Born 1978  |  Lives and works in Jyväskylä and Kuopio


The critic Harold Rosenberg coined the term “action painting” in 1952, the main action being the dialogue between canvas and artist. The key features of this subgenre of abstract expressionism are spontaneity and intuition. Leading exponents include Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline.


The main role in SAMI’s works is played by energy and movement, with everything else positioned around them. The physicality of the process and the way he paints with his whole body can be seen in his fast-paced Instagram videos, as he goes from canvas to canvas, painting with both spray and brush simultaneously. 


In SAMI’s latest works colour has emerged more strongly than before, to take its place alongside the rhythm and the line. The colours have been chosen for their feel and visual impact, creating contrasts against the white ground, while accentuating the black gestures and markings. The black marks are like the artist’s thoughts scribbled on canvas and add their own, new dimension.


The deliberate, time-consuming painting process, applying and removing paint in turn, seeks to create the illusion of a rapid, uncomplicated artwork that combines ferocity and beauty. The quick splashes and lines trace out a precisely considered colour composition. The three-dimensional surface is made of paint that has been squeezed out, spread with a spatula, or daubed onto the canvas using a piece of wood, but no brush. The playful process of letting go generates stratified line paintings where surface and materiality occupy an important position.


According to Rosenberg, an (action) painting is not a picture, but an event. Here, a feeling has dictated the subject matter, experiment and letting go have guided the painting, and the precisely selected tones, aided by the black marks, have created the rhythmicality, the end result being the sum of all these events.


SAMI has had solo exhibitions all around Finland, and in recent years also in the USA, including New York and Los Angeles, and in Brisbane, Australia. His works are, for instance, in the Sara Hildén Art Museum, Finnish State, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art and Kuopio Art Museum collections, and in numerous private collections.