Anna Tuori

  • Sun Grew Round That Very Day, 2017, oil on board, 160 cm x 155 cm

  • Hard, Get Up exhibition, 2017

  • Hard, Get Up 2017, oil on board, 160 x 155

  • Walking, 2017, Soft Pastel, 65 x 50 cm

  • Walking, 65 cm x 50 cm, 2017, soft pastel on paper

  • Heaven So Clear, Earth So Calm, 2017, soft pastel on paper, 60 cm x 50 cm

  • Duty, 2018, oil on board, 110 x 106 cm

  • Thanks, Very Fine, 110 cm x 106 cm

  • Walking, 2017, 60 cm x 50 cm
    Walking, 2017, 60 cm x 50 cm

  • All That Must Be Somewhere, oil on board, 130 x 140 cm

  • Blow Out Your Candles, Laura, acrylic and oil on board, 2010

  • Helen & Byron, 2022 oil on canvas, 130 cm x 130 cm


Anna Tuori

Born 1976 in Helsinki


  • 1997–2003Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki(Ma)
  • 1999–2000L ́école Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-arts, Paris

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2014There is No Place Like Home, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2012Maalauksia, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku, Finland
  • 2012Some Remain So, Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris, France
  • 2012Paintings, (Finnish Instititute in St. Petersburg 20 years) Repin-Institute; Tizian hall, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2011Tell You Later, Dear, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
  • 2011Blow Out Your Candles, Laura, Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
  • 2011Blow Out Your Candles, Laura, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki
  • 2009Lisa, the Dear, NO.5 Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
  • 2008I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow, Taidesalonki Husa, Tampere, Finland
  • 2007Nurses and Patients, Galerie Orton, Helsinki
  • 2006Thursday Perhaps, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
  • 2004Flow, Kluuvin galleria, Kluuvi gallery, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki
  • 2003Private Space, (with Maiju Salmenkivi), Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
  • 2003Maalauksia, Paintings, Kuvataideakatemian galleria | Gallery of Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2016Freehand Purnu Art Center, Orivesi,
  • 2016Going Commando, Mänttä Art Festival, Finland
  • 2015Bright Nights Dark Days, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
  • 2015In Other Worlds Städtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany
  • 2014In Other Worlds, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Germany
  • 201419th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney Australia
  • 2013Z2O Sara Zanin, Ab Origine, Rome, Italy
  • 2013Group show, Turku Art Museum, Finland
  • 2012Tartuntapintoja, Oulu Art Museum, Oulu, Finland, Beauty, Vantaa Art Museum, Vantaa, Finland
  • 2010Trial and Error, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen
  • 2009Annorlunda verkligheter, Kungliga Akademien för de fria konsterna, Stockholm
  • 2009Ihmisen jälkiä, Oulu Art Museum, Oulu, Finland
  • 2009Värähtelyä, Vääksy, Finland
  • 2009Klassikoita ja uutta taidetta, Sara Hildénin taidemuseo | Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
  • 2007–09Carnegie Art Award: Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, London, Stockholm Göteborg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2007The Third Beijing Art Biennial, Beijing
  • 2007Mänttä Art Festival, Finland
  • 2007La Position de la Terre, CRAC, Alsace, France
  • 2007Kokoelmien kesä, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
  • 2007Ars Fennica: Finnish Art Now, Scandinavia House, New York, USA
  • 2007Finnish Art Now, Finnish Embassy, Washington DC, Zoo, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
  • 2006Songs of Freedom and Love, Platform Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2006Ars Fennica 2007, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
  • 2006Seven Sisters Contemporary Finnish Painting, Galerie Christian Roellin, St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • 2006Intersection – Between Past and Present, Pori Art Museum, Finland
  • 2005Prague Biennale 2, Praha | Prague
  • 2005Painted Into Air, mediatheque, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
  • 2005Summer Exhibition, Art Center Purnu, Orivesi, Finland
  • 2005Vasta Maalattu – Peinture Fraiche, Kerava Art Museum, Kerava, Finland
  • 2004Peinture Fraiche – Vasta Maalattu, Le Triage, Nanterrre
  • 2004Cocooned, Huuto-gallery, Helsinki
  • 2003Summer exhibition, Huuto-gallery, Helsinki
  • 2002Enter – Painting, Finnish Embassy in London, London
  • 2002MA-exhibition, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
  • 2001–2002Working Title: Memory Project, gallery Q, Copenhagen Working Title: Memory Project, Trondheim, Norway
  • 2001Working Title: Memory Project, The Jetty Barracks, Helsinki
  • 2001Xanadu, Tal R:s workshop, Forum Box, Helsinki
  • 2001Young, 107th Annual Exhibition, Kunsthalle, Helsinki FREE, VR Storehouses, Helsinki
  • 1998Young artists from ‘New Yourk’, Down Patrick Artcenter, Ireland


Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Museum, Turku, Finland, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki, Helsinki City Art Museum, Henna and Pertti Niemistö Art Foundation, Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Finland, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Usa, Kuopio Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, University of Oulu, Finland , Paavo ja Päivi Lipponen Foundation, Kiasma, Helsinki, Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection, Emma – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland, Finnish Art Association, Tampere Art Museum, Finland, City of Tampere, Finland, Turku Art Museum, Finland, the Paulo Fondation, Wihurin Säätiö; Wihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi Art Museum, the Collection of the States Art Commitee, Private Collections


Armory Show, New York, Vienna Contemporary, Art Cologne, Art Brussels, Art Forum Berlin, Chart Art Fair, Copenhagen, Market Art Fair, Stockholm, Art Miami

There´s No Place Like Home, Galerie Anhava 2014

I've been terrified of the water, and yet it seems I'm forced to go into it on every movie that I make. Natalie Wood

In the National Museum of American History in Washington, there is an exhibit presenting American identity. Next to Mickey Mouse is the gavel with which Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery, and next to Marilyn Monroe’s gloves there is the table at which the decision on women’s voting rights was taken. The display shows how easy it is to be conditioned to the European chronological and hierarchical manner of choosing and displaying the essential parts of a narrative. 

The idea that a single theme could be approached from the widest range of directions possible was aroused by this museum visit. The goal became eclecticism, avoidance of pure style. This is underlined in small paintings realized as directly as possible from seemingly different themes. 

The thematics are associated with the loss of a feeling of security, seeking, the utopias, idealism and the notion of the home and homelessness. Here the home is an ideal, a partly impossible fantasy of integrity and security. 

The mind is capable of considering itself to be elsewhere and of creating places. Fantasizing about a better place is an idealistic and ideological possibility. In a traumatic situation, the mind protects itself from overload. Both fantasy and denial will thus have an important role for survival; the mind needs fantasy in order to withstand reality. So-called reality and the imagined are not distinct; one takes place in the other and vice-versa. 

An illusion of an imagined place can be painted on a two-dimensional surface with colour, by pouring and dripping and brushstrokes. The painting is marks on a surface, a window, an illusion and an impression. It represents at the same time itself and something else. If Paavo is in an empty room with a painting, what is the space in which Paavo’s experience takes place? Is he spending time in the room or the painting? That probably depends on Paavo. The viewer reflects him or herself onto the painting, thus making it also a projection.

Un peintre peut tout dire avec des fruits, des fleurs, ou même des nuages. Quand ça y est, ça y est. Quand ça n'y est pas, on recommence. Tout le reste est de la blague.

A painter can say all he wants to with fruit, flowers or even clouds. When you've got it, you've got it. When you haven't, you begin again. All the rest is humbug. Edouard Manet

As an event, painting is intuitive solving and conscious consideration of what influences what. It is concentration and faith in painting, in solutions that one cannot argue for in the process of making the work. To argue for something is to ask for permission, to rely on something familiar, and that cannot be the goal of work. Part of seeking the realization of a piece is staring and perceiving what is seen. Occasionally, the goal is to create a good red, and occasionally to approach the banal without being banal.

