Selected works by Elina Brotherus

Elina Brotherus
Femme à sa toilette


Chromogenic colour print mounted on aluminium

80 x 66 cm
Elina Brotherus’ self-portrait, Femme à sa toilette, marks a moment in her series The New Painting where she began to delve more deeply into art history and leave behind the more autobiographical aspect of her work. For those who think of her primarily as a still, solitary presence contemplating vast landscapes of pristine beauty, this sudden close-up comes as a shock, as if we opened the door to the bathroom without realising a stranger was inside. The work’s title, of course, tells us that she is thinking here of the female nude as seen by Degas, Cézanne , Bonnard and male painters belonging to the rich tradition going back to such Renaissance masters as Bellini, but I am struck by a resemblance to a nude ‘à sa toilette’ by a female painter, the Impressionist Berthe Morisot: we see the same profile in both studies, the same expanse of white flesh. Morisot’s subject, however, is still an object of delectation, whereas Brotherus isn’t really giving us a nude at all, but rather a self-portrait, a confession and admission of vulnerability rather than an image of titillation. It is best appreciated within her larger series of melancholic self-portraits set within modest domestic interiors, mattress-on-the-floor kinds of places suggesting only momentary relief on a long journey.

Text by William A Ewing

Elina Brotherus's Biography

Elina Brotherus
Born in 1972, in Helsinki,Finland
Lives and works in Finland and France


GB aganecy, Paris
Gallery Taik, Berlin
Galerie Les Voies Off, Arles, France
Martin Asbaek Gallery, Copenhagen
Galleria Heino, Helsinki, together with Lauri Astala
What if, Pickme, Helsinki, together with Kira Gluschkoff

Le Radar, espace d’art actuel, Bayeux, France.
Ama Gallery, Helsinki.
Pluie d’images, Brest.

Fondazione Studio Marangoni, Florence.
Elina Brotherus, Artothèque d’Angers.
The Wapping Project Bankside, London.
Elina Brotherus, Bloomberg SPACE, in the ‘Comma’ series, London.
Time Series, Titanik Gallery, Turku.
Artists at Work, Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki, together with Teemu Korpela and Jan Neva.
Artists at Work, gb agency, Paris.
Elina Brotherus : Retrospective, gb agency, Paris.

The Wapping Project Bankside, London.
Artist and her model, Martin Asbaek Gallery, Copenhagen.
Correspondences, Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki, together with Hannele Rantala.
The New Painting, ZAMEK Cultural Center & PF Photography Gallery, Poznan, Poland (cat.).

ELINA BROTHERUS, Adventure Istiklal 6, Yapi Kredi Kazim Taskent Art Gallery, Istanbul (cat.).
Etudes d'après modèle, danseurs, Ama Gallery, Helsinki.
My Happiness is Round, The Wapping Project, London.
Paesaggi con montagna, Malga Valarica, Spera, Italy.
V.M. 21 Arte contemporanea, Rome.
Elina Brotherus, in Artist File 2008, The National Art Center, Tokyo (cat.).

The New Painting, Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg.
Gb agency, Paris.
Le Bleu du ciel, Le traitement contemporain, In resonance with the Biennale d'art contemporain, Lyon.
The New Painting, Centre pour l'image contemporaine, Genève.

Model Studies, Musee de Beaux-Arts de Caen, Caen
Elina Brotherus, Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon sur Saône
Elina Brotherus, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin
Elina Brotherus - The New Painting, Millesgården, Lidingö

Brotherus, tyttö, Finnish-Norvegian Cultural Institute, Oslo.
Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt/M.
Contemporary Art Centre Tinglado, Tarragona (cat.).
FRAC Haute-Normandie, Rouen.
Baigneurs, Maison de la Culture, Amiens
Model Studies, gb agency, Paris.

Galleri Stefan Andersson, Umeå.
The New Painting, Mai Manó, Hungarian Photography Center, Budapest.
"Brotherus, tyttö", Photography Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki.
Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen.
The New Painting, Chateau d'eau, Toulouse (cat.).
Baigneurs, The Wapping Project, London.

