Jussi Niva

lives and works in Helsinki

About Jussi Niva ... more >

Artist Statement Jussi Niva:

I am currently painting two-dimensional surfaces and three-dimensional objects in parallel, because I want to detach the experience of three- dimensionality from the ‘modelled form’ and link it instead to the surface of the painting. The three-dimensional works are interventions of sorts, they thrust into the space but conversely they also project space.

Paradoxically, I have noticed that I work with them in opposite directions spatially. I construct two-dimensional works by painting a volume or by piercing the surface. When I paint three-dimensional pieces, I do it optically against a wall. I also personally associate this method with reliefs and the experience of depth in them.

The surfaces in my work do indeed break up and search for direction. For me, the sharp angles are above all points where the surface of the painting makes a turn, disrupting its frontality, which immediately makes the work more interesting. Viewers find themselves in a danger zone or embroiled in something that exists independently of them.

The eventfulness in my works is generally not logical; I am interested in seemingly impossible spatiality. I construct spatial paradoxes into my works, surfaces of collision or friction that seem to lead to a destination. The situation is a bit similar to groping one’s way blindly in a new environment.

There is no point of painterly knowledge or control. The spatial experience of my work cannot be fixed to any single cognitive or experiential point. Instead, the works are loaded with elements that lead to fracture, such as acute angles where the surface of the painting takes a surprising turn. I also deliberately use a forceful stroke technique to give the planes a spatial direction and an accelerating motion. Often, however, this conflicts with the three-dimensionality. I am intrigued by such disturbances or intervention.

I need geometry for some reason. But my geometry is of a kind of cut-and-fold type. Dividing a plane into ever-smaller parts will always involve geometry or mathematics. But I have no interest in systematising the principles of spatial division. I am interested in intuitive progress instead. At the same time, I am very careful to keep the level of experience moving. Instead of constructing interesting forms, I decompose structures of space-time into images, offering viewer-subjects an opportunity to situate themselves more individually within.


born in Pello, Finland
1984-89 Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
1996 Young Art Finland Prize
1998 Carnegie Art Awards, Scholarship to a young artist
2009 Fine Arts Association of Finland, William Thuring Prize
... more >

