click the images on the right to enlarge
Finnish artist Esko Männikkö presented a large number of photographs that portray people in and around their homes in the north of Finland. Männikkö stays with his subjects, getting to know them over several days (often joining them in hunting, fishing and drinking) before making his calm and dignified portraits. The photographs always convey the marked distinctiveness of each individual and their environment; most show lone men in wooden shacks whose walls consist of varnished boards of sheets of painted plywood and plasterboard. These homes are makeshift structures, with bits of material hung from string functioning as curtains, and with rooms sparsely furnished with battered sofas, chairs and tables. Amongst the images in the exhibition, ‘one man listens to music, but most sleep or sit quietly smoking’—the sense of total stillness in the pictures is underlined by the simplicity of their visual composition.
Whilst the photographs register as social documents, much of their force lies in their extraordinary compositions—they feel constructed, as if Männikkö had carefully arranged the person and placed objects around them. In fact, he very rarely manipulates his photographs, but instead, uses doorways, furnishings, coloured painted walls and homely paraphernalia to make a kind of frame for his subjects. In one image, an elderly woman seated on her bed becomes like a Byzantine icon, her body framed by a woven wall hanging whose pattern appears behind her like an expanding aureole of light. In others, there are radial arrangements with highly coloured objects that provide exuberant splashes of colour to unify the image, as well as to contrast the generally earthy tone and atmosphere of the photographs.
Männikkö selects old frames from flea markets for each of his pictures, basing his choice on how they relate to the image. In this way, the frame becomes part of the work and creates a palpable sense of crossing a threshold into a different world. Each photograph is an abstract play of colour planes, structure and spatial rhythm, and constitutes a sophisticated synthesis of different levels of social content and aesthetic form.
(°1959, Finland. Lives and works in Oulu)
Time Flies, Turku Art Museum, Turku
Time Flies, Taidehalli, Helsinki
Harmony Sisters, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
Blues Brothers, Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin
Harmony Sisters, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Cocktails 1990-2007, Galeria OMR, Mexico City
Harmony Sisters, Galleria Suzy Shammah, Milan
Cocktails 1990-2007, Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal
Organized Freedom, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Organized Freedom, Dogenhaus Galerie, Leipzig
Cocktails 1990-2007, Kulturens Hus, Luleå and Kristianstads Konsthall, Kristianstad
Harmony Sisters, Nils Staerk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
Cocktails 1990-2007, Millesgården, Lidingö Harmony
Sisters, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels
Harmony Sisters, Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin
Sala Kubo Kutxa del Kursaal, San Sebastian
Southern Comfort, Galleria Suzy Shammah, Milano
Galeria Estrany - De La Mota, Barcelona Art and Public, Cabinet PH, Geneva
Finsk-Norsk kulturinstitutt, Oslo, Norway
Galleria Suzy Shammah, Milano
Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium
Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
Galerie Cent8, Paris, France
Flora and Fauna, Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin
Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
Galleri F 48 Stockholm
Galeria Monica de Cardenas, Milano
Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
Organized Freedom, Oulu Art Museum, Oulu
Galerie Cent8, Paris
Galeria Estrany-de La Mota, Barcelona
Galleri F 48, Stockholm
Photographs 1980 – 1998, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg
Mexas, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
Mexas, Photographic Centre Nykyaika, Tampere
Dogenhaus Projekte, Berlin
Dogenhaus Galerie, Leipzig
White Cube, London
Malmö Konsthall, Malmö
Hippolyte Photo Gallery, Helsinki
Morris Healy Gallery, New York
Portikus, Frankfurt am Main *
DE PONT foundation for contemporary art, Tilburg *
Lenbachhaus, München *
Société des Expositions du Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles *
Mexas, Art Pace, San Antonio
Young Artist of the Year 1995, Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland *
Morris Healy Gallery, New York
Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
PEMOHT, photographs of the environmental destruction of the Kola Peninsula, (together with
Pekka Turunen), St. Petersburg, Pietari, Murmansk, Apatiitti, Kirovsk, Oulu Female Pike,
Hippolyte Photo Gallery; Helsinki
Naarashauki, Helsinki
The Female Pike, Hippolyte Photograllery, Helsinki
Home Visit, Rantagalleria, Oulu
Kotikäynti, Oulu, Joensuu
Sitä pittää ihmisen olla viisas, Ylivieska, Sodankylä
Itylli, Oulu, Utajärvi
When Time Stops Still, Rantagalleria Oulu, (tour Helsinki, Pudasjärvi) 
Barockt, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Stockholm
The Adventure of Reality International Realism, Kunsthal Rotterdam
