The autumn 2011 exhibition, Anitra Lucander – Poet of Colour, forms part of EMMA’s classic series presenting foremost representatives of Finnish Modernism. Anitra Lucander (1918-2000) became known as one of the post-war reformers of Finnish art and a pioneer of abstract art. During the 1950s, through Cubism and collage technique, she developed lyrical abstract expressionism based on individual and rich shades of colour. As a woman artist Anitra Lucander was an exception in the then highly masculine Finnish art world.
A woman at the hub of Modernism
Lucander studied at the Free School of Art in Helsinki at the turn of the 1940s. From her first exhibition at the beginning of the 1950s Lucander was at the vanguard of Finland’s new, Paris-oriented modern art. She was an innovator of international post-war art who dared to challenge the established concepts of art.
In a career spanning more than 30 years Lucander’s interests followed a versatile path through the various fields of art. But it was colour that remained the cornerstone and foundation of her art. EMMA’s extensive retrospective exhibition, comprising more than 100 works, presents Anitra Lucander’s paintings, collages, fabric applications, murals, etchings and drawings. Through the artist’s work the exhibition also follows her travels to the Near East and India which had a significant influence on her art and, more specifically, on her colour world. For the intrepid and uninhibited Lucander travel was virtually a way of life.
The Anitra Lucander – Poet of Colour exhibition is particularly suited to EMMA since the artist has many connections with Tapiola and with the WeeGee building. Lucander lived in Tapiola in 1955-1960, then the only woman artist to do so. Her Nallenpolku atelier was her first proper studio and most of her major paintings and collages from the 1950s were created there. The artist also had close links with Hagalund Manor. Colour design connects Lucander to the architect Arno Ruusuvuori, the designer of the WeeGee building. Lucander acted as Ruusuvuori’s colour consultant as well as colour consultant for the building.
The exhibition curator is the art historian Sanna Teittinen, the subject of whose doctorate was the art of Anitra Lucander.