Under the auspices of the Carnegie Investment Bank, the Carnegie Art Award was established in 1998 to promote the development of contemporary Nordic painting. In the last decade, the award has been given out once every two years, becoming one of the largest contemporary art projects in Northern Europe. It employs around 30 experts on contemporary art, features several dozens of artists, and entails the publishing of an illustrated book and an exhibition tour showing the works of both candidates and winners; this year's tour will include cities such as Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Winners receive considerable monetary prizes – the first three places receiving one million Swedish kronor, 600 thousand kronor, and 400 thousand kronor, respectively. There's also a scholarship, in the amount of 100 thousand kronor, awarded to one chosen young artist.
The second-to-last stop for the Carnegie Art Award 2012 exhibition is the Amos Anderson Art Museum, where it will be showing until July 30. The Finns can be proud of the fact that this year's winner is one of their own – the painter Heikki Marila (1966), who won with his monumental series of paintings titled “Flowers” (2009). They are a unique and expressive combination of contemporary painting and the symbolism and aesthetics characteristic of the previous century.
Among the 17 artists from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, the exposition presents three works from the series Poster Paintings, by the winner of the above-mentioned scholarship – Klara Lidén (Sweden); the paintings of the third place winner – Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen (Denmark); the illusory compositions of second place winner Ann Edholm (Sweden); and of course, the works created by the grand prize winner himself.