European Photography 2010 – Enchantment, Reggio Emilia
Investigations of a dog, DESTE Foundation, Athens / Ellipse Foundation, Cascais / Maison
Rouge, Paris / Magasin 3, Stockholm
Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York City, NY
Realismus – das Abenteuer der Wirklichkeit. Courbet – Hoper – Gursky, Kunsthalle in Emden,
Emden; Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich
I Love Malmö, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn
Investigations of a dog, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
Mai, 36 Galerie, Zürich
Agents, Galerie Nordenahke, Stockholm
Interludi, Galerie Estrany.De La Mota, Barcelona
REAL. Fotografien aus der Sammlung der DZ-Bank, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Photographers’ Gallery, London; c/o Berlin, Berlin
So close / So far away, Crac Alsace, Altkirch
Allusive Moments, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Age of the Animal, Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki
Vom Pferd erzählen, Kunsthalle Göppingen
Breaking the Ice, Kunstmuseum Bonn
Randgebiete, Kulturbahnhof Eller, Düsseldorf, Germany
Exhibition of Contemporary Finnish Photography, Photomuseum Antwerp
SEEhistory 2005. Der private Blick, Kunsthalle zu Kiel
Andere / Others, Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway
MARCO. Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain
Artéfacts. La vie secre`te des choses, Fondation d'art contemporain Daniel et Florence Guerlain,
Les Mesnuls, France
Liverpool Biennal, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool *
Anders Zorn and Contemporary Nordic Art, Arken, Ishöj, Denmark
Zeitgenössische Fotokunst aus Finnland, NBK Berlin, Mannheimer Kunstverein, Städtische
Galerie Waldkraiburg, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen Cottbus Migration,
Kirkkenäs, Norway
Beyond Paradise, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Cardinales, Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Vigo, Spain
Eight Nordic Stories, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela
Fotografia, Festival Internazionale di Roma, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma
The Great Divide, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
ARS 01, KIASMA, Helsinki * Year One, Bo01, Malmö
Contemporary Photography II: Anti-Memory, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama
Organised Freedom, Moderna Museet, Stockholm * The Kwangju Biennial 2000, Kwangju
Some Parts of This World, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
Finish Line: Starting Point, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg * Neste stopp,
Lofoten, Norway *
Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo *
This Side Of the Ocean, Kiasma, Helsinki *
Nuit Blanche, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris *
Sightings, ICA, London *
Nilo Hyttinen & Esko Männikkö, Kajaani Art Museum, Kajaana
Wounds, Moderna Museet, Stockholm *
Truce, Santa Fe
Light, Barbican Center, London
Unknown Adventure, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, tour *
Evidence, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus *
Santa Fe Biennale, Santa Fe *
Someone Else With My Fingerprints, Galerie Hauser und Wirth, Zürich
Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg *
Northern Exposures, Cortocircuito, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid *
TAiDETTA, Norrköping (travelling exhibition) *
Portrett, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo
Borealis 8, The Scream, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøy
Strangers in the Arctic, Rundetårn, Copenhagen, tour *
1. Ars Baltica Photography Triennial, Schleswig-Holstein Landesmuseum, Schleswig
Manifesta, Chabot Museum, Rotterdam *
Sydney Biennial, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney *
Maskulin-Feminin, Städtische Galerie Rastatt, Rastatt, tour *
The Scream, Arken, Ishöj *
Ars 95, Helsinki * Body and Soul, Oulu Arkipel, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo
Campo, Corderie, Biennale, Venice * Attityd, Eckerö, Åland
Northern Realities, Thessalonika Kuvaajan albumi, Turku, Helsinki
The Destiny of Being a Finn, Castell de la Bisbal d’Emborda, Spain
Merkitty maiserma, Kajaani
Suomi tarkennettuna, Karjaa Perhe, Oulu
Postmoral, Photography Triennial, Taidehalli Helsinki *
Fotofinlandia, Helsinki
Northern Realities, Macadonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki *
Country & Eastern, Savitaipale, Kontiolahti, Iisamli, Kemi, Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Tampere,
Sodankylä, Vantaa, Oulu
 Selected Collections
Fondation Cartier, Paris
Oulu Art Museum, Oulu
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Pori Art Museum, Pori
Tampere Art Museum, Tampere
Rovaniemi Art Museum, Rovaniemi
Espoo City Council, Esbo
Paulo Foundation Museet for Samtidskonst, Oslo
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Northern Photographic Centre, Oulu
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Per L’Arte, Italy
City of Umeå SOK, Helsinki
The State of Finland Malmö Art Museum
100% Cashmere, essays by Simona Segre and Suzy Shammah, published by Ballantyne
Cashmere, Scotland
Naarashauki – The Female Pike, Esko Männikkö, essay by Esko Männikkö, published by the
