Pictures and text by Riitta Mäki
the Halonen Museum Foundation
born 11 October 1937, Lapinlahti
Lives and works in Lapinlahti
Pauli Martikainen began his career as an artist at the Lappeenranta friends of art drawing school and continued on to the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated as a painter in 1970. He has had a long career as a painter and as a teacher of sculpture, and as an art expert and exhibit designer for the Halonen Museum Foundation.
Martikainen has always drawn, but is best known as a painter. The artist, whose earlier works were landscapes painted in a simplistic style, has now turned to constructivism, where forms are broken and painted away. Martikainen says it is important to leave what is important in the work, so that its lines and a strong backbone are left intact. His subjects can be trees, landscapes or figures. The works take in contrasting phenomena that appear in nature and residual imprints, as well as the shine and shades of colours. ”What’s important is how you perceive it all while painting. You don’t do everything, but that which already exists,” Martikainen says.
Martikainen paints primarily with oils and acrylics. Fast-drying acrylics are better suited to his spontaneous style. Still, creating a piece usually takes time. Although brush strokes are quick, the thought process is long.
The painting "Vertikaalisommitelma" from 1991 was first exhibited at the Lapinlahti Art Museum when it was brand new. The painting was completed in the exhibit hall at the same time that a group exhibit was being set up for the artists Sakari Marila, Pauli Martikainen, Oiva Meriläinen, Jaakko Salmi, Anneli Sipiläinen and Henry Wuorila-Stenberg. In Vertikaalisommitelma the subject is moved through Martikainen’s mind to the canvas all at once, maintaining what was important.