May 07, 2010

Minna Haveri, Nykykansantaide / Modern folk art

picture from Maahenki website

The picture shows the cover of a book on Finnish art environments, that just has been published. Entitled Nykykansantaide it is the doctoral dissertation (in Finnish) of Minna Haveri, to be defended today, May 7, 2010.

Minna Haveri, a teacher of visual arts from Helsinki, is very interested in contemporary Finnish folk art and art environments and she has been following, documenting and analyzing developments in this field for a number of years.

sculpture of Finnish president Tarja Halonen
by Edvin Hevonkoski

In her study Minna Haveri tries to disclose the features and characteristics of contemporary folk art expression in Finland. She notices that contemporary folk art has abandoned the collective nature and traditionalism of traditional folk art. This has been replaced by individualistic artistry and original creativity. Contemporary folk art is rustic visual art, based on skill and creativity.

sculpture by Alpo Koivumäki 
(lotus and Egyptian lady)

The study is based upon interviews with some twenty-five Finnish folk artists, whose works have been analysed. Their creations have been described and documented with an abundance of visual material.

This book might be a landmark in the study of contemporary folk art/outsider art and art environments in Europe.

Minna Haveri, Nykykansantaide.
Helsinki (Maahenki), 2010, -272 p, ill.,
ISBN 978-952-5870-14-5


  1. This looks excellent! I haven't had the chance to look through the links, but it seems really promising, and I'm very excited... thanks very much!!

  2. Hi Henk,
    You dig up the most amazing subject matter... no doubt the book must be fascinating, hope the photos in it are well done...

    Couldn't help but wonder while looking at the middle photo here of the big human head sculpture with scarlet hair as to who might have served as the model for it... looking at your Facebook profile photo at top of page, I almost thinking the model could have been you... so... have you been to Finland recently to sit for a sculpture artist ????
    Best wishes...

  3. Hi Owen, The photo's in the book will be quite well done, I suppose, those on Minna Haveri's website are wonderful in my opinion. The sculpture as far as I know is done by Hevonkoski, a number of years ago, and it must be some kind of telepathy that he catched some of my traits (however, he made too timid a copy of the nose...), because I have not yet been sitting as a model in Finland, wish I were invited... :-))
    Hi Jodi, just take a look at the website, very rewarding, promiss...

  4. Quite interesting book and you must agree Henk that the subject was deserving a thorough review since a while. The web site is quite ilustrating, but an english version an a translation of the book would be a must since we are just a little bunch of fellows who are able to read finnish. Fortunately art is an international language that requires no translation and specially such a kind of personal and sincere free of any kind of mask art like that outsiders in Finland develop. A good post Henk and i am sure it will lead us to new outstanding discoverings.

  5. Hi Alberto Oliver, Sure, I do agree with you that a translation in for example english would be very welcome. The only publication in english paying attention to finnish outsider art in general, as far as I know, is the Raw Vision magazine, some years ago. Have a good weekend.

  6. Nice words Henk, thank you! I really respect your work. This blog is great.

    Good to notice that you are so interested in Finnish contemporary folk art. This book is all in Finnish, but there is English ITE-art book coming later this year, including my article about item. And we are planning to have web material in English too. So just wait folks…

    I’m afraid that charming redhead is not Henk. It’s portrait of Finnish president mrs Tarja Halonen, made by Edvin Hevonkoski. That other picture above is Alpo Koivumäki’s work called Lotus and Egyptian (lady). It’ s one of my favourites.

  7. Thanks Minna. Good to learn that in the near future some information in english will be available on finnish ITE-art. Will be happy to help promoting this material. More people outside your country, who are interested in outsider art, should become acquainted with what's going on in Finland in this field.

  8. Extraordinary what Minna says indeed. I am pretty sure such a book will be a success, and Finnish folk art really deserve this, as in my opinion, is one of the few unique, finest and purest examples of folk art in the world.