The mission of the Kari Huhtamo Art Foundation is to preserve the artworks and other art-related material of sculptor Kari Huhtamo, and to ensure that his art can be viewed by the public. The Foundation also promotes the education of fine arts in general and the research of northern visual arts in the University of Lapland in particular. The Foundation realizes this mission through the unique in scale exhibition of Huhtamo’s sculptures in the University of Lapland, supporting the research initiatives by making the archives of Huhtamo’s work available to the public, arranging seminars and other educational programs, and promoting the visibility of Northern art in general through exhibitions and other means.
The Kari Huhtamo Art Foundation was founded in 2005. The need to conserve Huhtamo’s artistic legacy and display in public the core production of his career was solved by the co-operation between the University of Lapland and the Foundation. The ground-breaking contract stipulated that the collection of twenty-two sculptures dating 1982 – 2003 will be exhibited in the premises of University of Lapland for the period of fifty years. Thanks to the efforts of the founding board members and co-operation of the University art now has a presence in everyday campus life. The young art students may get to profit from the availability of a unique collection both as an inspiration to their own creative work and as a resource for research.
Sculptor, D.A. h.c. Kari Huhtamo (b. 1943)
Humor, sensual positivity and organic forms are the most prominent features of Huhtamo’s art. His predominant material is stainless steel, a heavy and difficult material to mould. Huhtamonic expression has found its form also in steel wire constructions, wall rugs, tapestries, silk screen prints, painted mobiles and bronze.
This ability to work with different mediums translates into profound understanding of the interaction between color and form, surface and space –the indeterminate boundary between sculpture and painting. Huhtamo’s close cooperation with architects, construction engineers and the use of computers, engineering calculations and lasers has further enriched his personal form of expression and especially honed his mastery of art for public places.
Dozens of his sculptures, reliefs, installations, and free-hanging mobiles grace the fronts and entrance halls of public buildings. They simultaneously manage both to stand on their own emanating the inner energy of form and movement and engage themselves to the architecture surrounding it.
Huhtamo’s art is about contradictions: heavy steel appearing weightless and precise geometrical shapes palpitating with organic life. In his works reflections and curves both command distance and beckon to come closer and be seduced into their world. (See links for more information on the artist.)