Nanna Susi (b. 1967, Asikkala) is one of Finland’s most acclaimed and beloved contemporary artists. Her paintings are steeped in intense emotions, and perhaps this is why her monumental, colour-drenched paintings touch a chord with Finland’s normally reticent audiences in some magical way. Emotion is the very raison d’être of painting, states the artist. “Emotions give us direction in life; they are the foundation of our humanity and curiosity. They are the basis of all human thought. Whatever word you use to describe them, be it ‘feelings’, ‘morality’ or even ‘soul’, without emotions, there would scarcely be thought. I’m not seeking drama through emotion, but for a sense of presence and understanding of what it is to be human,” says Susi.
Susi is a colourist. Each colour plane constitutes its own inner world. She uses giant brushes to cover her huge canvases, often engaging her entire body with every sweep of the brush. Her palette spans a wide emotional spectrum, with thin, delicate layers striking up a dialogue with thick, heavy coats of paint. Susi does not eschew sentimentality – quite the contrary. “Emotions are a form of intelligence. Simply put, one of life’s toughest challenges is being totally honest with one’s feelings. For me, this means staying truthful and connected to myself, here and now, and in my work. Honesty may not be in style, but it’s a condition of survival. The viewers reflect their own experience in my paintings, and here lies the whole twist of art. It lies in the magic of interaction.”
You can “step inside” Susi’s paintings, let your feelings carry you away, or drift off on a journey into another reality. There is almost always a horizon in her compositions, but human figures are rarely present. Her works convey a sense of someone having just left or someone about to enter the scene. What just happened? What happens next? The intervening moment is peaceful, like pausing to take a deep breath. Her paintings are rich in symbols: doors, gates, roads, bridges – like keys opening a passageway from one world to another. Susi lives and works in Helsinki and Rome. Her work is found in the collection of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and numerous other major collections.
Esipuhe / Foreword
“Nanna Susi – Alitajunnan maalari”
“Nanna Susi – Painter of the subconcious”
Maalauksia / Paintings
Sanoja / Words
“Ylikypsä hetki ja tuore ajattomuus Nanna Suden maalauksissa”
“The overripe moment and immaculate timelessness in the paintings of Nanna Susi”
Sanoja / Words
“Nanna Susi in the moods”
Valokuvat / Photographs
(Giorgio Benni s 35, 36, 39. Pihla Pasanen s. 190)
Kustantaja / Publisher
Fleminginkatu 6, Helsinki, Finland
(approx. 100 m from Karhupuisto)
Tram 3, 9, stop at Karhupuisto.
Meetings according to an agreement.
Kirsi Kiljunen, assistent