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Helka Immonen

Finland

Last updated: June 22, 2016

ABOUT ME | PORTFOLIO

Born in Helsinki | Lives in Espoo | Studio in Helsinki Finland

BIOGRAPHY

My paintings develop slowly by chance and intuition, by
adding several thin layers of oil color one upon the other.
In my works inner feelings and emotions are related to
physical events or objects – changes of the weather, the
times of the day or visual elements and forms seen in
architecture and in the nature.

Helka Immonen
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The most prominent, often almost imperceptible tension
of Helka Immonen´s paintings seems to develop when
the artist, - while sketching a painting - instead of
attaching to either abstract or figurative form, refrains
from making a statement and proceeds in silence to ask
the painting´s own, innermost mind.
This subtle openness brings about to the paintings an
all but tangible feeling of boundaries – from abstract
to figurative – from inside to outside – from closed to
open spaces. These contrasts create an impression of
a line drawn in the sand in the ambient space of the
paintings. It may happen that a door is opening where
there was only color or a surface permeating light – at
the last minute and so abruptly that not even a shadow
will arise. Imperceptibly a time dimension has emerged
in the painting - a perspective that reveals a sight to its
possibly prolonged morphogenesis in the mind of the
artist.
Or the process is reverse: some element from the
beginning of the painting process ´evaporates´ and
becomes almost weightless with the passing of time.
The outcome still shares some of the traits of the initial
phase: it is slow yet not lagging – aerial yet deep in its
translucency.
It is perhaps fitting to describe the spatial states thus
generated as ´innate´ and lacking all externality and
artificiality.

Liisa Immonen, author

ART EDUCATION

2016 University of Helsinki, MA Art history
2003-04 University of Industrial Arts Helsinki Open university, Art education
1978-86 University of Helsinki, BA Art history
1979-83 University of Helsinki, Art Studio
1977-78, 1971-72 Free Art School of Helsinki

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016 Gallery G12, Kuopio
2014 Gallery Katariina, Studio, Helsinki
2013 Artifact Gallery, New York USA
2012 Gallery Uusi Kipinä, Kymi, Lahti
2012 Galerie Pleiku, Berlin Germany
2012 Gallery G12, Helsinki
2009 Fortezza Medicea Girifalco, Cortona Italy
2008 The Old Chaplain´s House, Porvoo
2008 Gallery Seriola, Tampere
2008 Poriginal Gallery, Pori
2008 Honey Cellar, Art Brewery, Lahti
2007 Hovinkartano Art Center, Hauho
2006 Gallery Seriola, Tampere
2005 AVA Gallery, Helsinki
2003 Gallery Aarni, Espoo
2001 Gallery Bakeliittibambi, Helsinki
2000 Gallery Kipinä, Lahti
1999 Gallery Bakeliittibambi, Helsinki
1997 Gallery Bakeliittibambi, Helsinki

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Selected GROUP EXHIBITIONS IN FINLAND
2016 Käki Group, Espoo Cultural Center, Espoo
2015 Vitas 85, Gallery Rantakasarmi, Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, Helsinki
2015 Finnish Artists´ Studio Foundation 25 years Jubilee Exhibition, Gallery Kajava, Helsinki
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2007, 2003, 2000 Espoo Visual Artists, Gallery Aarni, Espoo
2014-2015 Vitas 85, Järvenpää Art Museum
2014 3 artists, Kanneltalo gallery, Helsinki
2013 Tremor, Honkahovi, Mänttä
2013 Käki Group, Gallery Carree, Kuopio
2013 Northern Love, Nordic Art Association, Art Center Haihatus, Joutsa
2013 PYHÄNIEMI 2013, Painters´ Union, Pyhäniemi Manor, Hollola
2013 Tremor, Poriginal Gallery, Pori Finland
2012 Reflections, Heinola Art Museum, Gallery Lambert, Heinola
2011 On the Way, Mikkeli Art Museum, Mikkeli
2010 Vitas 80, Lahti Art Museum, Lahti
2009 Never to Retire, Vantaa Art Museum, Vantaa
2009 Emil Cedercreutz Museum, Harjavalta
2009 JOS Gallery, Espoo
2008 The Art Career, AVA Gallery, Helsinki
2008 Close, Sanoma House, Helsinki | Cultural Center Poleeni, Pieksämäki
2007 4 artists, Gallery Gjutars, Vantaa
2007 Floating Benches, Töölönlahti Bay, Helsinki Festival, Helsinki
2007 Stamps, tm-gallery 40 years, tm-gallery, Helsinki
2007, 2005, 2003, 2001 Ars Jok´Vars, Jokivarsi School Center, Jämsä
2007 Revelling, Kouvola Art Museum, Kouvola
2007 Hietsu painters, Galerie Oljemark, Helsinki
2006 Joy of meeting, Art Hall Anna, Iisalmi | Valssaamo, Cable Factory, Helsinki
2006 Game of Colours, AVA Gallery, Helsinki
2005-06 The Holy Trinity, Parishes artoteque SECCO tour exhibition
2005 On the surface, environmental artwork, Keilalahti Bay, Espoo
2005 My Helsinki, AVA Gallery, Helsinki
2004 Echo -colour artwork, Suspicions, Stockfors Pyhtää
2003 Echo -colour artwork, Tapiola 50 years, Heikintori Espoo
2003 Miniwork, Puristamo, Cable Factory, Helsinki
1998 SummerComment, Gallery Otso, Espoo
1998 ´Rosolli´ The 103rd Annual Exhibition of Finnish Artists, Kerava Art Museum, Kerava

