Kimmo Schroderus

Ars Fennica 2004

Born 1970 in Jyväskylä, lives in Helsinki.

Kimmo Schroderus is a sculptor, whose arsenal of tools is as extensive as it is possible to be: ranging from a sewing machine to welding equipment. Already at the beginning of the 1990s, he displayed a faith in the power of the men’s movement and exposed himself to criticism when he entered into feminist discourse with boyish pranks. He first made a name for himself with his soft-toy-like artist’s books and objects rooted in Pop Art. He was also in a performance group, together with Markus Copper, Klaus Martikainen and Kirsi Peltomäki. After the objects, he showed a portrait gallery sewn out of leather. The works took up the identity politics that was very much to the fore at the time: definitions of social and gender sexuality, and themes of seduction, control and subjugation. Also included were mirror-like works that made use of photography. The influences for the subsequent steel and leather sculptures appeared to come from s/m, gothic and leather culture. The works were over-eroticised to the point of comic-book-like exaggeration. Their subject matters emerged in furniture-shaped sculptures. At the end of the 1990s, wood found a place as one of his materials and, at the same time, the works’ blatant aggressiveness also appeared to soften.

In his sculptures Schroderus has gone through metamorphoses both on the level of expression and of contentual nuance. The organicness and exaggeration of the latest works, welded out of metal, which came about at the turn of the millennium, can be seen as being influenced by the solemnity and pathos of the baroque or of mannerism. At the same time, the form language of Schroderus’ sculptures is totally up to the minute. References bubble up from art movements that have sought a new era, such as the machine aesthetic of futurism, cyborg figures or the shapes of Frank Gehry’s architecture. The sculpture Mitä Helvettiä(What the Hell, 2002-03) is like a Bernini-esque angel’s wing shaped out of an iron rod. It is as though Metallica were to play barock! From summer 2005 Schroderus’ large, several-tonne public sculpture, which carries on the same contemporary baroque tradition, will stand in Helsinki’s Tallinnanaukio Square. The undulating steel mass gets a cooling element in the water flowing over it. In 2003, Schroderus was curator of the Mänttä Art Festival, which was on the theme of Sculpture.

Leevi Haapala

Hämeenlinna Art Museum 28.8.-3.10.2004
Kouvola Art Museum 8.10.-7.11.2004
Joensuu Art Museum 18.11-2004-9.1.2005

Born 1970 in Jyväskylä, Finland.
Lives and works in Helsinki.


1989-90 Orivesi Art School, Finland
1991-95 Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Department of media arts, B.F.A. degree
1995-96 College of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Sculpture department
1996-98 Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, M.F.A. degree

Solo Exhibitions

Ars Fennica exhibition tour: Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Kouvola Art Museum and Joensuu Art Museum
Galleri 21, Malmö, Sweden

Gallery Artina, Helsinki

Gallery Skuggi, with Charlotta Mickelsson, Reykjavik

Gallery 3,14, Bergen, Norway
M.K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania

Gallery Sculptor, Helsinki
Finland institut, Stockholm
Gallery Becker, Jyväskylä, Finland

Finland Institute in Germany, Berlin, with Markus Copper

Borey Art Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia

Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki Festival/Art goes Kapakka, Restaurant Kaapeli, Helsinki
Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland
Porvoo Art Hall, Finland
Turku Art Museum, The Gallery, Turku, Finland
Final examination exhibition, Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
Fabriken Gallery, with Pia Lindman, Gothenburg, Sweden
Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki,
Art Center Mältinranta, with Riikka Puronen, Tampere, Finland
Gallery Wivi, Jyväskylä, Finland

Group Exhibitions

Rauma Art Museum, Rauma, Finland
Purnu Art Center, Orivesi
Myllyranta Art Center, Mänttä

Palazzo Ducale, Genova, Italy
Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Helsinki
High point, Hämeenlinna Art Museum, with Jukka Lehtinen and Tapani Kokko
High point, Taidepanimo, with Jukka Lehtinen and Tapani Kokko, Lahti, Finland
Art Center Purnu, Orivesi, Finland
Housing Fair in Laukaa, Finland
High point, Oulu Art Museum, with Jukka Lehtinen and Tapani Kokko, Finland

