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.
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.
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.
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
This article is also available in Español