Selected GROUP EXHIBITIONS ABROAD
2013-14 Galerie Boehner, Bechtle IT-Systemhaus, Mannheim Germany
2012 Berliner Liste 2012, Kraftwerk Berlin, Berlin Germany
2012 May Be (R)Evolution, Factory-Art Gallery, Berlin Germany
2012 Parallax AF, Chelsea Town Hall, London UK
2011, 2010 Contemporary Art Fair, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris France
2011 From Water Born Soul, Villa Tittoni, Milan Italy
2011 30x30=90 numeri, MUSEAAV, Nice France
2010 Abstract Paintings Group Exhibition, Bashimi Art House, Salzburg Austria
2008 The Art Career, Forja, Valencia Spain
2008 Rosso Malpelo 2, Centro Polifunzionale, Enna Italy
2007 Rosso Malpelo 1, Galleria Civica, Enna Italy
2006 5xBrasil, Centro Cultural da Justica Federal, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
2005 On the Other Shore, Kuressaare Cultural center, Saaremaa Estonia
2005 Minha Helsinque, Centro Cultural Candido Mendes, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
2001 Esbo Suburban Mini Art, Fullersta Bio, Huddinge Sweden
1997 Salon des Artistes Finlandais, Institut Finlandais, Paris France

REVIEWS

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Paintings of Helka Immonen are abstract - soft pastel tones of colours are related to emotionally charged feelings and experiences and the passing of time.
Helka Immonen´s brush strokes are gentle but firm, her paintings are very feminine. Her style is subtle and allusive, the colours and surfaces may refract in interesting directions.

Hanna-Riikka Kuisma, Author, art critic 2008
Satakunnan kansa 18.5.2008
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Helka Immonen è un’artista che ha saputo trovare un proprio linguaggio espressivo, molto vicino all’astrattismo prendendo elementi tecnici da altri maestri del passato come Rotko o le velature impalpabili di grandi maestri del rinascimento o dei fiamminghi e alcuni colori acidi e fluo della pop art.

Osservando queste opere non si direbbe che tutte queste influenze convivano in opere così delicate ed equilibrate. Il linguaggio di quest’artista è decisamente essenziale ed ermetico ma l’uso delle sfumature ci regala qualcosa in più una atmosfera emozionale unica. Isole e perle, i titoli delle opere. Metafore dell’essere umano. La solitudine dell’isola, come la solitudine dell’uomo, non tanto in maniera fisica ma la solitudine dell’essere che dentro di sè crede uniche e meravigliose le proprie sensazioni dovuti agli stimoli esterni. Sentimenti preziosi celati come perle preziose nel profondo e che l’artista porta a galla in tutta la loro bellezza e lo fa con questi bellissimi oli su tela.

Per l’artista l’animo umano è un luogo puro , fonte di ispirazione, un luogo dal quale fare emergere il proprio io. Per tale motivo dobbiamo gioire della vita e carpire l’energia che la natura ci regala e che pervade il mondo.