Åland Art Museum, with Charlotta Mickelsson and Mikael Goralski, Finland

World Trade Center, Stockholm
Mänttä Art Festival, Mänttä, Finland
Young Exhibitors, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland
International Sculpture Quadrennial, Art Museum Arsenals, Riga, Latvia
Gallery Becker, Jyväskylä, Finland
Pirkanpohja Art Center, Ähtäri, Finland
Artists’ Association exhibition, Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland

Mänttä Art Festival, Finland

Young Exhibitors, Espoo, Finland
Gallery Harmaja, Oulu, Finland
White European Male, Nordic Arts centre, Helsinki
Maan kuva, Hanko, Finland
ArtGenda 96, Copenhagen, Denmark
Art Center Pyrri, Savonlinna, Finland
Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland

Artists’ Books – Bookartists, Kuopio Art Museum, Finland
Young Exhibitors, Kunsthalle Helsinki

Other Activities

2003 Curator of the VIII Mänttä Art Festival, Sculpting
1994 Rockvideo: “Sweetheart: Life among cannibals”
1991-1993 Performances in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Finland

Prizes 2004 Ars Fennica
2003 Jyväskylä University Sculpture competition, State Art Council, I prize
1997Mänttä Art Festival, Finland


Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Helsinki
Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland
Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland
Oulu Art Museum, Finland
Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland
Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki, Finland
World of Design Magazine, St. Petersburg, Russia

Lorena de Corrallin lausunto

Kimmo Schroderus displays a great analytical faculty and a capacity for change. After realising works on canvas, on mirrors, in leather and in wood, he has recently been applying metal techniques to sculpture, while at the same time alluding to two very different formal referents: forms taken from architecture and forms taken from the hand-crafted object, as well as from nature and construction, from movement and equilibrium. The ranges of forms that he is working on at the moment span an interest in representation and a certain intimation of landscape. Out of steel, he constructs pieces that go beyond the limits of the traditional space of sculpture (the three-dimensional), so as to deal simultaneously with open space and closed space, with the interior and the exterior. In his constructions he ‘represents’ sculptural landscapes. This is a very personal process, which explores organic shapes in a quest for a new interpretation of sculpture.

Many of his works have an optical effect, a way of working on the material and the masses in which the boundaries are a consequence of his choices of plastic form. His sculptures are always compositions that are filled with movement, from which he eliminates the specific gravity of the materials, producing a tension, an alternation between what we see and what is concealed: surfaces, outlines, fusions, separations, opaque, dense, shiny modulations, which constitute his sculptures.

There was another striking aspect to the work made by Schroderus, who I consider a ‘very Finnish’ artist. I am referring here to his incorporation, either through choice or need, of handicraft techniques that are on the verge of disappearing: the respect for wood, the flawless welding, the prominence of metal, cloth and leather. In his sculptures he is extremely interested in accentuating the process of fabrication and the materials used. Meanwhile, the obsessively laborious method of shaping and combining thin steel rods, clamps, nuts, bolts, seams, smooth, wavy edges, flat, resilient surfaces mean that the spectator’s gaze takes pleasure in all this and is incapable of moving on from the work. His creative process is fascinating, for instance, in his sketches, his books and his welding, in the material creation of the pieces and in the difficult polishing phase, which adds a new dimension to his creation.

And the final outcome is magnificent, since it is both metaphorical and literal. Kimmo clearly displays an interest in the link between the perception and the idea, between the anecdotal and the extraordinary, between the baroque and the modern, and between ordinary language and new means of representation. His shapes, unmistakably innovative in their figuration, are not mere transcriptions of things that already exist, but are invitations to other worlds of seduction, somewhere between poetics and irony, but always with a cogent beauty.


The articles have been written by art critic Hannu Castrén and Lorena de Corral.

120 pages
Richly illustrated
Size: a4
Languages: Finnish and English
Editor: Kirsti Karvonen
Graphic design: Wici Wixstorm
ISBN 962-471-451-5
Price: 29 euro

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