Kunsthalle Lophem, Lophem (cd-rom cat.).
Cassina Art Project, Tokyo, in Blue Horizon / Feel Finland (cat.).
Baigneurs, Istanbul Biennial side event organised by FRAME, Hotel Marmara, Istanbul (cat.).
The New Painting, Pärnu uue kunsti muuseum, Pärnu ; Draakoni Galerii, Tallinn.
Suites Françaises 2, Image/Imatge, Orthez.
The New Painting, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels (cat.).
Sala Caballerizas, Murcia, in Fotoencuentros (cat.).

Galeria Noua, Bucharest.
Real Jardin Botánico, Madrid, in PhotoEspaña (cat.).
Encontros da imagem, Braga (cat.).
INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts), Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Hämeenlinna.
Västerås Konstmuseum, Västerås.
Lunds Konsthall, Lund.
Orchard Gallery, Derry.

Spring, The Wapping Project, London (cat.).
Suites Françaises 2, gb agency, Paris (cat.).
The New Painting, Galleri Stefan Andersson, Umeå.

Encontros de Fotografia, Coimbra.
Suites Françaises 1, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki (cat.).
Galerie i8, Reykjavik (cat.).

Northern Photography Center, Oulu.
The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.
Dance Portraits, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki.

Galleri Stefan Andersson, Umeå (cat.).
Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, with Andrei Lajunen.


Out of Focus: Photography, Saatchi Gallery, London
Only You Only Me, Images of Love, Love of the Image, Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts, Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain MAMAC, Liège, Belgium
State of the Art - New Contemporary Photography, NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf
Sense of Place, BOZAR Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (cat.).

A Female View, Foto-Raum, Wien.
Momentum, Nordic Biennial, Moss, Norway
Pour une république des rêves, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France
Screaming from the Mountain : Landscapes and Viewpoints, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway
Landscape Experieces, Jyväskylä Art Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland
Art Film Program, Basel Art Fair, Stadtkino Basel.
Purnu Art Center, Purnu, Finland
Alice in Wonderland, Logomo, Turku

Prix Nièpce, Rétrospective, Musée du Montparnasse, Paris (cat.).
Cinéphémère, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris.
Nordic Models + Common Ground, The Scandinavia House, New York (cat.).
Polku, Honkahovi Art Center, Mänttä, Finland (cat.).
Felicità, Centre PasquArt, Bienne/Biel (cat.).
Public Screens, i/o/lab senter for framtidskunst, Stavanger, Norway (cat.).
Cool Water, Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki.
Vom Dunkeln Geschluckt, Ars Auttoinen, Auttoinen, Finland.
Spazio, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (cat.).
Starter, ARTER, Istanbul (cat.)
Helsinki10, Rogaland Art Museum, Stavanger (cat.).
Dans, Västerås Art Museum, Västerås.
Export - Import, Helsinki Kunsthalle (cat.).

Earth-Tracks, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki.
What lies beneath, FotoWeek DC, Washington DC.
Photography matters : The Helsinki School, Statoil art programme, Oslo (cat.).
Rencontres littéraires nordiques, Lieu Unique, Nantes.
Fly me to the MØØn, 44 Moen, Denmark (cat.).
Ecology of Emotions, Mänttä Art Festival, Mänttä, Finland (cat.).
Works, Deeds, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.
Wonderful dreadful life, South-Karelia Art Museum, Lappeenranta.
Gioia, FotoGrafia Festival, Palazzo delle esposizioni, Rome (cat.).
Teatri possibili. Dall’arte rinascimentale alla video-art, Palazzo Ferrero, Biella (cat.).
Faire la peau de l’inconscient, Galerie Nei Liicht, Dudelange, Luxembourg, in connection with
Mutations2, Moving stills (cat.).
Myth of Childhood, Haus für Kunst Uri, Altdorf, Swizerland ; CCA Andratx, Mallorca ; Kunstverein
Ludwigshafen (cat.) (until 2010).
La Ruche, cité des artistes, Palais Lumière, Evian (cat).
Dance over the border, Dansens hus, Stockholm.

