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First Finnish exhibition in the Tretyakov Gallery - Ruukki main sponsor of "Variatio arctica sculptura" by Kari Huhtamo


Kari Huhtamo has, as the first Finnish artist, been invited to hold an exhibition in the national gallery highly respected by Russians. This exhibition, which is sponsored by Ruukki, features the sculptor’s works and graphic prints over a period of nearly 30 years.

The sculptor, Kari Huhtamo, is known for his distinctive, freely expressive style. The motifs in his works often refer to nature. The principal material in his sculptures is steel.

“We have earlier experience of co-operation with Kari Huhtamo, and therefore the sponsorship of this exhibition was only a natural continuation. Ruukki has a strong presence in Russia, and the country is an important, growing market for us. We are proud to be able to support a Finnish artist in Russia”, says Taina Kyllönen, SVP, Marketing, Ruukki.

Steel is a versatile material with a homogeneous surface which can be moulded to suit designs of different sizes. The majority of the pieces to be displayed in the exhibition are made of steel. “An invitation to the Tretyakov Gallery as the first Finnish artist is a major honour. It shows that there is interest in Finnish modern art within Russian expert circles”, says artist Kari Huhtamo.

The exhibition, which is called Variatio arctica sculptura, will be open in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow from 3 September to 4 October 2009. The patron of the exhibition is the President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen. Ruukki is the main sponsor. Other supporters are the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Alfred Kordelin Foundation, the National Council for Visual Arts, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland, the companies Sanoma Magazines B.V. and Finntemet Oy and Frame.

Rautaruukki supplies metal-based components, systems and integrated systems to the construction and engineering industries. The company has a wide selection of metal products and services. Rautaruukki has operations in 26 countries and employs 13,000 people. Net sales in 2008 totalled EUR 3.9 billion. The company’s share is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (Rautaruukki Oyj: RTRKS). The Corporation uses the marketing name Ruukki.

Kari Huhtamo, Sculptor

Kari Huhtamo, D.A. h.c., was born in Rovaniemi, Northern Finland, on 11 January 1943. He studied at the School of Industrial Art from 1961 to 1963 and at the School of the Art Academy of Finland in Helsinki from 1963 to 1964.

In addition to sculptures, medals and portraits, Huhtamo’s production encompasses lithographs, serigraphs and textile works.

The artist’s works have been displayed in dozens of exhibitions both in Finland and abroad, and he has achieved success in numerous sculpture competitions.

Huhtamo has created more than 50 public works of art, including multi-element installations and facade and indoor wall reliefs. His most well-known sculptures are Polskis (Splash) in Oulu (1976), Monument to the Reconstruction of Lapland in Rovaniemi (1977), Sulavesi in the Jyväskylä University (2000) and Aaria in the Congress Centre Mikaeli in Mikkeli (2002).

Huhtamo was granted the Finnish State Award of Visual Arts both in 1969 and 1973. In 2004 the artist was granted the title Doctor Honoris Causa in Fine Arts by the University of Lapland, and in 2007 he was appointed an Honorary Member of the Association of Finnish Sculptors.


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