Works 1998–2015
17 Feb – 21 May 2017

Elina Brotherus (b. 1972, Helsinki) is one of the most internationally acclaimed photographic artists in Finland. She lives and works in Finland and France. Many of her works have already become classics. In them she explores subjective experiences, the presence and absence of love and issues of form in art. Much of Brotherus’s work focuses on the relation between the human figure and landscape and the gaze of the artist on her model. She often depicts the nude body, examining minutely the human emotional landscape while appearing herself in most of her works. Brotherus’s retrospective exhibition at the Turku Art Museum in spring 2017 will be the most extensive review of her work ever mounted in Finland. The exhibition is produced in cooperation with Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier and Fotohof in Salzburg.

Elina Brotherus gained recognition in the late 1990s with Suites françaises (1999). Made in Chalon-sur-Saône in France, the photographic series explores the adaptation to a new culture and language by showing Brotherus herself learning French by sticking Post-it notes on objects. Since the 1990s, Brotherus has focused on depiction of the human figure in landscape and on exploring the relationship between model and artist. The New Painting (2000–2004) is a series that uses studies of landscape and of the human figure to explore the relationship between photography and art history and the iconography of classical painting. In 12 ans après (2011–2013) Brotherus resumed her autobiographical themes. Returning to France after 12 years, she photographed the same rooms and the same views as when she was first settling there as an artist. The series is a gentle depiction of the farewell to youth and Brotherus’s attachment to French culture over the years. Her latest, highly acclaimed and talked-about series Annonciation (2009–2013) and its postscript Carpe Fucking Diem (2011–2015) are about involuntary childlessness and how life nevertheless goes on even after a traumatic experience.

Since 1997 Brotherus has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group shows in Europe, North America and Asia, including Saatchi Gallery in London and Louisiana Museum in Denmark. She is the recipient of many awards, including Fotofinlandia (2000), Carnegie Art Award’s Young Artist Stipendium (2003), Finnish State Prize for Photography (2003) and the Pro Finlandia Medal (2012).

Three special tours of the show will be held (in Finnish) during the spring: on Saturday 11 March at 2 pm the tour will be led by Taina Erävaara, and on Saturday 22 April at 2 pm by Elina Heikka and Anna-Kaisa Rasterberg. On Saturday 13 May at 2 pm Elina Brotherus will talk about her show with its curator Mia Haltia.


Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019