artist: Eva Anttila (Finnish 1894-1993)
medium: pastel on cardboard
dimensions: 43 x 54 cm (approx)
signed and dated 1941
presented in its restored original frame with new non-reflective UV glass
AU $1850 (approx US $1255 / 1275 EUROS / 172,500 yen / 1025 GBP - for exact current conversion visit xe.com)
Eva Anttila was born March 1894 in Tampere. She was a Finnish painter and textile artist. Her work was notable for applying techniques of painting to her textile works and creating pictorial scenes.
Her mother, Selma Anttila (née Helander), was a writer, and her father Werner Anttila, a translator and publisher. Her brother, Leo Anttila (1903-1967) was a writer. She attended the school of the Finnish Art Society from 1913 to 1915 where she studied painting. She later graduated from the Design Department of the School of Art and Design in 1917. Anttila was married to Finnish painter Alexander Paischeff from 1917 to 1918 and Finnish artist Arttu Brummer from 1921 to 1923. She had two children, daughter Eila Pajastie, born in 1918, and son Paavo Anttila, born in 1929. Anttila was one of the first teachers of textile art in Finland, and later taught in Iceland, England, and the United States.
Anttila was a recognized painter in Finland in the 1910s, before later shifting to textile work. In the 1924 she started a private weaving studio where she began creating textiles for interiors, placing an emphasis on practicality.
After World War II, Anttila solely focused on designing tapestries. Her work with tapestries places an emphasis on texture and colour, dyeing her own yarn and borrowing shading techniques from painting. She would begin her work with a rough sketch, deciding colour and details as she went along.
The Bank of Finland commissioned Anttila to create a tapestry in 1952. She designed Work and Life, a nearly five metre long tapestry that depicted the shift from an agrarian society into a society focused on education and technological advancement that took place in post-war Finland.
In 1983 Anttila was awarded Textile Artist of the Year by TEXO, the Finnish Association for Textile Artists and Designers. Over 70 of her tapestries were displayed in this exhibition.
Her work is represented in a number of public collections including the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. From their site:
“Active from the 1940s through the 1980s, Finnish artist Eva Anttila famously wove, or had a hand in weaving, every tapestry that bears her name. Her work is considered an enduring expression of the “artist weaver” concept, which has its roots in the idealized concept of the craftsman advocated in the German Bauhaus movement, and first articulated in Finland by industrial designer Arttu Brummer, Antilla’s husband. As she explained in an interview published in Finland’s Taide art magazine in 1948, “Tapestry revivals led by painters produce unsatisfactory results – painters only draw cartoons, and their conversion into textiles is left to professional weavers.” A designer, she explains, “…should start by weaving.” With its strong vertical rhythm and stippled shading, Evening echoes these ideas, demonstrating Anttila’s sensitivity to the aesthetics of the woven structure.”
She passed away at the age of 99 on August 1, 1993 in Espoo.