A Present to the past 14. Graphica Creativa 2016


Torbjörn Damm · Dany Danino · Tom Huck · Catherine Keun · Jean Le Gac · Patrick Merrill · Ernest Pignon-Ernest · Tomas Regan · Teemu Saukkonen · Kiki Smith · Hanna Vihriälä · Camilla Vuorenmaa · Dominik Wlodarek · James Ensor · Oskar Kokoschka · Pentti Lumikangas · Alain Jacquet · Matti Waskilampi · Marjatta Hanhijoki · Tapani Mikkonen · Albrecht Dürer · Jacques Callot · Anton van Dyck · Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn · Giovanni Battista Piranesi · Francisco Goya · Suzuki Harunobu · Kitagawa Utamaro

Video on youtube

Exhibition / Publication / Contemporary artists / Old masters and conveyors

Graphica Creativa 2016 – a Present to the Past is an exhibition of 13 contemporary artists whose work has a direct connection with Art History either through the artists or the artwork. Art is a mirror unto itself by  looking into the past and re-interpreting Art History using contemporary freedoms. The present is a present to the past. The artists shown are from France, the USA, Belgium, Sweden, Poland and Finland. The exhibition includes prints, drawings, paintings, tapestries and 3-dimensional works. In addition to presenting contemporary art, this exhibition also provides an occasion to see prints of the great masters such as Goya, Dürer and Rembrandt, which are on loan from the collections of the Finnish National Gallery. The theme is also addressed by a few exemplary pieces from 1960–1990.

This exhibition shows each artists’ own graphic line. It is seen in prints but also in the artists’ drawings, paintings, tapestry and even three dimensional work. Graphica Creativa continues in the tradition of its name, showing compelling printmaking from the creative fringe.

"Time advances from behind just as forcefully as it runs forward. We live in the extremes and in infinity. Every moment, the past runs from the present backwards creating infinity.” - Kuutti Lavonen

The exhibition is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of Education, Finland.


Graphica Creativa 2016 
14th International Print Triennial

This publication contemplates the meaning and self-reflection of art which continues to interrogate its own past. The present and the past are engaged in a dialogue using a new "visual vocabulary" cumulated from multifaceted interpretations, quotations and citations. In the words of Kuutti Lavonen, art processes us like a dream.


The Whizzling of the Wings of History 
Ville Lukkarinen, professor of art history

Technology, Human Dignity and Art 
Kuutti Lavonen, artist

Introduction of the artists

Torbjörn Damm, Dany Danino, Tom Huck, Catherine Keun, Jean Le Gac, Patrick Merrill, Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Tomas Regan, Teemu Saukkonen, Kiki Smith, Hanna Vihriälä, Camilla Vuorenmaa, Dominik Wlodarek

List of the works

Editors: Seija Heinänen and Jukka Partanen
Publisher: Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland 2016
Jyväskylä Art Museum Publications 5 
Bound, color illustration, 48 pages 
Texts in Finnish and in English
ISBN 978-952-5847-33-8 
ISSN 1799-6929
ISSN-L 1799-6929

Orders: Jyväskylä Art Museum Shop, taidemuseo@jkl.fi, tel. +358 50 577 2712
Price: 30 € (incl. 10 % VAT) + posting costs


Contemporary artists

Torbjörn Damm
s. / b. 1961, Ruotsi / Sweden

In the collage-like series Arabian Nights, Damm combines the past with the contemporary flood of information. Direct references from familiar art history pieces can also be found in these prints. The name of this series alludes to the surge of events in the Arab world starting in 2010.

Dany Danino
s. / b. 1971, Belgia / Belgium

Danino’s work is stratified like memory: some layers brighten while others veil. His subjects are taken from historical events, art history, his own personal life and all the timeless events that connects us through humanity. Danino’s most important influences are the Belgian artists Felicien Rops (1833-1898) and James Ensor (1860-1949).

Jean Le Gac
s. / b. 1936, Ranska / France
Le Gac is a painter, drawer, photographer, conceptual artist and writer. The narrator of Le Gac’s artwork, is his alter-ego, an amateur painter who adventures into the world of art and questions the artist’s role. The artworks themselves, are diary entries, illustrative documents of an artist’s life.

Tom Huck
s. / b. 1971, Yhdysvallat / USA

Huck is a storyteller, and his stories combine satire with a social political agenda. His woodcuts are influenced by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) Martin Schongauer (c. 1445–1491) along with the classic underground cartoonist Robert Crumb (s.1943). The centre piece for Huck’s work Tommy Peeperz is and ode to Schongauer’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

Catherine Keun
s. / b. 1958, Ranska / France

Keun’s subject is found in everyday life. The idea for her series Cell Phone Emotions, was born out of her observation of people in the Paris metro. Her drawings are classic technical portraits in which Keun focuses on the expressiveness of faces and hands, but which also communicate different human, emotional states to the viewer.

Patrick Merrill
1948–2010, Yhdysvallat / USA
Merrilli’s version of the Riders of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer, was inspired by the terrorist attack in New York on September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent atmosphere of fear, hate and revenge. Merrill chose the identity of each subject based on who he considered guilty of each deed: Hunger is represented by a businessman, War is the face of George W. Bush, Death, a hooded Ku Klux Klan member and Epidemic is the ”mad scientist”.

