Artist Expositions Works   Publications CV

INVITATION OPEN STUDIO Cité Internationale des Arts
Wednesday, March 22nd...

Marjukka Paunila


Lallukka Artists' Home
Apollonkatu 13 E 11
00100 Helsinki

marjukkapaunila (at)

CV in English (pdf)...

Painting as essential as breathing

Regarding the traditional in Marjukka Paunila's paintings you find all the familiar motives from still lives to landscapes, from interior views to assemblies of flower. You might also turn to the modern classics such as Matisse, Dufy or some German Expressionists to track down a starting point in Marjukka Paunila's art. Even then, you might listen to the famous Dutch theorist and art historian Carel van Mander in 1604 poetically instructing ambitious landscapists of his generation:

"During the joyful spring time we should notice the land's adornment with colors of precious stones, and endeavor to paint the emerald green and sapphire blue cover of the land with its subtle variegation."

At this point you should preferably give up and start clearing the ground from the noble vegetation of past achievements. Since, in Marjukka Paunila's painting there is not to be found a key of contrasting colors comparable to the early modernist style of expressing strong emotions or seeking an inner spiritual harmony by ascetic simplification. It is also true that there are no manners of paint derived directly from the seventeenth century Dutch art.

On the other hand - you are quick to learn - little has changed from the days of van Mander in ideal ways of composition and rhythmical positioning, although Marjukka Paunila does not in her paintings encompass


vast panoramas or towering expanses of atmospheric vistas. Trusting more to intimate closeness Paunila allows the viewer immediate approach and delicious enjoyment.

It is important to notice that there are no forbidden colors in Marjukka Paunila's palette. Attractive light shades of red, yellow and blue are as permissible as brighter and darker tones. Abundant colors so typical to Paunila's paintings do not follow any set order or theoretical schema. However, there seems to be an inner logic.

To quote the artist: "I set colors beside each other, as if they formed a sequence of words."

Consequently, painting can be compared to writing a language, or, if you drive the metaphor further, painting is comparable to speaking and breathing.

In her recent works Marjukka Paunila has been preoccupied by more Expressionist way of painting than ever before. Strong gestures and vivid movement as well as deeper colors have entered her canvases. If you were inclined to define the atmosphere of her earlier works as Mediterranean or even East Asian now you are almost compelled to use the word Northern to localize the flavor of the present works.

Markku Valkonen
EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art,