(f. 1971)

Tiina Kivinen

Tiina Kivinen er utdannet ved North Karelia College of Art med hovedfag i grafikk. I 2012 ble Kivinen utnevnt til den første vinner av Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award, en pris opprettet for å fremme arbeider på papir i Norden. Hun bor i Finland og arbeider som grafiker.

Tiina Kivinen - av Veikko Halmetoja

Instinct and emotion

A small gesture in a landscape, weakness of a human, or a strong presence of an animal are things that are difficult to illustrate. They are states of mind, momentary perceptions. As topics of visual arts they become concrete. At the same time they tend to lose their original, intuitive sensitivity. A landscape turns into a still, colored surface; a human being becomes a person and an animal turns into a symbol.
Printmaker Tiina Kivinen has taken on the challenge. She concentrates on intuition. She reaches for the original frame, where sensitivity can be seen. Her work is about boundaries which are not easy to observe in real life – because stopping time is impossible. Kivinen slows time down for us. She shows us images that offer a prolonged presence. From tiny premonitions arise thoughts and a restless motion appears to be coherent.

Kivinen offers us the possibility to see but at the same time she also forces us to take a closer look. She does not disregard the smallest things in life. Although the smallest might be left unseen in everyday life, Kivinen makes them visible in her works. The most vulnerable and trampled are defended by Kivinen. Nevertheless, Kivinen does not preach, she shows empathy. She relies on the empathy of the viewer and works subtly, just like Asian lyricists. Her work can be compared to Japanese Tanka and Haiku poems. A light, breathing rhythm and the endless layers of contents and aesthetic colors emphasize the lyricism of her works.

Representation is a wavering notion for Kivinen. At times there are recognizable elements in the picture. In most cases, it is the viewer’s own need to find the reason for the picture, the storyline that the picture entails. This need is deeply humane. The feeling of closeness when recognizing the motif makes the viewing experience pleasant, reflecting the viewer’s own memories and experiences. The strictest representatives of abstract art wanted to eliminate the possibility of recognizing the motifs. Kivinen’s aim is quite the opposite. She tunes the viewer into a sensitive mood. She creates images that are easy to grasp. The viewer is, however, on a narrow field: without concentration the motif is not easily understood. Kivinen plays with the viewer’s need of recognizing the topic and at times she dares to make recognition almost impossible. The viewer’s need to recognize the motif has to be deep enough so that the work is not merely considered as an abstract composition.

Kivinen’s work is easy to view as a series because of the interesting interaction of abstract and figurative. Recognizing the topic in one piece encourages the viewer to find the topic in another piece as well. This is why her body of work is not seen in the same way as a group of mere abstract compositions.

Kivinen works with intaglio. It is often considered to be technical, heavy work lacking in direct processing of the motif. This is not true. Intaglio printmaking is very similar to drawing. Working on the image is possible also in the printing stage. Kivinen uses etching very seldom. She works mainly with drypoint, mezzotint and monotype techniques. With these techniques it is possible to print only small editions. A large number of Kivinen’s prints are unique. Working on the image in the printing stage demands the presence of the artist, and that is the reason why only few of Kivinen’s prints are printed by a professional fine art printer.

Kivinen concentrates on the most essential things. She prefers large surfaces but she has the ability to express herself in smaller surroundings as well. A square is one of her favorite forms. It is not obvious which way the print is finally displayed. She expresses herself in an aphoristic way. A condensed message is often interestingly elliptical. Though being elliptic does not mean losing the meanings of the print. The meanings have a lyrical form, emphasizing the aesthetic features of the print. Kivinen is a storyteller. The titles of her prints are contemporary and typical for everyday language use. The titles offer the viewer one possible way to interpret her works. Kivinen expresses herself with lines and colors. The colors she uses are not loud - they are sheer and toned. There are bright greens and warm reds bringing light onto the surface. The most important color is black. The velvety black is created with mezzotint technique. The surface of the copper is broken into even holes that are filled with the hand rubbed ink. The ink transfers into the grains of the heavy printing paper. By polishing the broken surface of the copper, the black ink gets new shades and light.

In intaglio printmaking the colour black has a strong status. In Kivinen’s work it raises up to a topic. At the same time it links the works to the traditional printmaking in a fine, respective way. Kivinen composes with the deep, velvety black and makes the picture rest on the surface. The black is completely empty and brimful at the same time. It is rarely dismal. It is breathing, wide, and leaves room for the viewer’s interpretation. When taking a closer look at the black, it can be seen that it is by no means pure. The black that Kivinen uses is strongly toned. Sometimes it is warm, sometimes cold, but never insignificant. The shades of black appear in ways that are unnoticeable in a direct viewing experience. The difference would be noticeable if the same work would be printed with pure black. The black presented in different shades and tones is not agonizing. It is the color of dusk, the horizon and the color of a campfire burned out. It does not compete with the whites: it wraps them alternately inside and around it. The other colors play minor roles in the play where black and white take the lead.

The line drawn by Kivinen lives a transitional stage. It has more nuances and it has made the works more drawing-like. A fragile line creates veil-like images that make the deep black surfaces even more noticeable. In her newest prints the line is like hair. The mark strongly scratched on the copper has a new companion: a fine line, lightly carved. Kivinen’s technique is drypoint. The line is carved directly on the copper plate. The technique is laborious and demanding, but it enables direct working on the image, so that the act of drawing is being emphasized and reflected to the print. As an abstract, Kivinen’s prints can be defined as drawings. They are stages for simple, humane observations. The black surface and the network of lines form an abstract composition or a recognizable object, depending on the context.

