The Helsinki School
The Helsinki School was a name introduced in an article by Boris Hohmeyer in 2003. This was the first time it was used as a brand name to describe a selection of artists who had studied under adjunct professor Timothy Persons at Aalto University School of Arts, Architecture & Design in Helsinki from the beginning of 1990s until now. It was based upon a Professional Studies program that used its academic platform to create an environment that blended its teachers, students and former graduates together in a contextual dialogue through group exhibitions, publications and the utilisation of the international art fairs as a means for teaching, referencing and presenting these artists’ works to the international community.
The Helsinki School follows other of two key photographic movements: 'The New American Color Photography' which established color photography as an important artistic medium, beginning with the William EGGLESTON exhibition at the MoMA in New York in 1976. And the 'Düsseldorf School, which emerged in the late 1970s under the guidance of Bernd and Hilla BECHER, followers of the 1920s German tradition of 'Neue Sachlichkeit' (New Objectivity). Their students, Andreas GURSKY, Candida HÖFER, Thomas RUFF and Thomas STRUTH modified the approach by applying new technical possibilities and contemporary vision. These movements combined with the influence of the Icelandic minimalism and artists like Donald Judd, played a pivotal role in understanding the roots of the Helsinki School.
Artists of Helsinki School
Pentti SAMMALLAHTI and Arno Rafael MINKKINEN were the original mentors who inspired the first generation of artists like Jorma PURANEN, Ulla JOKISALO and Timo KELARANTA. The next generation Jyrki PARANTAINEN, Marjaana KELLA, Pertti KEKARAINEN, Joakim ESKILDSEN, Ilkka HALSO, Tiina ITKONEN, Elina BROTHERUS, Aino KANNISTO, Ola KOLEHMAINEN, Janne LEHTINEN, Sanna KANNISTO and Riitta PÄIVÄLÄINEN. The third generation Sandra KANTANEN, Ari KAKKAINEN, Niko LUOMA, Santeri TUORI and Jari SILOMÄKI. The fourth generation Ville LENKKERI, Anni LEPPÄLA, Susanna MAJURI, Mikko SINERVO, Nelli PALOMÄKI, Milja LAURILA, Niina VATANEN, Eeva KARHU, Fifth generation Tanja KOLJONEN, Juuso NORONKOSKI, Mikko RIKALA, Sixth generation Ville KUMPULAINEN, Jaakko KAHILANIEMI, Hilla KURKI, Rainer PAANANEN.
Publications of The Helsinki School
'The Helsinki School Vol. 6: The Nature of Being' (2019); 'The Helsinki School Vol. 5: From the Past to the Future, 2014); 'The Helsinki School Vol. 4: A Female View, 2011); 'The Helsinki School Vol. 3: Young Photography by TaiK, 2009); 'The Helsinki School Vol. 2: New Photography by TaiK' (2007); 'The Helsinki School Vol. 1: Photography by TaiK' (2005)
Publications of artists from The Helsinki School
- Elina BROTHERUS
Arno Rafael MINKKINEN