The motifs have been chosen quite freely. Dreams of form representing itself or of pure conceptualism represent utopia. The relationship of form and motif, like that of image and word, is the inbuilt theme of the paintings. Form is occasionally made the motif of emotion; emotion can achieve form. The empty is in a relationship to the full; the translucent to the opaque; a fast mark to a slow one; red to green.

A painting is worth looking at. The starting points and ideas are always something else than the painting itself. 

We have all heard what we wanted to hear! Truth that sounds right to our ears! William Faulkner

Anna Tuori

19th Biennale of Sydney

Standing before Anna Tuori’s paintings is a little like being Alice, peering through her looking glass. Each composition presents us with a eld of solid colour, in the centre of which, through undulating strokes of oil paint, a snowy landscape appears. It is as if the monochromatic acrylic has been wiped away, like steam from a bathroom mirror, to reveal a secret, interior world. Like Alice, we find ourselves facing the inverse of our own world: there is snow in place of our dry landscape; bare European pines for our owering gum trees; an open, empty vista in contrast to the closed-in interior of the gallery. Most importantly, there is space for the viewer to imagine their own apparitions and illusions, inventing a personal narrative for Tuori’s ambivalent scenes.

Tuori is interested in the concept of the ‘Das Unheimliche’, or ‘uncanny’; the point at which the familiar starts to become strange. The longer one stands before one of her paintings, the more one gradually begins to see. Her dreamlike environments appear almost on the threshold of being recognisable, but details are hard to make out through the washes of paint. The three works included in the Biennale of Sydney (It’s All Now You See, Nobody Knew My Rose and Blow Out Your Candles, Laura (II), all 2013) are united in their depiction of a barren snowy landscape, with the inclusion of a structure in which to shelter from the cold. A human presence is hinted at with the odd smudged handprint, or through splotches of paint in anthropomorphic shapes, dotted here and there. On the surface, her paintings appear innocent – fairytale scenes in candyfloss colours – but there are secrets in these forests; all is not as it first seems.

For Tuori, her landscapes are not merely fantasies, but fantastical realities. With space for the viewer to project their own emotions and reach intuitive interpretations, each painting is like a portrait of the human mind. Every visitor will see something different, based on their personal experiences and memories. Tuori’s suggestive paintings provide a kind of visual puzzle, which, neuroscientists have recently informed us, the creative parts of the human brain enjoy and employ. Tuori’s titles may be borrowed from literature, her thoughts informed by theory, but her work is above all a visual and perceptive experience. Like children making out compositions in the clouds, so too will the attentive viewer recognise their own associations in Tuori’s brush marks.

From the development of linear perspective during the Renaissance, until impressionism broke the illusion with its pointillist brushstokes, the purpose of painting – as a primary means of visual communication – had been to present a window onto the world. Two-dimensional surfaces convincingly re-created three-dimensional scenes. Following the onset of photography, which replaced painting as a means to faithfully depict reality, painters began to work with this paradox; acknowledging painting’s ability to represent something while also revealing itself. Tuori continues in this tradition, using different techniques to demonstrate the medium’s capacity to combine what she has described as the concrete and the imaginary. The concrete is evident on the painting’s at surface, in Tuori’s planes of block colour, and brush marks that reveal the method of the work’s creation. The imaginary is the result of all these painterly techniques coming together to create the depth of a poetic landscape.

Tuori’s artworks fall into the tradition of romantic painting, with nature used to reflect an interior world. Yet, to categorise her so simply feels too limiting. Tuori’s paintings are not only manifestations of the artist’s emotions and imagination, but also of our own. We take from her work what we alone bring to it, allowing ourselves to become lost in the world through the looking glass, only to return to reality as if from a dream.

Juliana Engberg

curator / writer