Serigraphy(In Finnish)


kuva torni
kuva lumisade

Pentti Koivikko

kuva Kesälintu Painter, drawing and graphic artist

Born in 1944 in Kurikka, Finland. Lives and works in Naantali, Finland.

Turku Art Society school 1965-1967

Artist for the newspaper Turun Sanomat 1973-1976

Exhibitions in Finland, Sweden, Spain, Japan, Holland, Russia and Germany.

Works in public collections:

  • The Art museums of Lahti and Rauma
  • The Nelimarkka museum
  • Yrjö A. Jäntti Art Foundation
  • Tervakoski Foundation
  • Paulo Foundation
  • The Bank of Finland
  • The Huhtamäki collections
  • Majvik collections
  • OKO, Nordea and Sampo banks head offices, Helsinki
  • Fortum
  • The municipal art collections of Turku, Naantali, Raisio, Kurikka, Parkano, Salo, Kaarina, Eura and Rymättylä
  • Collections of several organizations

There is a gentle land of smiles

kuva Saavutus The universe of Pentti Koivikko's pictures is a gentle land of smiles, but it is no operetta. It's people are real people, perhaps just a little happier than others. The painter, drawing and graphic artist, Pentti Koivikko, has had more than 50 individual exhibitions during a quarter of a century. Today, he has become increasingly renowned for his serigraphs, in addition to his oil paintings. The marks of his pen, brush and imagination can be readily recognized from a distance as those of Pentti Koivikko's, without even looking at the signature.

Functional silence

Although Pentti Koivikko's paintings and graphic prints are seemingly quiet and nostalgically static, there is almost always movement in his pictures.

The natural, active themes are playing, skiing, walking, hanging out clothes to try, gossiping and throwing snowballs, but there is also movement in the glitter of the eyes - and in the stars.

A twinkle is in fact typical of Koivikko's characters. It is what makes the subjects come alive.

Movement can be as small a thing as blushing, be the reason bitter cold or a shy emotion.

Yet, movement, or activity, is quite sparse in the works of Koivikko, although the artist himself underlines it in the titles of his paintings or graphics.

The action is mostly inconspicuous, unexaggerated in a Finnish way, "frostbitten". One of Koivikko's seasons is winter; other is summer.

Koivikko's people act either in the shadow of buildings or in the depth of landscapes. Depth means a deep perspective, which he employs skilfully.

kuva koti Koivikko's houses are always wooden - as is his own house, a home with a tower, in Naantali. For him, as for people in general, a wooden house represents a romantic past, but also humanity, a way of building and of living, fit to human size.

In the region where Pentti Koivikko was born, southern Ostrobotnia, in the old days country houses were build as handsome two-story manor houses, their interiors reflecting the surrounding, limitless vastness.

This style, which has Swedish origins, did not suggest snobbishness, nor were the houses noble mansions. They reflected the independence and equality of the free peasant. But there was, of course, a good measure of pride.

These houses are sometimes embodied in Koivikko's Ostrobothnian themes. But he places them unpretentiously in the background; the foreground is mostly dominated by detached buildings or annexes.

Koivikko's horizon usually depicts a hill, a height a mountain. These appear exotic to the native of a flat land. Ostrobothnia emerged from the sea bottom and has only a few hills worth mentioning, which are stubbornly called mountains. One of these "hills" happens to be near Koivikko's childhood home.

Denmark and Holland pride themselves on "mountains" of a similar size, which also arose from the bottom of the sea.

Nevertheless, the longing for high places is remote as an ideal for Koivikko. The foreground of his works is generally dominated by a flat surface. The only exceptions are pictures showing children soaring down hills in sledges or on skis.

The real, basic rhythm and steady composition of Pentti Koivikko's pictures are formed by the buildings, those wooden houses already mentioned. The artist places them so that - according to his own imagination and not the town plan of Naantali - they result in a changing and far-reaching complexity, an invitation to step into the past.

The houses in Koivikko's pictures actually look strongly two-dimensional. They could even be collages. The result is decidedly a geometric impression. The way of painting underlines Koivikko's use of colour, which is both peaceful and courageous at the same time. The restoration of old houses, during the past decades, has introduced a more versatile - yet original - use of colour. Blocks of old houses have been brightened up.

Sometimes Pentti Koivikko's houses reflect his early impressions, from when he lived in southern Sweden. The Swedish understanding of colour has always been more cheerful than the Finnish one.

Pentti Koivikko is sometimes called a naïve artist. This, however, is a much too narrow label to describe his way of expressing himself. First, his presentations is very restrained, sometimes almost minimalistic, while naïve artists like to indulge in details and decorations. Second, the world of Koivikko's art is no paradise, although it may seem so. It is an existing world; it is real life. Not everyone lives here, and not all of the time - even the President of Republic only lives here during the summer.

The universe of Pentti Koivikko's pictures is a gentle land of smiles, but it is no operetta. It's people are real people, perhaps just a little happier than others. There you are, a smile is also movement, positive movement in silence. Almost like the coy fragrance emerging from the flowers on Pentti Koivikko's compositions.

Pekka Paavola

kuva tyttö ja poika

Pentti Koivikko
Tuulensuunkatu 5B
21100 Naantali

tel. 02 4351 586 or 0400 782 485