Himmelblau Printmaking Studio will be attending the London Original Print Fair this year for the fifth time. The intaglio workshop based in Finland has been operating for over twenty years locally and internationally thanks to the excellent artists it represents, and its high level of specialized professional workmanship.
Born in 1978 in Kent, Britain. Anj Smith studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and at Goldsmiths College in London. Her paintings are often on a small scale and highly detailed.
At the heart of Anj Smith’s output is painting – as a subject, a technology, a personal language, and a cultural signifier. The traditional subgenres of painting – landscape, portrait and still life – overlap in Smith’s works. Their sources of inspiration are manifold and include art history, literature, fashion subcultures, and the mysteries of the plant and animal world.
Anj Smith’s visit to Himmelblau Printmaking Studio last autumn gave birth to new graphic art for a Sara Hildén Art Museum exhibition. Smith created an exciting experimental series of art graphics, including some made with a unique two-sided technique, shown for the first time.
Maija Albrecht is an artist and a printmaker. Her primary technique is dry point. Her works relate to old natural scientific illustrations. Plants and birds are frequent motifs. Even though these images are based on observation of reality they fascinate bon account of something unidentifiable. These images intrigue because of the relationship between the subconscious and the observation, between the imaginary and the sharply seen. What is meticulously drawn blends with emotions and fantasy.
Maija Albrecht graduated as Master of Fine Arts at The Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 1998. She has exhibited both in Finland and abroad. She has worked as a teacher, i.a. as lecturer in printmaking at The Academy of Fine Arts 2004–2014. She is represented in several public collections both at home and abroad.
Richard Deacon is one of the most renowned modern sculptors. His works can be seen at central public locations in various cities around the world. The identifiable character of the sculptures is based on biological forms of nature; beautifully curving and complexly winding structures, tightly bolted routes of wood and plywood, capsulation and piling-up of steel. The edition of prints Richard Deacon produced at the Himmelblau studio was created using Photo Gravure and photo etching techniques. The pictorial motifs have been bitten on the plate by photogravure and the drawing added by photo etching. The pictures can be recognized as panoramas of large metropolises’ around the world. Deacon’s drawing adds the artist’s comment and touch.
EGS (born 1974, Helsinki) studied at University of the Arts London, graduating in 1999. The letters E, G, and S originally formed a graffiti tag, but have evolved into complex maps that serve as a means of exploring geopolitical and anthropological issues. He has shown at the Kunsthalle Finland, and at various sites across The United Kingdom, Sweden, Greenland, The Netherlands, Russia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Australia, and the USA,.
EGS is interested in the arbitrariness of human made borders, as maps delineate and question legal territory and ownership in much the same way that graffiti does. The use of the line gives voice, marks ownership, confers rights, and expels citizens
EGS works across varied mediums, from spray paint to inkblot, glass and wood. His background has led him to take a site specific approach whether in the street or gallery space and to treat his physical surroundings themselves as a cartography to be highlighted, appropriated and rewritten.
Klaus Haapaniemi (born in 1970) is currently one of Finland’s most internationally successful designers. His creations combine Japanese and Russian aesthetics, on the one hand, and the world of folk tales and anthropomorphic animal figures, on the other hand. He has also designed the costumes and staging for the Finnish National Opera’s production of “The Cunning Little Vixen”. At Himmelblau, Haapaniemi has been using gravure printing for the first time. By looking at his virtuoso-like strokes, it would be impossible to tell that he is only starting to grasp the intaglio technique. The new works are compositions, and they also feature the animal creatures that are present in Haapaniemi’s other works.
Hannu Hyrske (born in 1949) is known for his small etchings that present anthropomorphic animals – usually birds – in different situations. The works are often humorous, but Hyrske also has a gentle and understanding attitude towards serious issues. Hyrske is a master of his technique and reduces the visual elements to serve the aesthetics of scarcity. The subject matter is expressed by simple means, and the attention is drawn to the stroke itself and the shades of grey and black. The names of the works are often related to proverbs and words with double meanings, and they provide clues to the interpretation of the works. Hyrske, who has also worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, makes each of his works a short story.
Tiina Kivinen (b. 1971) is one of the most interesting artists in the new generation of art graphic makers in Finland. Her works are spacious and luminous.
Earlier Kivinen was mainly known for her nature subjects but lately the human figure has emerged as a more important theme. Quite often she depicts things and creatures that are small and hard to notice and therefore get neglected and mistreated.
An intensive, velvety black is usually the key element in Kivinen’s work. The dramatic, mythical colour is produced with mezzotint technique. In mezzotint the metal plate is systematically roughened with special rockers so that the ink holds well. Then some areas are smoothed so they appear lighter. Kivinen also uses monotype and etching techniques.
Inari Krohn (1945–) is one of the few European graphic artists to utilise the very demanding Japanese woodcut technique. Krohn combines metal graphics with the classic watercolour woodcut works. She describes nature in a way that is universally understandable. She depicts trees and other plants with rich detail, yet manages to create a simple impression. Her landscapes are timeless and independent of the present moment. Yet, they cannot be summarised as fairy tale images; the atmosphere makes the subject matter almost sacred.