artist, Oulu
Mexas – Esko Männikkö, essays by Maaretta Jaukkuri and Gary Michael Dault, Esko Männikkö
and Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden
Esko Männikkö, essays by Heikki Kastemaa, Rudolf Schmitz, Portikus Frankfurt am Main and
Oktagon Verlag, Cologne, Germany
Esko Männikkö – Young Artist of the Year 1995, foreword by Anneli Ilmonen, essay by Ritva
Kovalainen, Tampere Art Museum, Finland
 Catalogues Group Exhibitions
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008, John Davis, Jacob Holdt, Esko Männikkö, Fazal Sheikh
The photographers’ gallery London
Liverpool Biennial 2004, text by Sharon Paulger, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool
Zeitgenössische Fotokunst aus Finnland, NBK Berlin, Mannheimer Kunstverein, Städtische
Waldkraiburg, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen Cottbus
ARS 01, text by Mika Hannula, KIASMA, Helsinki
Organising Freedom, Nordic Art of the ’90s, text by David Elliott, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Finnishing Line: Starting Point – Jeunes artistes finlandais, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain
de Strasbourg Next stop Lofoten, text by Per Gunnar Tverbakk, Kunstfestival in Lofoten
Eurovision, essay by Patricia Ellis, The Saatchi Gallery, London
This side of the ocean, interview by Petri Sirviö, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
The Art of Photography - Finnish Photography 1996 – 1997, Musta Taide, Helsinki
1st Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Art – The Return from the Past, The End of Utopias,
Schleswig-HolsteinischesLandesmuseum Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig and Haus am Waldsee,
12 Taidetta, samtidskonst från Finland, Riksutsta􀎽Nllningar, Stockholm
Body & Soul, text by Timo Valjakka, Oulu Art Museum and The Nordic ArtsCentre
Northern Realities – New Finnish Photography in Thessaloniki, Macedonian Museum of
Contemporary Art
 Selected Articles and Reviews
Gitte Smed; Interview: Esko Männikkö,, 1. April 2008
Adrian Searle; Hunters and Gatherers, The Guardian, 12th February 2008
Johanna Piman; Photographs from the fringes of the human village, Times Online, 10th March
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize: The eye opener,, 26th January 2008
Mut zur Utopie, Feuilleton, 19. Dezember 2007
Bomsdorf, Clemens: Esko Männikkö: Wunderwelt am Waldrand, art Das Kunstmagazin 3, 2006
Patrick, Keith: Esko Männikkö: Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona, PULK Photography in
London, the UK and Europe 25, 2005
Anders Olofsson; Nordenhake Stockholm: Esko Männikkö, Konsten, January 12, 2004,
April Elizabeth Lamm; Esko Männikkö, Galerie Nordenhake Berlin, tema celeste, March/April
Gabi Scardi; Esko Männikkö in der Galerie Monika de Cardenas, Kunst Bulletin, 1/2 2002
Enno Kaufhold; Der Bilderjäger aus Finnland, Freelens Magazin, 17 2002
Fotopolitica. Esko Männikkö. Intervista a cura I Lorella Scacco, Arte Critica, No 32 2002
Johannes Wendland, Lnagsam verwittern die Häuser, FAZ, January 19, 2002
John Peter Nilsson; Periferin i centrum, Sthlmartfair/Måadsjournalen, No 3, March 1999
Anders Olofsson; Esko Männikkö, Konsten,
Beata Arnborg; Esko, Lapinkangas 1999, Svenska Dagbladet, September 12, 1998
Mika Hannula; Esko Männikkö – Wirklichkeitsüberprüfung, Neue bildende Kunst, 1/98 February-
March 1998
Claudia Wahjudi; Sightings. New Photographic Art, Kunstforum, July/September 1998
Daniel Birnbaum; Kargt och maskulint vardagsliv, Dagens Nyheter, August 22
Sarah Kent, Esko Männikkö, Time Out, August 26, 1998
Knut Ebeling; Vergessene Tugenden, Der Tagesspiegel, November 14, 1998
Lauri Attias; Esko Männikkö, Art News, November, 1998
Johanna Romberg; Das Finnische ist keine Sprache..., Geo – das neue Bild der Erde, No 12
December, 1998
Roy Exley; Esko Männikkö, White Cube, London, Siksi The Nordic Art Review XIII, No 3-4,
Autumn/Winter 1998
Pauline von Bonsdorf; Av tristaste slag, Hufvudstadsbladet, February 16, 1997
Jane Burton; Esko Männikkö, Art News, November 1996
Jaukkuri, Maaretta: Pictures of People and Places, in: 1st Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic
Art – The Return from the Past, The End of Utopias, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1996
Hasse Persson, Igår okänd idag kult, Foto, No 5 1996
Michael Hierholzer; Das kalte Glück am nördlichen Rand Europas, FAZ, July 28, 1996
Liutauras Psibilskis; Zeitgenössische Kunst in Finland, Basler Magasin No 35, August 31, 1996
Audun Eckhoff; Portrait-Nine Artists, Terskel/Threshold, No 17, October 1996
Peter Scheldahl: Finnish Gilt, Artforum, November 1995, p 66 – 69 Finnland: Folk Images –
Fotografien von Esko Männikkö, du – erscheint beim Tagesanzeiger in Zürich, July 1995
Åsa Wall; En Vermeer med kamera i skogen, Svenska Dagbladet, March 9, 1995
John Peter Nilsson; Visst dödar du inte med kameran. Men någon form av jakt är det.,
Aftonbladet Kultur, April 1995
Ritva Kovalainen; Esko Ma􀎽Nnnikko􀎽N, Terskel/Threshold, No 14, June 1995
Roberta Smith; Morris Healy Gallery, The New York Times, November 17, 1995
Jan Håfström; Finsk Manifestation, Dagens Nyheter, December 8, 1995
Markku Valkonen; Am I seeing right?, Form, Function, No 4, 1995