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Award 2021
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
2021 ARS FENNICA award for Eija-Liisa Ahtila.
For the Love of Art
Promoting Nordic Fine Arts for 30 Years
Watch film about the origins of the ARS FENNICA award.
Candidate Videos
Artist interviews
Artists discuss their work and thinking behind the pieces.
Catalog 2021
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Get to know the 2021 Award Nominees in-depth.

Catalog 2021

Get to know 2021 Award Nominees in-depth.


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- Candidates -


ARS FENNICA Candidates for 2021

Eija-Liisa Ahtila


Visual artist and filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila experiments with narration and form in her works that address the gendered, colonial and anthropocentric structures haunting the everyday and its representations. During the last decade she has explored what an ecology of drama could be, that includes also more-than-human actors and their perspectives: how to allow another animal than human, or a tree or the wind, to take the centre stage in cinematic narratives?

Anne Karin Furunes


A repeating theme in Anne-Karin Furunes’ art is that of the female character victim to historic events beyond her control.  She uses different archives to search for pictures that move her.  These small photographs, originally taken for bureaucratic purposes, are enlarged into paintings often over two metres in height. 

Jesper Just


Jesper Just became known some twenty years ago for videos in which tense psychological encounters lead to emotionally loaded scenes. What has happened, or was happening, is not quite clear.  No one of the characters is speaking, but there may be a song accompanying the situation or the characters may communicate by singing. Jesper Just’s recent installations explore ideas of agency, performativity, and interpassivity. 

Viggo Wallenskold


Painter and author Viggo Wallensköld depicts life’s absurdity through a series of fictional characters. Over the years, his works, which typically feature just one main character, have come together to form a cohesive entity, a universe all of their own, comprising a series of intertwining themes. Wallensköld’s paintings explore the physical diversity of humans and our ability to cope with difference.

Magnus Wallin


Magnus Wallin’s art constitutes an exploration of the human body. It is not just the relationship between bodies and norms that fascinates Magnus Wallin, but how many permutations of these bodies there are, and how they constitute different modes of understanding. 


The joint exhibition for candidates’ works will be held at Hämeenlinna Art Museum from 15 October 2021 to 3 April 2022. The audience can also vote for their own favorite artist.

The Panel 2021

Ragnar Kjartansson


The work of Ragnar Kjartansson (born 1976 in Reykjavik, Iceland) 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.

From the archive

More Artists

Randomly chosen candidates from our archive spanning 30 years.

First ARS Fennica candidates 1991

About Us

ARS FENNICA -foundation

The Henna and Pertti Niemistö Art Foundation – ARS FENNICA sr was established in 1990 to promote the arts by opening up new channels for Finnish visual art internationally, by providing artists with inspiration in their creative work, and by encouraging interest in and respect for the visual arts among the general public.

In alternate years, the Foundation awards Finland’s most significant visual-art prize – 50,000 euros. The prize goes to an artist in recognition of individual artistic work of outstanding quality.