Marika Mäkelä

Marika Mäkelä (b. 1947) is one of the foremost Finnish painters of her generation. Primary characteristic of her richly colourful, multilayered oil and acrylic paintings are their sensuality and decorativeness. She paints a humanity that is mirrored in nature, but equally frequently the work can spring from a feeling of perfect happiness, or even from a difficult stage in life. The retrospective exhibition in the Sara Hildén Art Museum presented her works from the late 1970s to 2014.

Ornament plays a principal role in Marika Mäkelä’s art. Her painting is mostly abstract. The figurative elements in her works involve ornaments, cultural symbols and human-like figures. Impressions of nature and the representation of light have always been important to her. Her works display a tangible sense of material achieved by thick layers of paint and carved wooden surfaces.

Marika Mäkelä was awarded the Finnish State Prize for visual arts in 1974 and 1984. She was shortlisted for the Ars Fennica Award in 1992. In 1994 The Finnish Cultural Foundation awarded her a prize for outstanding cultural achievements, and in 2006 she received the Pro Finlandia Medal.

Mäkelä was shortlisted for the Carnegie Art Award 2014 with three works: Eastern Flowers, Tibetan Bridal Saddle and Three Times Warm.