The epic intensity of her work is parallel with the ultimately tuned visual delight. Kivinen presents this in a very skillful way. The strong presence of the artist is transmitted from her work. It is lifelike and constantly open for new interpretations.


Tiina Kivinen - utstillinger og samlinger

Tiina Kivinen har hatt solo-utstillinger i Finland, Tyskland, Estland og Spania, og har i tillegg til dette deltatt på gruppe-utstillinger i Kina, Sør-Korea, Japan, Russland, Tyskland, Italia, Estland, Polen og Sverige. Hun er representert ved en rekke samlinger, blant annet Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museo, den Finske Stat, det Finske Parlament, og de Kunstmuseet i Helsinki -, Tampere-, Oulu-, Jyväskylä- og Kouvola.

Vi gjør vårt ytterste for å gjengi bildene mest mulig korrekt, men gjør oppmerksom på at enkelte bilder kan variere noe i farger fra skjerm til skjerm. Vi tar forbehold om mulige skrivefeil og utsolgte bilder.


1989 Helsinki High School of Arts, Torkkeli, Finland.
1990 Kuusamo Peoples College – Study line of printmaking and Graphic Art, Finland.
1994 North Karelia College of Arts, Major in Printmaking and Graphic Art, Finland.


Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
The British Museum, London, England
Serlachius Museums, Mänttä, Finland
National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku, Finland
H.M. Queen Sonja Art Collection, Norway
Graphiksammlung Kunsthaus Grenchen, Switzerland
The Goverment of Finland
Helsinki/Tampere/Oulu/Jyväskylä /Kouvola Art Museum, Finland 


Solo Exhibitions

2019 Kunstverket Galleri, Oslo.
2017 ARTag Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.
2017 Galerie Arktika, Germany.
2016 Dalslands konstmuseum, Sweden.
2013 Kunstverket Galleri, Norway.
2013 Galleri harmaja, Oulu, Finland.
2012 Bronda Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.
2011 Gallery Himmelblau, Tampere, Finland.
2011 Galerie Arktika, Marktoberdorf, Germany.
2010 Finnish Institute in Estonia, Tallinn.
2009 WeeGee, Aarni gallery, Espoo, Finland.
2009 Gallery Harmaja, Oulu, Finland.
2008 La Galeria, Barcelona, Spain.
2006 Bronda Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.
2005 The Art Museum of Kouvola, Finland.

International Exhibitions (group)

2016 The London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Arts, England.
2016 Laine & Kivinen, Kunstverket Galleri, Oslo, Norway.
2015 Scandinavia House, New York.
2015 The London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Arts, England.
2014 Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, Sweeden.
2014 Norwegian Printmakers Gallery, The nominees of Queen Sonja Print Award.
2014 Kunstverket Galleri, Oslo, Norway.
2013 FIG Bilbao, Spain
2013 London Original Print Fair.
2013 Art Karlsruhe, Germany.
2012 Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam, Holland.
2012 BLEKEN, BJERTNÆS, OPDAHL, STANA, NUPEN, KIVINEN, Haugesund Billedgalleri, Norway.
2012 Foure Graphic Stories, Kunstverket Galleri, Oslo, Norway.
2012 Art Karlsruhe, Germany.
2011 BERLINER LISTE fair for contemporary art and photography, Berlin, Germany.
2011 3rd Guanlan International Print Biennial, China.
2011 X International Biennial of Engraving Acqui Prize, Italia.
2009 The 15th SPACE International Print Biennial, Seoul, Korea.
2008 IX Biennal of Graphic Art of the Baltic States "Kaliningrad-Koeningsberg".
2007 Aomori International Print Triennal, Japan.
2004 BIN-2004, 2nd Independ International Biennal of Graphic, St.Petersburg, Russia.
2002 Grafinnova 02, International Graphic Art Exhibition, The Art Museum of Vaasa.
2001 International Print Triennal of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2000 International Print Triennal Cracow, 3rd International Print Triennal, Poland.

Group Exhibitions

2018 XXIII Mänttä Art Festival, Finland.
2016 FAA Finlayson Art Area, Tampere, Finland.
2015 Art Centre Salmela, Mäntyharju, Finland.
2014 Purnu, Orivesi, Finland.
2014 Joensuu Art Museum, Tiina Kivinen & Arto Väisänen, Finland.
2012 Art Centre Salmela, Artist of the summer, Mäntyharju, Finland.
2010 Helsinki Contemporary Art Fair.
2010 The Retretti Art Centre Summer Exhibitions, Punkaharju, Finland.
2010 Argos Art, Stockmann, Helsinki.
2005 The 110th Finnish Artists` Exhibition, The Kunsthalle Helsinki.
2005 Graphica Creativa`s 30th Anniversary Exhibition, The Art Museum of Jyväskylä.


The Association of Finnish Printmakers.
Visual Artists Association of Espoo.
2016, -17 Board, The Fine Art Academy of Finland.


2018 FfGK Föreningen för Grafisk konst, Portföljer, Sweden.
2016 Public Display Grant for Visual Artists, The Arts Council of Finland.
2017 Artica Svalbard residency, Norway.
2013 The Finnish Cultural Foundation's 3 - year Grant.
2012 The Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award.
2005 Public Display Grant for Visual Artists, The Arts Council of Finland.
2006 The Finnish Cultural Foundation's annual Grant.
2010 Public Display Grant for Visual Artists, The Arts Council of Finland.


1996-1997 Visiting Graphic Arts Teacher, Espoo People's College.
1996-1997 Visiting Graphic Arts Teacher, Vantaa Institute of Adult Education.
1997 Children's Arts Instructor, Taidetalo Toteemi, The City of Vantaa.
2000 Course Teacher of Graphic Arts, Art School of Northern Helsinki.

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