Aarne Jämsä

Ars Fennica candidate 2005

born 1956 in Jokioinen, lives in Orivesi

Aarne Jämsä takes a wild, uninhibited approach to art. He has used stone, wood, plaster, a wide variety of materials, but his attitude to the material is uniquely irreverent. Alongside plastic there is elk fur, alongside traditional beech there is aluminium. He has overturned the ageless axioms of sculpture. He has played fast and loose with colour, embellished, played tricks. He has taken a shoe as the theme for a public sculpture and called the work Granite, this having been cast out of glass fibre and ornamented with shards from a broken mirror.

Jämsä’s fantastic works verge on surrealism and Pop art. He has created his own amazing object world, his own zany logic. The sculptures writhe along the floor in an unbelievably complicated web, they wriggle, they are capricious, they are the rootstock of the unconscious, tracks of thought that meander up and down, strange rides in some funfair of the mind.

There is, nevertheless, also another, different Jämsä, a man who respects the artistic order and symmetry of Egypt. Human figures that spring up out of Egypt look inwards and dream everlasting dreams. These sculptures can be static, they can exude authority, yet despite everything, they embody Jämsä’s incomparably joyous masculinity: his delight.

Born: Jokioinen, 9.8.1956
Lives and works in Orivesi

Art studies

Orivesi Folk High School, visual art 1972-73
School of the Fine Arts Academy of Finland 1977-1981

Solo exhibitions

Vantaa Art Museum 2004
Galleria Artina, Helsinki 2002
Galleria Artina, Helsinki 1999
Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki 1997
Galleria Artina, Helsinki 1996
Galleria Titanik, Turku 1994
Galleria Artina, Helsinki 1993
Pinacotheca, Jyväskylä 1992
Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki 1991
Vapauden aukio, Helsinki 1990
Galleria Katariina, Helsinki 1989
Galerie Pelin, Helsinki 1986
Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki 1984
Mältinranta Artcenter, Tampere 1984
Mänttä Art Festival 1993

Invited and group exhibitions in Finland

Mänttä Art Festival 2003
Popcorn and politics, Kiasma, Helsinki 2002
Ruskeaa sokeria (brown sugar), Kuopio Art Museum 2001
Nordic Postmodernism, Kiasma, Helsinki 2000
Purnu, Orivesi 1998
Suhteita (relationships/proportions), Myyrmäkitalo, Vantaa 1998
Mänttä Art Festival 1997
SCULPTOR95, Jetty Barracks Gallery, Helsinki 1995
Tampere Artists’ Association anniversary exhibition, Tampere Hall 1995
Hetki ilmassa, Petri Hytönen and Aarne Jämsä, Ars Libera, Kuopio 1995
Myötätuuleen, Hanko 1995
Sijoituksia – Ehdotuksia, Lönnström Art Museum, Rauma 1994
Myötätuuleen, Hanko 1994
Unelmien koteja, Kerava Art Museum 1994
Views and Visions, Tampere Art Museum 1993
12 tilaa, Kerava Art Museum 1992
Seisova pöytä, Tampere Art Museum 1991
Jämsä, Haarla, Kiljunen, Pesonen – Kunsthalle Helsinki 1991
Jämsä, Kivinen, Siukkonen – Mikkeli Art Museum 1989
Artists’ Association of Finland annual exhibition 1988, -84, -81, -80
Young Artists’ Exhibition 1988, -82, -80, -78
Nikamat, Kunsthalle Helsinki 1987
Väri ja veistos (colour and sculpture), Mikkeli Art Museum 1986
Concrete, Helsinki Festival 1986
Kiviveistoksia (stone sculptures) touring exhibition 1985-86
Painavat veistäjät, Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki 1985
SCULPTOR 85, Kunsthalle Helsinki 1985
State Art exhibition, Lappeenranta 1984; Pori 1981
Nykyveistäjiä (contemporary sculptors), Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki 1983
Näyttely 82 (exhibition 82), Kunsthalle Helsinki 1982
Union of Finnish Art Associations annual exhibition 1978

International exhibitions

Aluminium Symposium, Workshop Höyanger, Norway 1995
Views and Visions, Newcastle, UK 1993
Tuft, stone project Seljord, Norway 1990
Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Aberdeen, UK 1986
Budapest International Miniature Sculpture Exhibition 1984

Exhibitions of Finnish art abroad

Czech Republic 1999
Gothenburg, Sweden 1998
Cuba 1988
Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague 1987
Baltic Biennial, Rostock, Germany 1987

Public works

City of Helsinki:
Toivola School 1996
Poikkilaakso school and daycare centre 2001
Theatre Academy 2001
City of Tampere: Kämmenniemi 2001
City of Vantaa: Myyrmäki sports hall 2002

Works in collections

City of Helsinki
Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma
Finnish State
Oulu Art Museum
City of Tampere
City of Vantaa
Wihuri Collection


Association of Finnish Sculptors
Tampere Artists’ Association