Kain Tapper, pioneer of modern Finnish sculpture, dies at 74
One of Finland’s most renowned visual artists, sculptor Kain Tapper, died on Tuesday at the age of 74.
Born in 1930, Tapper studied art in the early 1950s. From 1956 onward, he took part in hundreds of different exhibitions, and held the first of his numerous private exhibitions in 1958.
Tapper represented Finland at the Venice Biennial twice, in 1962 and in 1984. He also has numerous public sculptures to his credit.
Finnish wood and stone were the main materials used by Kain Tapper. His works were typified by a poetic minimalism, drawing heavily from nature, especially the lake and river landscapes of his native Saarijärvi.
The informalist expression of Kain Tapper’s sculptures was not universally applauded in Finland in the early 1960s. One of his works, Surumarssi ("Funeral March") from 1962, which was inspired by personal grief, prompted another famous Finnish sculptor, Wäinö Aaltonen to ask if blocks of wood can be considered art.
However, within a decade Kain Tapper had established his position as a creator of a timeless modern language of form, whose roots lie deep in the history of Finnish national art.
An exhibition is scheduled to open at the Krista Mikkola Gallery in Helsinki on Thursday - Kain Tapper's first solo exhibition in Helsinki in 12 years.
Tapper worked on it until very shortly before his death.
Two other projects were also left unfinished - an ecumenical chapel in Turku, scheduled for completion in 2005, and an exhibition in Norway scheduled for this autumn.
Krista Mikkola Gallery