Selected Solo and Group Exhibitions

Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne (G)
2020 Abstract Art from Miettinen Collection, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
Galerie Anhava, Helsinki (S)
Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne (G, online)
Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen (G)
2019 Philipp von Rosen Galerie, Cologne (G)
Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (G)
Works from the Heino Art Foundation Collection, Oulu Museum of Art, Oulu, Finland (G)
2018 Faur Zsófi Gallery, Budapest (G)
Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
Hanaholmen Gallery, Espoo, Finland (G)
Rovaniemi Art Museum Korundi, Rovaniemi, Finland (G)
Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
2017 ​Messukeskus, Helsinki, Finland (G)
Korundi, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Rovaniemi, Finland (G)
Dreamaholic - Art from Finland. Miettinen Collection, Weserburg (G)
Museum of Modern Art, Bremen (G)
2016 Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (S)
Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (G)
Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki (G)
2015 Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (G)
EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland (G)
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (G)
2014 Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (S)
Splendid Views, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
Vinternatt, Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm (G)
Black Market - Sand in Vaseline, L17 project space, Berlin (G)
Black Market Sinne, Sinne, Helsinki (G)
Summer Exhibition, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (G)
Feel the Spirit, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland (G)
Unknown Masterpieces, Wonderloch Kellerland, Berlin (G)
Black Market Stockholm, Stockholm (G)
Space - Abstract Intervention & Social Media, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
2013 Kiasma Hits, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (G)
Events in Nature, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland (G)
The 7th Wave - Wihuri and Visual Art, Lönnström Art Museum, Rauma, Finland (G)
Sommerprogramm, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin (G)
Panorama, Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm (G)
Summer 2013, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (G)
2012 Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (S)
Lars Bohman Gallery (together with Marianna Uutinen), Stockholm (S)
The Magic of Lapland, Korundi, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Rovaniemim Finland (G)
The 7th Wave - Wihuri and Visual Art, Kunsthalle Helsinki (G)
2011 Summer 2011, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (G)
Know the Landscape, Jyväskylä Art Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland (G)
The Magic of Lapland, Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki (G)
Spatial Places: The Poetry Of Places, Fiskars village, Fiskars, Finland (G)
2009 Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm (S)
Flash! – Light and Movement, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (G)
I Love Malmö, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn (G)
Swanljung Meets Malmö, Malmö Art Museum, Malmö (G)
The Site of Painting, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland (G)
Carnegie Art Award, Centre International d´Art Contemporain, Carros, France (G)
2008 Gallery Kalhama & Piippo Contemporary, Helsinki (S)
Kuvan jälkeen, Image and after, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (G)
Carnegie Art Award, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden / Oslo (G)
Frie Udstilling Copenhagen; Listasafn Kópavogs, Kópavogur / Reykjavík; Konstakademien, Stockholm; Royal College of Art, London; Göteborgs konstmuseum, Gothenburg (G)
Tuhlaajapojan paluu, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa, Finland (G)
2007 Carnegie Art Award, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (G)
Taiteilijatiloja, Jugend Hall, Helsinki (G)
Maalaus ja valokuva ja maalaus, Korjaamo Culture Factory, Helsinki (G)
I love Malmö, Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland; Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa, Finland (G)
Kuntsin ikonit 1, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa, Finland (G)
2006 Suspended E-motion, Galerija Vartai, Vilnius (G)
2005 Gallery Sculptor, Helsinki (S)
Vastamaalattu – Painture Fraiche!, Kerava Art Museum, Kerava, Finland (G)
Työnimi: Heijastuksia, Korjaamo Culture Factory, Helsinki (G)
Purnu 2005, Orivesi, Finland (G)
2004 Gallery Heino, Helsinki (S)
Vastamaalattu – Peinture Fraiche!, Le Triage, Nanterre (G)
Talviunia – Hibernations, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Rovaniemi, Finland (G)
2003 Maisema nyt, Mikkeli Art Museum, Mikkeli, Finland (G)
2002 Gallery Kari Kenetti, Helsinki (S)
Over the Horizon, Malmö Art Museum, Malmö (G)
2001 Aine Art Museum, Tornio (S)
Soome Nûûdiskunst – Kekarainen – Niva – Vuokola, Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn (G)
Interface – Kosketuspintoja, Suomen taiteen III triennaali, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden; Kunsthalle Helsinki (G)
2000 Viive gallery, Rovaniemi (S)
Ama Gallery, Turku (S)
Europe – Different Perspectives in Painting, Museo Michetti, Francavilla al Mare, Italy (G)
Pohjoismainen postmodernismi, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (G)
100 VR-makasiini, Helsinki (G)
1999 Gallery Kari Kenetti, Helsinki (S)
Carnegie Art Award, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland; Listasafn Islands, Reykjavik, Iceland (G)
Finnish Line: Starting Point, Musées de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France (G)
Pohjoinen maisema, Salo Art Museum, Salo, Finland (G)
Kekarainen – Niva – Vuokola, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland (G)
1998 Carnegie Art Award, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Sweden; Sophienholm Copenhagen, Denmark; Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway (G)
1997 Galerie Artek, Helsinki (E)
Galleri Wynick / Tuck, Toronto, Canada (G)
Art goes kapakka, Restaurant Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland (G)
TAiDETTA, Konstens hus, Luleå, Sweden (G)
Kari Cavén – Henrietta Lehtonen – Jussi Niva, Gallery Kari Kenetti, Helsinki, Finland (G)
1996 TAiDETTA, Karlskrona Konsthall, Karlskrona, Sweden; Västerås Konstmuseum, Västerås, Sweden; Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Norrköping, Sweden; Skövde Konsthall, Skövde, Sweden; Värmlands Museum, Karlstad, Sweden (G)
Konst I hemmiljö, The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland (G)
Comp I Box, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, Finland (G)
Enter, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (G)
1995 Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm (S)
ARS-95, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland (G)
Air Water Earth, Takaoka Art Museum, Takaoka, Japan; Fukuyama Museum of Art, Fukuyama, Japan; Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland (G)
Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany (G)
1994 Galerie Artek, Helsinki (S)
Galerie Quartair (together with Kari Cavén), The Hague (S)
Ennakkoluuloja – Fördomar, Östergötland Country Museum, Lindköping, Sweden; Oulu City Art Museum, Oulu, Finland; Örebro länsmuseum, Örebro, Sweden; Landskrona konsthall, Landskrona, Sweden; Museum for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland; Museum for Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithuania (G)
Nordisk Önskemuseum, Göteborg Museum of Art, Göteborg, Sweden (G)
8 rum till måleri, Galleri F 15 Alby, Moss, Norway (G)
Grreen, Tourch Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (G)
Nina Roos – Jussi Niva, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (G)
Air Water Earth, The Azabu Museum for Arts and Crafts, Tokyo, Japan (G)
1993 Fünf Bilder, Galerie Gebauer u. Günther, Berlin, Germany (G)
XLV La Biennale di Venezia, Nordic Pavilion, Venice, Italy (G)
Entrée, The Lönnström Art Museum, Rauma, Finland (G)
Valintoja, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (G)
Transit, The National Museum of Finland, Helsinki, Finland (G)
Ennakkoluuloja – Fördomar, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm; The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland (G)
1992 Galerie Gebauer u. Günther, Berlin (S)
Välimatkoja – Avstånd, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland (G)
Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany (G)
Rakkautta raunioilla, Tampere Museum of Contemporary Art, Tampere, Finland (G)
Finlandi Dá -92, Stockholm, Sweden (G)
Tidsanda, Malmö Art Museum, Malmö, Sweden (G)
1991 Galerie Artek, Helsinki (S)
Seeing, Näkeminen, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland (G)
Tillstand Switches, Stedhalle, Zürich, Switzerland (G)
Face to Face – Ars Baltica Prolog, Kunsthalle zu Kiel / Stadgalerie im Sophienhof, Kiel, Germany; Kunsthalle Latvija, Museum of Foreign Art, Riga, Latvia; Künstlerhaus Bethanien / Kunst-Werke, Berlin, Germany (G)
Aurora 4, The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden (G)
1990 Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki (S)
Finnish Visions, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (G)
1989 Finnish Painters' union 60th anniversary exhibition, The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland (G)


