Fokus Gallery: Eino Ruutsalo’s Experimental 1960s

Visual artist and filmmaker Eino Ruutsalo (1921–2001) was one of Finland’s leading experimental artists in the 1960s. He often created his works in collaboration with musicians, poets and dancers. Ruutsalo’s film Kinetic Pictures (1962) won international praise and earned him the reputation of a pioneer in Finnish experimental cinema. This single-gallery exhibition celebrates the centenary of the artist’s birth.

  • 14.9.2021–27.3.2022
Fokus Gallery
Tickets: with a museum ticket
Two lumino-kinetic works at an art gallery
Exhibition Eino Ruutsalo’s experimental 1960s at the Fokus Gallery. Colorado 2 and 3 (1970). Lahti Museum of Visual Arts Malva. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen.

the centenary of the artist’s birth

Eino Ruutsalo moved fluidly between different mediums and combined them freely. Most of his work from the 1960s consists of visual poetry, experimental short films, object assemblages, kinetic light works and documentary and feature films, but his extensive output also includes graphic art, paintings and sculptures. His free approach to different mediums of art and interplay between them made Ruutsalo a pioneer of Finnish contemporary art.

As early as the 1960s, Eino Ruutsalo exhibited his work in prestigious international forums, notably in conjunction with the cross-disciplinary Fluxus movement. His experimental short films were screened in the United States and are still presented in international art museums and at film festivals.

The exhibition is curated by researcher Marko Home and Ateneum exhibitions producer Katja Ikäläinen. Marko Home’s art-historical dissertation on Ruutsalo’s 1960s-era output came to completion in September 2021.

A book on Ruutsalo written by Home and published by Parvs will be released on 14 September 2021 (in Finnish). You can buy the book from Ateneum’s museum shop.

A man is looking at the camera. Black and white picture.
Eino Ruutsalo in 1969. Detail. Photo: Exhibition Archives of Amos Anderson Art Museum / Amos Rex.

What is Fokus Gallery?

The Fokus exhibition gallery presents concise displays, with selected artists or themes from the Ateneum collection.