Maija Isola - Life, Art, Marimekko

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Maija Isola joined Marimekko as a designer at the age of 22, immediately upon graduating. She was the first artist and designer on a regular salary at Printex/Marimekko, and the company’s role in renewing printed fabrics was largely based on her work as a designer, producing over 500 printed patterns. From the outset, Isola sought a new image for printed fabrics. Her works are known for their large, bold designs and rich colours. Isola found inspiration in nature, folk art and modern visual art alike. Her first complete series of printed fabrics was the Luonto (Nature) collection from 1957 for which she created the patterns by projecting photographs of plants directly onto the canvas. This was followed by the romantic Ornamentti (Ornament) collection based on East European folk art. The Joonas collection from 1961-1962 was in turn based on large designs created with free brushstrokes. Isola became particularly popular among architects with her Arkkitehti (Architect) collection employing large planes of colour.

Design Museum’s exhibition Maija Isola – Life, Art, Marimekko presents Maija Isola’s beloved works and delves into the fascinating world of her art. Published in connection with the exhibition will be an extensive and richly illustrated catalogue on Maija Isola’s life and works. Her life’s work is analysed from various perspectives. Her friends and colleagues present recollections of her, and Isola’s output of 500 printed fabrics is presented with colour photographs.

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