Although she was well known in her native Finland, she is almost unknown in other parts of the world. The images in this post are from the exhibition of her work that took place at Helsinki's Design Museum of Finland in 2016-2017 that was simply entitled Kirsti Rantanen.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
A strong woman textile artist from Finland.
She is having a retrospective exhibition this year at the Craft Museum of Finland in Jyvaskyla entitled The Space of Textiles. It continues until the end of August 2022.
a blog post about Helsinki's design district in 2017.
The above photo and the one below are from Camille's blog.
Several circles and zig zags float through the exhibition space and guide us through the space.
Kirsti Rantanen was born in 1930.
She graduated from the Department of Textile Art at the School of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1952 and during the 50's taught art and design there.
During this time she also designed Rya rugs and furnishing textiles.
During the 1970's she began to experiment with sculptural textiles and also to advocate for women artists.
It takes up space.
We move around it, yearn to touch it.
The scale is awesome.
Rantanen's textiles are large and in this way they mimic nature.
trees mountains clouds
In 1983, Kirsti Rantanen won an award that allowed her to take time off teaching and be a free lance artist for five years.
She moved out of Helsinki to the medieval town of Porvoo and began the most fertile period of her career. She started to use the ancient Sumak method of weaving on a vertical warp that hangs from the ceiling. To weave large scale on a free vertical warp means that she had to work on a ladder sometimes while weaving. Yes, she was a strong woman artist.
Her monumental weavings were made between 1984 and 1993 when she was in her 50’s and early 60’s.
In 2017, after the exhibition of this body of work at the Design Museum, Kirsti Rantanen donated the collection to the museum.
Women artists from pre-internet times are being discovered by curators today. It's exciting.
It is good that the Design Museum is taking care of her work and that her work is being shared with other museums.
She has a Wikipedia page that you can look up. She has a daughter who is a respected artist named Silja Rantanen.
A review of the Design Museum exhibition is available through this link. The article is written by Satu-Lotta Peltola