Ti–su 10–17



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Kasarmintie 9,Oulu, Finland
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Pe 19.5. klo 17–19
Liitos-näyttelyn avajaiset

La 20.5. klo 10–15
Liitos-näyttelyn seminaari         

Ti 23.5. klo 13
Luupin senioriklubi, näyttelyesittely

Ti 23.5. klo 13
Luupin Senioriklubin kaikille ikäihmisille avoin näyttelyesittely       

Pe 26.5. klo 14
Näyttelyesittely (kaikki näyttelyt)      






Essi Renvall – The Pioneering Finnish Female Sculptor
18th June – 4th September 2016


  Akseli, Fanny, Ester and Pentti Lähde `en famille` in the 1910s. Photo F. Suomela
  Essi Renvall finalizing her marble portrait of Otto Manninen, 1943. Photo unknown.
  Portrait of Peal Kotechan (1959) Marja ja Martti Calonius Collection. Photo Mika Friman

Talented, persistent and highly personal – these words describe the Oulu-born sculptor Essi Renvall (1911–1979) aptly. The high society beauty and media star of her time made her living through art, and never failed to provide inspiration and cause a stir through her unconventional opinions and actions. She was a living proof that a female artist could also have a family while simultaneously making a successful career as a sculptor and being as successful as female artists in other fields of art. Monumental, commissioned public works were no longer the exclusive domain of the male colleagues.

The exhibition covers Essi Renvall's entire life and career of six decades. Thematically, the exhibition focuses on her connections to Oulu, her public works and her long collaboration with the Werner Söderström publishing company. Eighteen portrait sculptures of authors were made available by the collections of the WSOY Literary Foundation. Authors portrayed in the sculptures include author Saima Harmaja (in a sculpture based on a photograph), Renvall's long-time friend, author Helvi Hämäläinen, the author and the leading figure of the radical Tulenkantajat literary group Olavi Paavolainen, the Oulu-based ethnologist Samuli Paulaharju, and Mika Waltari, the author of famous historical novels such as The Egyptian (1945). Although Essi Renvall is primarily known for her portrait sculptures of authors and children, she also immortalised in bronze a number of prominent figures: Finnish presidents, entrepreneurs and notable individuals from the world of culture.

In addition to sculptures made using various techniques and materials, the exhibition features medal art, drafts, drawings and paintings by Essi Renvall. The earliest series of drawings dates back to 1919, when a 10-year-old girl dreaming of the profession of an architect was studying in the Kirkkotori school for young children. The latest portrait sculptures are from 1979, the year of her death. A publication focusing on the life and artworks of Essi Renvall and providing a fascinating view to the world of arts and culture in Finland from the 1930s to the 1970s is also published in connection with the exhibition. Published by the Finnish Literature Society, the book takes readers interested in visual arts and history on a time trip to the everyday life of a Finnish sculptor, the adventures of a cosmopolitan traveller and – most importantly – her unforgettable art.

The extensive research, exhibition and publishing project has been carried out in collaboration with Tampere Art Museum. Unyielding: Sculptor Essi Renvall is displayed in Oulu Museum of Art from 18 June to 4 September 2016, and Essi Renvall: Looking for Humanity in the Tampere Art Museum from 1 October 2016 to 29 January 2017.

Photo above: Eija Hyytiäinen (1963), Oulu Museum of Art, photo Mika Friman

Anne-Marie le Guyadier (1959)
Oulun taidemuseo
Photo Anu Mykkänen

   Blue Bird, Legend of Legends (1954)
Aarne Karjalainen Collection
Photo Mika Friman


 Portrait of Erkki Tuomioja (1951)
Erkki Tuomioja Collection
Photo Mika Friman