Kerttu Saali (b. 1994) is a Helsinki-based visual artist, and her main medium is oil painting. Saali has participated in several group exhibitions in Finland and overseas. Her works have been exhibited at the Gumbostrand Konst & Form gallery in Sipoo, Finland, the Glasshouse Helsinki gallery and the Schwarz Contemporary gallery in Berlin. Saali’s last solo exhibition was held at Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki in March 2022, and her works can be found in the collections of the City of Tampere, the Saastamoinen Foundation and HUS Helsinki University Hospital, for example. Saali’s works are also in numerous private collections. Saali is completing her master’s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts. 


Exibited at Taidehalli 22.4.-28.5.2023


Marraskuu (November)
, 75 x 75 cm, oil on canvas, wood, 2022  

Red: Polttava (Burning), 75 x 75 cm, oil on canvas, wood, 2022 

The works on display are an organic continuum to a work that began in 2018. For Saali, the most important thing in painting is freedom: she almost always paints without a plan or purpose. The basic elements of painting – colour, light and form – are at the heart of her process. Saali’s conceptual and stylistic influences come from Impressionism, for example, and especially the way the Impressionists deal with light.  

Saali relies on sensory-based background work, and a piece can be inspired by a memorable observation in the surrounding world, such as a ray of sunlight shining through a dense forest, or rippling water and rays of light dancing on its surface. But unlike the Impressionists, Saali deconstructs the perception into abstraction. She is interested in the non-verbal side of painting: her works only aim to give clues to something that already exists and to reveal that paintings speak a language of their own.

Image Credits: 
Artist’s portrait - Patrik Rastenberger
Artwork images - Angel Gil