The Abstract! exhibition celebrates the hundred-year history of photographic abstraction. The exhibition will present a large number of Finnish artists from different periods, and the famous international early abstractionists László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, and August Strindberg.
Abstraction, which is popular in today's photographic art, met with strong opposition, especially among photographers, when it was first introduced in the early 20th century – and has done so at regular intervals ever since. It was considered to be pointless and to go against the nature of photography as a medium for recording and representing reality.
Abstraction has also been ignored in Finnish research on photography, even though it has an essential role in the history of the medium. For this reason, the exhibition highlights a number of unsung Finnish photographers, thus proving that the history of Finnish photographic art has more facets than has previously been thought.
The exhibition will feature works by, for example, Vilho Setälä, Erik Blomberg, Eino Mäkinen, Otso Pietinen, a group of photographic artists called Fotograafikot, and contemporary photographers including Marko Vuokola, Timo Kelaranta, Niko Luoma, Ea Vasko and Nanna Hänninen.
The curator of the exhibition is photographer Laura Nissinen, who is writing her dissertation for Aalto University on the subject "Abstraction in Finnish Art Photography".
The exhibition includes photographs from the following artists: Joonas Ahlava, Erik Blomberg, Allan Grönvall, Lars von Haartman, Fredrick Hackman, Tron Hedström, Nanna Hänninen, Heini Hölttä, P. O. Jansson, Appu Jasu, Martti Jämsä, Tuukka Kaila, Keijo Kansonen, Hannu Karjalainen, Pertti Kekarainen, Timo Kelaranta, Renja Leino, Kira Leskinen, Noomi Ljungdell, Niko Luoma, Sami Luukanen, Annikki Luukela, Jaana Maijala, Man Ray, Timo Marila, László Moholy-Nagy, Eino Mäkinen, Pekka Niittyvirta, Ulla Paakkunainen, Heikki Paaer, Otso Pietinen, Reijo Porkka, Juhani Riekkola, Noora Sandgren, Mikko Sinervo, Vilho Setälä, August Strindberg, Riitta Säkö, Matti Uusi-Honko, Ea Vasko, Aimo Vuokola, Marko Vuokola, W. W. Wilkman, Ari Yrjänä.