Although in her country, Finland, the textile artist and designer Kirsti Rantanen is an institution, beyond its borders her name is limited to the reduced scope of those in the field. However, her work indicates a before and after in the field of textiles, given that it contributed towards positioning a discipline that had never been highly valued among artists and critics in the place that corresponds to it.

Kirsti Rantanen images from the exhibition and 1992 piece

Kirsti Rantanen images from the exhibition and 1992 piece


Pieces detail from 1978 and 1982

Pieces detail from 1978 and 1982


Project, notes and sketch project

Project, notes and sketch project

Before the Second World War, textile art was on the cutting edge of applied art in Finland, and in the years after the war it blossomed with enormous strength, reforming certain traditional values. However, it was always considered a minor art form in comparison with visual arts and sculpture, particularly by the male artists that saw this activity as a certain discipline relegated to women.

Color ketch

Color ketch


Material mix from 1972 and 1981 pieces

Material mix from 1972 and 1981 pieces

This exhibition of Rantanen’s work includes, also, some of her first pieces from the 50s, including her lesser known designs for the textile industry and her first pieces for the development of craftsmanship; work that would later be identified within the trend of Slow Art.

The exhibition includes pieces and work from more recent years, when she mingled with the textile industry and worked freelance.

Textil combination rug and material detail

Textil combination rug and material detail


Sketch process in the artist studio

Sketch process in the artist studio


Portrait of Kirsti Rantanen designer and architect Hannikoroma

Portrait of Kirsti Rantanen designer and architect Hannikoroma

Her figure and her career are evidence of the evolution of this trend which started to take hold in the 70s, when the artist definitively became the most well-known torch-bearer and worked as a teacher in various institutions. It was from this time that her work began to stand out in the art world, particularly due to the different language, a discourse full of narrative laden with textures and an impeccable technique.

From October 14th 2016 to March 5th 2017
Photos courtesy of Desing Museum/Rauno Träskelin/Sergio

www.designmuseum.fi

This article is also available in Español