light and motion. Within these geometric forms is an underlying metaphor of
the relationships between humans and nature.
| Tiima gouache, 2003, by Matti Koskela. (Photo ©
and courtesy Finlandia University)
Known as a champion of the arts and an energetic organizer, in the early 1960s Koskela was
instrumental in organizing some of the first exhibits of abstract art in the northern region
His numerous public sculpture commissions are another facet of Koskela's prolific artistic
career. His concern for creating an integrated whole has prompted him to work closely with
the architects designing the buildings where his sculptures will be placed.
"I have always been interested in architecture and attracted to its clean basic shapes. I'm
intrigued by the relations between masses," notes Koskela in a catalog of his work. "I feel
I succeeded best in a work called 'Valomaisema' (Lightscape), which I did for the foyer of
Other public works by Koskela include sculptures at the City Hall in Kajaani, the Gymnasium of the Township of Hollola, the City of Lahti, and the Co-operative Bank of the Lahti Region.
FAHC Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.
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