Marcello Cazzaniga, Curator
From Water Born Soul, Group exhibition, Villa Tittoni, Milano Italy 2011
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Die Finnin Helka Immonen erreicht durch ihre lasierend aufgetragene Farbe ein hohes Maß an Transparenz und eine ungewöhnliche Durchsichtigkeit, die den Hintergrund und die abstrakten Formen in einen farblich geheimnisvoll akzentuierten Raum verwandelt, der den Betrachter magisch anzieht. Achten sollte man dabei auf die unterschiedliche Dichte, in der der Farbauftrag erfolgt, denn durch diese sensibel austarierten Nuancen balanciert sie das Gleichgewicht zwischen dem tiefschichtigen Hintergrund der Körper, die vor diesem wie im freien Raum schwebend erscheinen,
aus.

Laudatio 26.04.2013, Dr. Helmut Orpel
Group exhibition GALERIE BÖHNER, Mannheim Germany 2013
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Helka Immonen’s delicate paintings are produced in a spirit of experimentation and sensitivity. They impel us to consider the color-field imagery that grounds her work in a tradition of Modernist painting. Immonen’s inspired conception points to both a repudiation of the virtuosity of execution while it celebrates great declarativeness, as well as the clarity of a wholistic vision. If the artist's work has a sense of purpose it might lie in its capacity to remind us as viewers that the concept of this type of expressive abstraction is not the conceived in and of itself; it is instead what it is said of it a posteriori, after the work is finished. The intuitive aspect of the artist's artwork is paramount as its quality rests on that intuitive factor.

The quality of the work also rests on the thing conceived as it is being conceived. Therefore it is really a dangerous thing to believe and to trust that in defining the work with concepts (gravity, form, certain colors and striations, art-historical genealogy) we get to know the objects more intimately, more persuasively. The opposite of course is true: we distance ourselves from such work if we over-intellectualize it. It is as if we intellectualized the notion of time instead of becoming more and more aware of it simply by being in its flow and duration.

A summer breeze or tidal current causes the vegetation within it to undulate with pulsating rhythms. The ocean and wind ripple the sand. Whispered sounds vibrate the tympanic membrane, inducing a shift in the air transforming its movements into electrical waves. In looking at Immonen’s sensitive works one could easily infer non-objective patterns which are representations of the tracks of subtle transferences of energy between gentle geologic forces and natural bodies.
What becomes abundantly clear in looking, as a whole, on Helka Immonen’s artworks, is the artist's indispensable capacity to attain a certain emotional involvement. These include attempts at defining a sense of history, of memory and of the self. Resisting completely sentimentalizing components in her work for the benefit of enlarging the scope of her authenticating journey into creativity, Immonen’s abstractions grapples with divided loyalties. The forces of positive ambiguity surge through her through her work; the result is visual traces of integrative wholeness that are nothing short of inspiring and nothing less than beautiful to behold.

Press release
Solo exhibition Artifact Gallery 2013, New York USA
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COLLECTIONS

Architect office Jarmo Pulkkinen Ltd
Fine Arts Society of Finland
Gasum Ltd
Laajasalo Pharmacy
Private collections

PRESS

ARTICLES

The Visual ARTBEAT Magazine 6/2011
Helka Immonen Lindberg Change and Stability
http://www.visualartbeat.com
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NY Arts Magazine Vol. 17/Summer 2011
Helka Immonen Articulating Transience Rose Hobart
http://www.nyartsmagazine.com/?p=5340
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OTHER

GRANTS
2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997 City of Espoo
2013, 2011 Frame Finnish Fund for Art Exchange
2006, 2000 Artists Association of Finland Travel grant
1999 Finnish Cultural Foundation

RESIDENCIES
2015 Válósag residence, Budapest Hungary
2013 Särö artist residence, Berlin Germany
2012 Gallery-residence Pleiku, Berlin Germany
2010 Artist residence, Finnish Institute at Athens Greece
2006, 2000 Casa Finlandese, Grassina, Florence Italy

MEMBERSHIPS
Espoo Visual Artists
Finnish Painters´ Union

CONTACT
e-mail helka.immonen@gmail.com

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