Ernest Pignon-Ernest
s. / b. 1942, Ranska / France
Through his work, Pignon-Ernest reacts to contemporary issues such as AIDS, abortion, apartheid and immigration. He is uncompromising in his drawing technique and his respect for historical influence. For models, Caravaggio (1571–1610) used everyday people including the disadvantaged off the street. Pignon-Ernest, brings Caravaggio’s models back to the street in the form of silkscreen prints by plastering them in strategic places around town for people to see. Pignon-Ernest is one of Street Art’s pioneers.

Tomas Regan
s. / b. 1979, Suomi / Finland

The work by Regan portrays everyday events on the brink of the apocalypse. The subject is borrowed from the 1890–1891 prints by Mary Cassett in which women go about their daily chores: Parisian women washing, dressing and drinking tea. Cassatt, in turn, had borrowed her subject from the Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcut prints depicting the everyday life of Geishas.

Teemu Saukkonen
s. / b. 1954, Suomi / Finland

The starting point for Saukkonen’s monotype prints was the painting of the popular story Judith and Holofernes from the Old Testament by Caravaggio (1571–1610). Chiaroscuro, is the name of his painting technique which created a dramatic atmosphere through the use of high contrast between light and shadow.

Kiki Smith
s. / b. 1954, Yhdysvallat / USA
Smith’s subject of interest is the woman’s body, anatomy and bodily functions. Later her perspective broadened to include the relationship of humans with animals and the cosmos. Her subjects come from mythology, folklore, and Catholic religion. The piece Congregation depicts spring and is part of a series representing the seasons. Line etchings were part of the ground work for these tapestries and the final piece is produced using the Jacquard technique, a computer based technique practiced in Flanders, Belgium.

Hanna Vihriälä
s. / b. 1974, Suomi / Finland

Vihriälä’s work is a replica of the sculpture Ganymede and the Eagle by Italian artist Adamo Tadolini (1788–1868 ). Stone sculpture is traditionally made by chipping away material, but Vihriälä has made her’s by adding material. The end result is a light rasterized graphic sculpture. She has also used various materials in her work.

Dominik Wlodarek
s. / b. 1976, Puola / Poland

Wlodarek was chanced to see prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) while they were being restored in Paris in the fall 2007. The prints shown here were inspired by the buildings, interiors and ruins of Piranesi’s work. Wlodarek’s previous work was a reflection of the cityscape, now the focus is on interior spaces.

Camilla Vuorenmaa
s. / b. 1979, Suomi / Finland

Vuorenmaa’s painterly woodcuts combine sculpture with painting. She depicts people in arrested moments and states of mind. For this exhibition, Vuorenmaa has used traditional woodcut techniques for the first time. This woodcut installation was inspired by Seisova alaston (Standing Nude) (1906–1907) by Oskar Kokoschka.

Artists' photos at the opening by Hannu-Pekka Auraneva

Old masters and conveyors

Past Life

Printmaking skills developed in Europe when paper production became more common in the 1300’s. In the 1600 and 1700’s printmaking played an important role in the popularisation of the different art fields, when painting and sculptures were copied in prints. It was only near the end of the 1700’s that any particular attention was paid to the printmaker’s own style.

The craft of printmaking was performed by tradesmen, engravers and artists who travelled between different countries. The most outstanding centres were based in Germany, France, England, Holland and Italy. At the beginning of the 1500’s the studio of painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was made into the leading engraving studio in Nuremberg. It was his prints in particular that made Dürer’s art widely renown.

French artist Jacques Callot (1592–1635) studied engraving, mathematics, perspective, ar-chitecture, cartography and war theory in Rome. The subject matter of his work is religious but he also depicted events of his era.

Portrait engravings have always been a popular selling product but religious and morally noble subjects have also been of great interest. The Flemish born Anton van Dyckin (1599–1641) lived and worked in England and his portrait series have been used as a popular model guide for painters for hundreds of years.

Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669) made historical, mythological and biblical interpretations along with printed portraits and many self-portraits. He is well-known for the use of chiaroscuro, which means strong contrasts between light and shadow. On the lleft: Selfportrait in a Cap and Scarf with the Face Dark, 1633, etching, 13,5 x 10,5 cm, plate. Sinebrycoff Art Museum, Antell collections Collan collection. Photo National Gallery / Kirsi Hakola.

Italian printmaker, architect and archeologist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) is best known for his prints depicting views and monuments of Rome along with his prison interiors made in his signature style.

Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) is known for his educational and moralistic en-tertainment as well as his political and social plights and themes from influences in the artist’s own rugged life. Goya’s most reputed series of prints are the Disasters of War. It is the imagery which bares witness to the cruelty caused by Napoleon’s attack on Spain between 1808–1814. The series opposing war was finally published 35 years after the death of the artist. The series was reprinted in 1892. On the left: The Same, from the Series Disasters of the War, posthumous edition 1892, etching, 16,7 x 22 cm, plate. Sinebrycoff Art Museum collection. Photo Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen.

Japanese woodcuts (ukiyo-e) inspired Europeans right from the opening of Japan to the West in the 1860’s. The lack of perspective, the large planes of colour, strong colours and the particular cropping of the woodcuts were seductive to western artists.


This exhibition’s conveyors are the printmakers of the twentieth century who carry the theme through the river of time into the present. The artists are: James Ensor (1860–1949), Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), Pentti Lumikangas (1926–2005), Alain Jacquet (1939–2008), Matti Waskilampi (1940–2013), Marjatta Hanhijoki (b. 1948) and Tapani Mikkonen (1952–2014).