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Raimo Utriainen: Memorial to Arvo Turtiainen, 1990. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Maija Toivanen

Memorial to Arvo Turtiainen

Artist Raimo Utriainen

Matti Heleniuksen puisto, Agricolankatu /Porthaninkatu, Kallio, Helsinki

The work is made of anodized aluminium and its pedestal of acid- resistant steel. It was realized by the Kallio-seura, a neighbourhood association. Although the poet Arvo Turtiainen (1904-1980) wrote on nature and love, he is known best as the voice of working-class sentiments. Pacifism and social questions played a very important role in his poems, and because they often concerned Helsinki, he received the nickname ‘Stadin Arska’. Turtiainen was also an influential figure in ‘Kiila’, a group of artists which Raimo Utriainen also joined later on.

The material of the work, aluminium, appears cold and inconsequential. The machine-finished surface and repetitiveness refer to industrial mass production. Yet the work’s atmosphere is anything but cold. The reflections of light from the aluminium slats create a sense of movement, and approached from different directions, the work inspires new associations in the viewer’s imagination. The resemblances of an hour-glass and a sail lead the viewer to profound thoughts; assimilating modern materials and deep philosophical questions are indeed typical of Raimo Utriainen’s (1927-1994) work.

The work of art belongs to the collection of HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

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