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- Candidates -


The Director of the Museum Tinguely in Basel, Roland Wetzel, has chosen the prize winner that will be published 21st of August. The award is 40,000 euro.

The Award Panel


An exhibition of works by the candidates will be held at Amos Rex, 19.6 – 8.9.2019. Visitors can vote for their favourite artist by ballot during the exhibition.


The Artists

2019 ARS FENNICA -candidates 2019

Petri Ala-Maunus


When Petri Ala-Maunus (b.1970) was younger and thought about what he would do as an artist, he decided to proceed via negation. Because landscape painting interested him the least, he decided to start painting landscapes, but in his own way. During the 1990s, he became known for his skilful, often saccharine sunsets, which were created not only on canvases of different sizes, but also on almost any type of material, ranging from pizza boxes to maple leaves.

Miriam Bäckström


Miriam Bäckström’s work is driven by her intense study of the symbiotic relationship between image and reality in the human psyche. She uses various artistic media, including photography, film, performance, theatre, installation, and text. Bäckström consistently aims for technical precision and innovation, regardless of whether she works with still or moving images.

Ragnar Kjartansson


The work of Ragnar Kjartansson is originally grounded in theatre, performance and painting. But, as he moves freely between art forms, he makes music sculptural, painting performative, and turns film into tableaux vivants. His elaborate practice includes video installations based on repetitive structures, extended live performances and vast series of plein-air paintings.

Aurora Reinhard


Aurora Reinhard has been called a “life explorer”. In her art she has long been examining the power and emotional relationships between women and men. Conversely, she has dealt – often very directly – with various issues involved in the pictorial representation of sexuality and gender identity. In so doing she has also put herself on the line, seeking answers both in front of the camera and behind it.

Egill Sæbjörnsson


The Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson is possibly best known for his imaginary friends. They are Ugh and Boogar – 36-metre, coffee-loving, human-eating trolls, who gained global notoriety at the Venice Biennale in the summer of 2017. The Icelandic artist is aware of the clichés associated with his home country and is able to have fun at their expense. Sæbjörnsson’s art is clever, sincere and profound. It surprises, amuses and confuses.