Ismo Hölttö

Ismo Hölttö -näyttely. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen

Photographer Ismo Hölttö (born 1940) documented Finns in their own living environments in the 1960s and ‘70s. A goldsmith, Hölttö photographed in his home town Helsinki whenever he could. He developed into a technically skilled and visionary artist at the Helsinki Camera Club. Hölttö also travelled extensively in Finland, capturing with his camera, the lives of people living in remote areas and the Finnish Roma minority among others. In the early 1970s he opened his own studio, where he worked for the next three decades.

The works displayed at this exhibition date from the 1960s, when Ismo Hölttö worked as a goldsmith. He spent his free time touring the streets of Helsinki and the Finnish countryside, including North Karelia, Savonia and the Oulu Region, with his 1962 Rolleiflex at the ready. An active member of the Helsinki Camera Club, he is self-taught in the techniques of photography and developed his expression further. He is a master of light and intuitive composition, which has won him accolades in many competitions, such as the 1967 European Photographer award in West Berlin. In the same year, he also won the photographic competition marking the 50th anniversary of Finnish independence.

As a photographer of people, Hölttö forms part of the humanistic photographic canon, dominated by an interest in people and the environment and circumstances in which they live.

The curator of the exhibition is Riitta Raatikainen.

The artist’s work is supported by the Kone Foundation and Patricia Seppälä Foundation.

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