Jukka Mäkelä

Jukka Mäkelä

The retrospective exhibition offers a presentation of Jukka Mäkelä’s work from the 1970s on.

Jukka Mäkelä (1949–2018) was one of the most important artists of his generation and among the most prominent figures in the Finnish art world of his time. Mäkelä is known above all for his large-scale and highly expressive acrylic paintings and his bold use of materials.

Jukka Mäkelä’s works were frequently inspired by the elements of nature in Finland: water, snow, rock, the refraction of light and the seasonal changes, as well as other everyday observations of the environment. During his career of nearly fifty years, Mäkelä continually reinvented his mode of expression, and his oeuvre ranges from monumental expressionist depictions of nature to the delicate tones and rhythms in his lyrical representations of natural subjects based on the tradition of constructivism.

Throughout his career, the mainsprings of Jukka Mäkelä’s work were the development of a subject and its metamorphosis and experimentation with materials and technical innovations.

Mäkelä graduated from the Finnish Art Academy School in 1972, and in the same year he held his first solo exhibitions that attracted attention. His works were also soon exhibited abroad, and he represented Finland at the Venice Biennale in 1988. Mäkelä’s mid-career retrospective was held at Kiasma in 1999.The previous extensive solo exhibition of Mäkelä’s works were held at Kunsthalle Helsinki in 2015 and in the following year at Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa.

Jukka Mäkelä’s retrospective exhibition continues the Sara Hildén Art Museum’s series presenting works by artists in the collection of the Sara Hildén Foundation. As one of the series of the Sara Hildén Art Museum’s highly acclaimed publications, the exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue with articles by the art critic Timo Valjakka and the artist Ian McKeever. The texts will be in Finnish and English.