It’s in the Air
© Kuvasto 2016. Photo: © Bank of Finland
Flowers wafting in the wind, leaves and sun-dried stalks seem to appear from the rapid brushstrokes of Tiina Kivinen’s (b. 1971) work. However, its appearance is deceptive, as this is not created by painting but instead is a monotype graphic impression.
“It’s in the Air” has first been painted on a large steel plate, using a palette knife to apply and arrange the colours. This is a demanding technique as it only allows one impression to be made. There is no room for error as mistakes cannot be rectified other than by painting or drawing on the final paper that is the end product itself. Tiina Kivinen’s monotypes have further narrowed the gap between painting and printmaking. The importance is not only in her fine use of colour and her works’ size, but also in the splendour of their movements and gestures.
“It’s in the Air” could easily be an abstract work, whose name has been thought up only after the work has been made. However, the artist has said that the idea has a very concrete history to it. She has watched some flowers in her garden that were suffering from a lack of water, whose stalks hung from below the pots onto the ground and realised they provided her with a new subject for her work. Observations from nature are otherwise an important part of Kivinen’s prints.
Originally, Kivinen was supposed to become a dancer. However, her changing direction in her career path did not diminish her interest in dance. In one of her most impressive series, Kivinen has created works depicting legs, dancers, little girls, grown women. These works have been made using the demanding but fine mezzotinto technique. This approach provides the artist with the chance to give inked areas of the artwork velvety light and dark tones, appearing to give them a glowing black light. It was through using this printing technique that Kivinen made her breakthrough in the early 2000s.
In the last few years Kivinen’s prints have conquered the world. She is one of Finland’s most demanded artists, internationally. In 2012 Kivinen received the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award, named for Queen Sonja of Norway, for her prints. This is a highly prestigious recognition of her art and Kivinen was the first recipient of the award from the newly-established foundation.