Heijastuksia / Reflections, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art and Tikanojan taidekoti, Vaasa ; Wäinö Aaltonen Art Museum, Turku ; Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Hämeenlinna (until 2009).
Je reviendrai, MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine.
Sao Paulo Biennal, Video Lounge.
REAL, Photographs from the DZ BANK collection, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main (cat.).
Fennofolk, Design Museum, Helsinki (cat.).
1% Water, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium.
Nordiske stemninger, ARKEN, Ishöj, Denmark (cat.).
Las implicaciones de la imagem, Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Artes, MUCA, Mexico City.
The Return of the Prodigal Son, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa (cat.).
Maan asema / La position de la terre, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch.
Sept ans de reflection, Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône.

Collection Neuflize, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon.
Las partes y el todo / Parts and the Whole, Colección H+F, Fundación FotoColectania, Barcelona ; Centro Cultural Bancaja, Alicante (cat.).
Merveilleux!, Château de Malbrouck, Manderen (cat.).
Territoires partagés – peinture et photographie aujourd'hui, Château de Villeneuve, Vence (cat).
Je est il, Je sont ils?, Abbaye Saint André, Meymac.
Shot and go, A vision of today's international photography, Island of San Servolo, Venice.
Into the Landscape, Preus Museum, Horten (cat.).
De l'Europe, Prix Mosaïque, Dudelange (cat.).
L'oeil écran ou la nouvelle image, Casino Forum d'Art Contemporain, Luxembourg (cat.).
Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum, New York (cat.).
So Close so Far Away, H+F Collection, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch ; Be-Part Platform voor Actuele Kunst, Waregem ; Museum Het Domain, Sittard (until 2008) (cat.).
Sguardi da nord/Northern Lights, Galleria Civica di Modena (cat.).

Eine Frage (nach) der Geste/A Question(ing) of Gesture, Opera Building, Leipzig ; Fotohof, Saltzburg (until 2007).
Dreamlands Burn, Mücsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest (cat.).
Nouveaux Horizons, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch.
Brussels to Infinity, International Cultural Centre Gallery, Krakow ; Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, Paris ; Museo de Arte Brasileira, Sao Paulo (until 2007) (cat.).
Ars Fennica 2007, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki ; Embassy of Finland, Washington ; The Scandinavia House, New York (until 2008) (cat.).
Art, Life & Confusion, October Salon/Belgrade Biennial, Belgrade (cat.).
Journées photographiques de Bienne/Bieler Fototage, Bienne/Biel (cat.).
Dimensions intérieures, Le Botanique, Brussels.
Estivales photographiques de Trégor, Lannion (cat.).
Intersection - between past and future, Pori Art Museum, Pori.
Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (cat.)
Outside the Living Room, gb agency, Paris.
Mar Mater Materia, Espace photographique Contretype, Brussels.
Absolutely Private, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (cat.).
Clarities, Kopavogur Art Museum, Gerdarsafn, together with Rúri and Thor Vigfusson.
Galleria Heino, Helsinki, together with Sirpa Päivinen and Anu Suhonen.

Self-Timer/Selbstauslöser, Kunsthalle Fridericanum, Kassel ; Nikolaj, Copenhagen ; National Museum of Bucharest (until 2007) (cat.).
Centrale Montemartini, Rome, in Gemini muse (cat.).
Helsinki International, Korjaamo, Helsinki.
Pyyteetön rakkaus, Rauma Art Museum, Rauma.
Tampere Museum of Contemporary Art, TR1, Tampere.
Under your skin, White Box, New York.
Enea Righi Collection, Hotel de Caumont, Collection Lambert, Avignon.

Galeria Salvador Diaz, Madrid.
Nordic Art, MKM Museum Küppersmühle, Duisburg (cat.).
PHOTOfesta, Maputo, Mosambique.
Vague II – Hommages et digressions, Musée Malraux, Le Havre (cat.).
Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF 04), Svolvaer (cat.).
The Helsinki School, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki ; Kulturhuset, Stockholm ; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (until 2005) (cat.).
Startistes, Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Sportives et Culturelles, Brussels.
Tusenfryd, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen.
France – Terre d'Accueil, New Gallery, Jerusalem (cat.).
Je t'envisage, la disparition du portrait, Museé de l’Elysée, Lausanne.

