Maaretta Jaukkuri Foundation

Maaretta's motto: ”Let’s go forward…” by Leevi Haapala, Director Kiasma (since 2015)

Maaretta Jaukkuri is a curator and author, and she has worked as a board member on several acquisition and selection committees in Finland, as well as in other Nordic and European countries. Among her long-term board commitments are the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA); Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art; Helsinki Festival; the Carnegie International Art Award, and the expert committee for the forthcoming Museum of Contemporary Art in Riga, Latvia.


She studied English Philology and Art History at the University of Helsinki in the 1970s and early 80s. As a curator, Jaukkuri is a visionary and is constantly seeking new paths for thinking and interpreting art and contemporaneity. Her field of expertise in contemporary art is wide and ranges from curating, exhibition studies and art collections to exploring the legacy of modernism in public and common space, multicultural encounters, hybridity and multidisciplinarity in arts, philosophy and cultural studies.


Jaukkuri has worked as a curator in art institutions and museums, among others as the head of exhibitions at the Nordic Arts Centre, Helsinki (1982-89); as a curator at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1990); as the first chief curator at Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (1990-2007) and as the artistic director of the Kunsthalle Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2007-2010). She has curated many solo exhibitions by world-renowned artists, among them Hilma af Klint, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Cildo Meireles, Mark Wallinger, Per Inge Bjørlo, Michaël Borremans, Dias and Riedweg, Jesper Just and Gerd Tinglum.


She has also worked as a freelance curator and co-curated several exhibitions in Baltic and Nordic countries, and worked as the head of curatorial teams in several group exhibitions around the world. Among them are The Nordic Biennale Borealis (1985) in Henie Onstad Arts Centre, Høvikodden, Norway; Malmö Konsthall (1987), and in Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (1989); the Nordic Pavilion in Venice in (1988); Containers – Art Across Oceans in connection with Copenhagen, European Capital of Culture for 1996; large international exhibitions ARS95 Private/Public, (1995) and ARS01 Unfolding Perspectives, (2001) and Fluid Street, (2008) in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki; the LIAF biennale in Svolvaer, Norway, (2006); the Helsinki Festival exhibition of Chinese women video artists in Helsinki (2015). In 1998, Jaukkuri co-curated together with Bart de Baere the Roteiros, roteiros, roteiros…, the European section of the São Paulo Biennial, for which Paulo Herkenhoff worked as a curator-at-large. In 2006 she co-curated with Cristina Ricupero Looking Inside Out, Art from Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunis at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo.


Artscape Nordland in Northern Norway is literally Jaukkuri’s curatorial landmark. It consists of 36 site-specific art commissions located in 35 municipalities in Nordland. Each sculpture is site-specific and creates a new “place”. 36 Norwegian and international artists, among them Bård Breivik, Kari Cavén, Tony Cragg, Luciano Fabro, Dan Graham, Anawana Haloba, Hulda Hákon, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Per Kirkeby, Cildo Meireles, and Bjørn Nørgaard were invited to work within this programme, to visit and to create a work of art in these amazingly beautiful and challenging landscapes during the years 1992-2015.


As a teacher and professor, Jaukkuri has started two new academic programmes. She has guided two generations of art professionals in Helsinki and Trondheim: artists, curators and architecture students, and mediators for contemporary art and art criticism. Jaukkuri worked as a professor of the new programme ‘Art and Common Space’ at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art/NTNU in Trondheim from 2004-2013, and since 2014 as emerita professor. She also worked as the first Professor of the Praxis MFA programme for curatorial studies from 2012-2014 at the Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Arts in Helsinki. Over the years, she has given numerous lectures and seminars, participated in public talks, and published insightful catalogue essays, forewords and seminar papers.