2021 ARS FENNICA award for Eija-Liisa Ahtila

“Ahtila has always bridged disciplines and shows us alternate viewpoints on things. The artist has created a more balanced image of life on our planet. For example trees can be protagonists in her stories”, says Hans Ulrich Obrist, who chose the winner this year.

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ARS Fennica 30th anniversary

ARS FENNICA, Finland’s most prestigious art award, is presented by the Henna and Pertti Niemistö Foundation, established in 1990. Presented in recognition of an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the visual arts, the prize marks its 30th anniversary this year. In honour of the occasion, the winner will receive an enhanced monetary prize of EUR 50,000. The anniversary year will also be marked with an exhibition and exhibition catalogue.

The past three decades have seen 157 Nordic, Baltic and St Petersburg-based artists nominated for the ARS FENNICA award. In total, the Henna and Pertti Niemistö Foundation has presented 26 main prizes, two lifetime achievement awards and one award for an early career artist.

This year’s shortlisted nominees are Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finland), Anne-Karin Furunes (Norway), Jesper Just (Denmark), Viggo Wallensköld (Finland) and Magnus Wallin (Sweden).

An exhibition of works by the nominees is soon to go on display at Hämeenlinna Art Museum. Titled ARS FENNICA 2021, the exhibition will run from 15 October 2021 until 3 April 2022.

The winner will be announced on 10 February 2022.

Since 1995, the Henna and Pertti Niemistö Foundation’s significant collection of contemporary art, comprising several works by previous ARS FENNICA shortlistees, has been housed at Hämeenlinna Art Museum, in the founders’ hometown.