Le pire est à venir–Images contemporaines du monde, Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône.
Carnegie Art Award 2003, Royal Art Academy, Stockholm ; Kópavogur Art Museum, Reykjavík ; Kunsternes Hus, Oslo ; Charlottenburg, Copenhagen ; Victoria Miro Warehouse, London ; Helsinki Kunsthalle (until 2005) (cat.)
Girls' Night Out, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach CA ; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover MA ; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen CO ; Contemporary Art Museum, Saint Louis MI ; Blaffer Gallery, Houston TX (until 2006) (cat.).
GOKANN, IV Trienniale of Finnish Art, Gallery Fleur, Kyoto ; Helsinki Kunsthalle (until 2004) (cat.).
Portraits d'arbres, Musée d'Evreux (cat.).
Paysages, Centre européen d’actions artistiques contemporaines, Strasbourg.
Culturgest / Collection of Museé de l’Elysée, Lisbon.
De bortbjudna – Malmö Konstmuseum gästar Rooseum, Rooseum, Malmö.
Fables de l’identité, Centre national de la photographie, Paris.
Naked before God, Pärnu uue kunsti muuseum, Pärnu (cat.).
Meri, Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Hämeenlinna (cat.)
Inhimillinen arki, Vantaa City Art Museum, Vantaa (cat.).
Transparente, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (cat.).
Zeitgenössische Fotokunst aus Finnland, Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin ; Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim ; Städtische Galerie, Waldkreiburg ; Stadtgalerie Kiel, Kiel ; Brandenburgische Kunstsammlung, Cottbus ; Centrum Kultury ZAMEK, Poznan ; Salo Art Museum, Salo (until 2004) (cat.).
Nya verkligheter, Finlandsinstitutet, Stockholm.
Nostalgic Real, Mullerdechiara, Berlin.
View, Muu Gallery, Helsinki (cat.).
New Realities, Hasselblad Center, Gothemburg.

Face/Off, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge(cat.).
La Jeunesse, La edad más bella, Sala de Exposiciones del Canal de Isabel II, Madrid.
Le bâti et le vivant / The Built and the Living, Semaines européennes de l'image, Galerie Nei Liicht,
Dudelange, Luxembourg (cat.)
Carnegie Art Award 2002, Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik ; Kunsternes Hus, Oslo ; Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen ; Victoria Miro Warehouse, London ; Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki ; Röda Sten, Gothemburg (until 2003) (cat.).
Symptomania, Kunsthalle Lophem, Lophem (cat.).
Uusia kuvia, Brotherus Kella Kolehmainen Lajunen Parantainen, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki.
Photographier, Collection Lambert, Avignon.
Valokuva ja video, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere (cat.).
Platform of Encounters, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (cat.).
Attachment +, European Cultural Capital 2002, Brugge (cat.).
Beyond Paradise, National Gallery, Bangkok ; National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur ; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (cat.).
Citigroup Private Bank Photography Prize 2002, The Photographers' Gallery, London (cat.).

Rendez-vous 3, Collection Lambert, Avignon.
Silence in the City, Gwangju City Art Museum, Gwangju (cat.).
Make me feel, Art Athina, Athens (cat.).
ARS 01, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (cat.).
Théâtres du Fantastique, Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse (cat.).
Magnetic North, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall (cat.).
Surface and Whirlpools, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås (cat.).
Fotofinlandia 2000 Award, Kaapelitehdas / Cable Factory, Helsinki.

Jahresgaben, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main (cat.).
One of those days, Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim (cat.).
Quinze en Europe, Septembre de la Photo, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice (cat.).
Waterfront, Kulturbro 2000, Helsingborg, Helsingør (cat.).
Narcisse blessé, Autoportraits Contemporains 1970-2000, Passage de Retz, Paris (cat.).
Norden/North, Kunsthalle Wien, Wien (cat.).
Think 2000, The Finnish National Gallery Ateneum, Helsinki (cat.).
Sandroni Rey Gallery, Venice, Los Angeles.
Galerie Lindig in Paludetto, Nürnberg.

Tila – Espaces, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.
Spaces, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.
The Passion and the Wave, The 6th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (cat.).
Identité fictive, Contretype, Brussels (cat.).
Finnish line : Starting point, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg (cat.).

Galleri Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm.