Leena Nio

Ars Fennica candidate 2014

Born 1982 in Helsinki, lives and works in Helsinki

In her paintings Leena Nio creates space layer by layer, covering over and revealing. She lays on and gouges out of her paintings both spatial and thematic depth. The unique, controlled technique that directs the working process generates an unpredictability. The relationships between surface and depth, exterior and interior become blurred. They lose their hierarchical status as the gaze weaves surfaces into spaces. As the gaze sinks in between the layers of paint, the familiar pictorial coordinates and realism cease to apply. The picture space comes alive, opens up towards us and away from us, both material and illusory.

In the paintings nature is simultaneously situated in the fence and behind it, in the shadows and in the window frames. And again, in the close-ups of the human figures the curls of hair become intertwined with images from the mental world that they conceal. Elsewhere, darning closes up the concealing knitted surfaces and meshes, and yet, at the same time, softens the systematic methodicality and the abruptness of the picture space that it creates. Nio’s paintings open up escape routes out of the picture frame – for the birds trapped in the paintings’ surfaces, for the gaze behind the headscarf, for the dimensions hidden inside the back of the head.

Taru Elfving


Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, department of paintint, Master of Visual Arts

Hyvinkää Art School


Casual Orders, ANNAELLEGALLERY, Stockholm

Mindscapes, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki
Forum Box, Helsinki

Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki

Galleria Huuto, Helsinki

Gallery of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki


Kesken kaiken, Kuva/Tila, Helsinki
Helmiä – Sara Hildén Foundation Collection, Sara Hildèn Art Museum, Tampere
Summer Show, Annaelle Gallery, Stockholm
Events in Nature, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Christmas Show, ANNAELLEGALLERY, Stockholm

Spatial Places, Kuparipaja Fiskars
Kesä – Sommar – Summer, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki

The 10th Anniversary exhibition of Hyvinkää Art School, Promenadigalleria, Hyvinkää

The Degree Show of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
Galleria Oksasenkatu 11, Helsinki, together with Rautiainen and Toikka

Mobility Re-Reading the Future, Kaiku Galleria, Helsinki
Mobility Re-Reading the Future, International Triennial of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague
Valvoja, Alkovi Galleria, Helsinki, in connection with Kiasmassa exhibition Fluid Street, together with Rautiainen and Toikka

Valvoja, Lasiboxi, Helsinki, together with Rautiainen and Toikka

Galleria Välivuosi, Helsinki, together with Rautiainen and Toikka

Helsinki City Art Museum
State art collection
Wihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi Art Museum
Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
Saastamoinen Foundation, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Finnish Academy of Fine Arts


Ducat prize, Finnish Art Association

Finnish Painters Union

Abstraktionens seger, Leif Mattsson, Omkonst 2013
Leena Nio – Casual orders, ANNAELLEGALLERY 2013
Smeksam storm av färg, Camilla Granbacka, Hufvudstadsbladet 4.9.2012
Maalarit tutkivat maalin ominaisuutta, Harri Mäcklin, Helsingin Sanomat 29.8.2012
Leena Nio – Mindscapes, Galerie Forsblom 2012, article: Taru Elfving
Ikuisten aiheiden äärellä, Timo Valjakka, Helsingin Sanomat 7.4. 2012
Mobility – Re-reading of the Future, Prague Triennial 2008
Notkea katu, Fluid Street, Kiasma 2008
Katsoa, nähdä maisema, Silvia Hosseini, Mustekala.info 2008
Muotoutuva maalaus, konteksteja ja kohtaamisia, Taru Elfving, editor Pilvi Kalhama 2006