Public Works

  • 2010: M in Us, Vasakronan, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1999: Expose #43-46, Finnish Embassy, Berlin, Germany
  • 1998: Expose, Vuosaari metro station, Helsinki, Finland


Selected Public Collections

  • Aine Art Museum, Tornio, Finland
  • The City of Tampere, Finland
  • EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland
  • The Finnish State Art Collection
  • Heino Art Collection, Finland
  • Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland
  • HUS, Helsinki, Finland
  • Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Finland
  • Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi, Finland
  • Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
  • Lars Göran Johnsson Collection, Finland
  • Malmö Art Museum, Sweden
  • Turku Art Museum, Finland
  • Mauri Niemi Collection, Finland
  • Miettinen Collection, Germany
  • The National Public Art Council, Sweden
  • Oulu City Art Museum, Finland
  • Pori Art Museum, Finland
  • The Rafaela and Kaj Forsblom Collection, Finland
  • Saastamoinen Foundation, Finland
  • Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
  • Swanljung Collection, Finland
  • Turku Art Museum, Finland


Selected Articles & Publications

  • Timo Valjakka, 2020: Kysymyksiä näkemisen luonteesta, Helsingin Sanomat, 23.1.2020.
  • Bal, Mieke, 2016: Movement and the Still Image – Espacio Tiempo y Forma, 4, Madrid, Spain.
  • Seppä, Anita, 2016: Jussi Niva and Anita Seppä, Coversation at Niva’s studio in Berlin, 23/11/2015 – Mime, Helsinki, Finland.
  • Verhoeff, Nanna 2012: Mobile Screens – The Visual Regime of Navigation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Johansson, Hanna 2011: Tunne maisema, Helsinki, p.167-169.
  • Bal, Mieke 2010: Timely Remains, Jussi Niva – Timely Remains, Helsinki.
  • Iitiä, Inkamaija 2010: The Space of Representation and Postmodern Stage: Jussi Niva´s Exposes, Jussi Niva – Timaly Remains, Helsinki.
  • Iitiä, Inkamaija 2008: Kuvan jälkeen, Kuvan jälkeen - Image and After, Nykytaiteen museon julkaisuja 109/2008, Helsinki, p. 42-43.
  • Iitiä, Inkamaija 2008: Käsitteestä ruumiilliseen, sitaatiosta paikkaan – maalaustaide ja nykytaiteen historia, Helsinki, p. 264-272.
  • Roos, Rita 2006: Critique, Veenman Publishers/Gijs Stork, Rotterdam.
  • Kalhama, Pilvi 2005: Vuorovaikutusta väritilassa – Jussi Nivan Fine Tuning – sarjan dialogisia tulkintoja.
  • Kanssakäymisiä, Osallistuvan taiteen tutkimuksen askelia 32, Helsinki.
  • Kalhama, Pilvi 2002: Suomalainen nykymaalaus ja katsomisen haste, Pinx, Maalaustaide Suomessa:
  • Siveltimen vetoja, WSOY, Espoo, p. 280-287.
  • Kantokorpi, Otso 2003: Kuvan katoava taajuus, Kosketuspintoja, Helsinki.
  • Haapala, Leevi 2003: Valomaalarit ja sähköinen valo, Pinx, Maalaustaide Suomessa: Siveltimen vetoja,
  • WSOY, Espoo, p, 280-287.
  • Valjakka, Timo 2000: Jussi Niva, Expose, Helsinki.
  • van der Heeg, Eerik 1999: Kekarainen - Niva – Vuokola, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.
  • Castern, Hannu: Painting Beyond the Eye and Frame, Form Function Finland, 1/95.
  • Valjakka, Timo: XLV La Biennale di Venezia, Melin Niva Stokke, 1993.
  • Thordeman, Thord: Venezia!, Paletten 3/93.
  • Sandqvist, Gertrud: Jussi Niva, Siksi, 2/92.


Go back


Essential cookies are essential for the operation of the website and can therefore not be deactivated.



Statistics cookies allow the collection of anonymous information about how you use our website. They help us to improve your user experience and our content.


External media

External media cookies allow media content to be loaded from external sources. They can also be activated when you visit the website if you encounter blocked media content.