On abundance and empty in painting, and life

(Excerpt from the artist book Élan, 2019)

Maija Lassila

Once at least there’s been a blossoming. The sun, sky’s mighty and burning love has shone straight into the flower heart, down to the tremulous ovule of being!

Citation of the poem Flowering Earth (1924) by the Finnish poet Katri Vala (translated by Herbert Lomas).

Painting is an existential practice, a relation to the world.  Oil paint is abundant, almost living material that can be endlessly layered and mixed. The intensity of pigments and the material, fluid qualities of paint, whether thick and gooey or thin and translucent, create hedonist sensations. Painting creates experiences for the viewer and the painter, where something condenses, gathers and then opens up to a wider space. I gather things together and then create a tension of something dispersing or disappearing into the air (or large fields of paint) beneath those condensations. Painting becomes a movement between the plenty and the vastness, of a flourishing existence and a space beyond.

MFA 2018, Academy of Fine Arts, Finland

Master of social sciences 2012 (social and cultural anthropology), University of Helsinki



Latest exhibitions:

Gallery Pictor, Nummela, 2020

Upcoming exhibitions:

Gallery Duetto, together with Katri Lassila, 2021 Helsinki


A full CV by request!