Timo Vuorikoski

Commissioned Portraits


Timo Vuorikoski is a Finnish painter and graphic artist. While specialising in official commissioned portraits, his oeuvre also includes still lives, landscapes and free figure studies.

Vuorikoski was born in Helsinki in 1945. He studied painting at the Finnish Art Academy in Helsinki between 1963-1965 and 1969-1971. Alongside with studies at the Art Academy, Vuorikoski studied art history at Helsinki University. He was appointed Research Associate at the Department of Art History between 1967-1978. During these years, Vuorikoski took part in joint art exhibitions and had solo exhibitions on a regular basis, as well as acting as an art critic. Vuorikoski had his first solo exhibition in 1973; this was also the year when he was elected a member of the Artists' Association of Finland and the Finnish Painters' Union.

In his academic research Vuorikoski had his main focus on the influence of French Post-Impressionism on Finnish art in the early 20th century. Due to time constraints he was prevented from publishing his Ph.D. thesis on the subject, as he was invited to take the position of the Director of the newly founded Museum of Modern Art, The Sara Hildén Art Museum, in Tampere in 1978. Alongside his official duties as the museum director Vuorikoski held solo exhibitions every two years both in Helsinki and in Tampere. Vuorikoski was director of the Museum for 28 years, until 2006, when he decided to become a full time artist.

The President of Finland gave Vuorikoski the honorary title of Professor in 1996.

A book on portraiture, edited by Vuorikoski, was published in 1981. It includes an article by Vuorikoski on the problematics of portraiture, using a portrait by the Finnish portrait artist Tapani Raittila as an example. The art conservator Veikko Kiljunen wrote together with Timo Vuorikoski a textbook on the painter's materials and techniques; this book is still one of the key textbooks in Finnish on the topic.

After moving to Tampere in 1978, Vuorikoski started focusing more and more on painting official commissioned portraits. During his numerous visits abroad, Vuorikoski has had the opportunity to thoroughly study portraiture in the art museums of Europe and the United States.