Born in 1952 in Finland, Ylistaro. From 1973-74 Kristian Krokfors studied Art at the University of Industrial Arts in Helsinki. In 1974 he moved to England to study at Leicester Polytechnic, where he received his BA in 1977. From 1977-78 he completed the Advanced Printmaking Course at Croydon College of Art before returning to Helsinki, where he currently lives and works.
In 1985 he was named Finland’s Young Artist of the Year, a prestigious national event organized by the City of Tampere and the Tampere Art Museum.
Born in 1970 in Tampere. Janne Laine lives and works in Tampere. Studies at Tampere Polytechnic, School of Art and Media 1992–1995.Laine has depicted landscapes for more than twenty years. He has an ability to present the landscape as a subject, which requires no speculation on the original location nor any evaluation of its authenticity. They are universal pictures, in which the landscape is shrouded beyond recognition. Laine’s prints combine photography and printmaking. He travels around the world collecting material with his camera and then those results he transfers into etchings by heliogravure. The only manipulation of the image happens in the etching tray. Colors are added from aquatint plates when needed and occasionally with chine-collé. Laine has been working as an Art Printer over 25 years in Graphic Workshop Himmelblau and as a Master Printer since 2006 although recent years he’s been concentrated on his own Print. Studio in Tampere. In 2009 he got a 5-year State Grant from the State of Finland.
He has been awarded over 20 grants from various councils and foundations in Finland. Laine had a retrospective exhibition at the Tampere Museum of Art in 2015 and he has had over 50 private exhibitions in Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Belgium and Korea. He has participated in numerous collective and group exhibitions in over 40 countries. The artist’s works have been awarded in Biennials and Triennials in Bulgaria, Spain, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Canada, Estonia, Germany and Finland. His prints appear in more than thirty different public collections worldwide and he has participated Artist in Residencies in Akureyri and Siglufjördur; Iceland, Paris; France, Budapest; Hungary and New York; USA.
Born in 1973, in Halikko, Finland. Education:1999-01 University of Art and Design, Pallas, MA, Helsinki199599 Estonian Academy of Fine Arts, study line of printmaking, Tallinn, Estonia.
Piia Lehti uses mainly different intaglio printing techniques. Her motifs come from a world where the reality overlaps with dreams. People have often changed roles with animals, and their surrealistic environment is full of surprises. The cosiness of Lehtis prints originates from the slightly shabby lines and landscapes, which are comfortably worn out. The pictures reflect the life experienced and lived in different corners of the world.
Jaakko Mattila (born 1976, Oulu) studied at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College, where he graduated in 2001. Since then, his works have been displayed—and feature in public and private collections—in: Finland, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, and Japan, reaching a level of acclaim as one of Finland’s foremost painters.
Mattila belongs to the abstract tradition, which he uses to explore human ontology and perception through simple recurring motifs drawn from nature in its widest sense, including naturally occurring geometric forms, and the notions of temporality and space.
Often revolving around the motif of the circle, singularly or in plural form, the works are deceptively simple at first glance, yet layers and complex colour relations are revealed on further inspection. In this way both the limitation and depth of nature—and of our own perception of it—are conveyed.
Marika Mäkelä (born in 1947) became one of Finland’s most famous contemporary artists during the 1980s. Opulence has a very central role in Mäkelä’s works. Her art is mainly non-representational, but both her paintings and her graphics have references to representational topics. Most often, these are in the form of signs, cultural symbols and ornamentation. Nature experiences and the expression of light have been especially important for Mäkelä.
Laura Pohjonen studied at AALTO University of Art and Design and at Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. She is represented in many art collections, for example collections of State of Finland and many Finnish art museums. She has had exhibitions in many galleries in Finland and abroad.
Laura Pohjonen is a member of Artists’ Association of Finland.
Laura describes her art in following way:
“The main theme in my recent works is childhood. It came very naturally to my works after my son was born. I want to describe above all the sensitivity of the child, his ability of being surprised and living in a moment. Small things may be big and big things small when you look at them with open mind. Smallness, sensitivity and wondering are matters which too easily are trampled on by a hurry and effectiveness in the adults’ world. In my works I combine different printmaking techniques such as etching, aquatint, woodcut, imagOn and chine collé.
Born in 1963 in Spain, Malaga. Antti Tanttu was born in Malaga, Spain and currently lives in Espoo and works in Helsinki. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki between 1984–89. His works often deal with issues such as solitude, absence and longing. Tanttu has participated in solo and group exhibitions since 1986 in e.g. Gallery Heino in Helsinki, Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere, Finland and Norrtälje Kunsthalle in Sweden, as well as in festivals and events around the world.
Himmelblau Printmaking Studio is located in the heart of Tampere, within the historic Finlayson factory area. Founded in 1989, it has a handsome workshop with a spacious gallery, featuring changing exhibitions by outstanding artists. Editions of fine art prints are created alongside the assistance of professional printers – works by masters of the tradition of intaglio, as well as works by artists of a new generation of printmaking. Artists are often invited to the workshop to create new work. Himmelblau specializes in copperplate intaglio printmaking techniques, and occasionally uses other methods, including woodcut. The gallery has changing exhibitions, alongside a vast collection of prints by artists who have worked with Himmelblau over the years.