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The Maire Gullichsen Prize is an honour given to a contemporary artist. Maire Gullichsen (1907–1990) defended art’s profound, universally human core; the impact on viewers of art that is made intuitively and to the full. In that same spirit, the Maire Gullichsen Prize committee looks for values that exemplify something outside of the mainstream in contemporary art.

We want to honour artists who make art out of an inner necessity. We trust that their personal ethos and pleasure in making art will be communicated to viewers as something to be enjoyed regardless of changes in style ideals.

Maire Gullichsen’s 80th Anniversary Fund was founded in 1988 to commemorate the 80th birthday of Maire Gullichsen (1907-1990), the prominent patron of the arts, and is administered by the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Maire Gullichsen. Photo: Artek collection © Alvar Aalto Foundation.

The 2020 Maire Gullichsen Prize has been awarded to Pekka Sassi, an artist known for his wide-ranging, experimental work with video art and installations. The prize is worth 7 000 euros. Read more from the press release.


Pekka Sassi, Still Colours 2. 120 x 120 cm.

Recipients of the Maire Gullichsen Prize


Pekka Pitkänen


Tor Arne


Mari Rantanen


Nathalie Lahdenmäki


Sandra Kantanen


Vesa-Pekka Rannikko


Inka Kivalo

Exhibition Inka Kivalo – Personae was on display at the Alvar Aalto Museum in 2020.


Pekka Sassi