Kimmo Kaivanto

1932–

Kimmo Kaivanto

The artist and sculptor Kimmo Kaivanto studied at the Institute of Industrial Arts from 1953 to 1954. During the years that followed he worked for the advertising agency Mainos Lehmus Oy in his home town of Tampere, about a hundred and eighty kilometres northeast of Helsinki.

In 1960, Kaivanto created the poster Puuvilla on muotia (‘Cotton is fashion’) and received first prize in the Poster of the Year competition.

After the prizes had been announced, the advertising industry’s magazine, Mainosuutiset, wrote that ‘it felt refreshing to see a new face among the usual small group of annual winners’. The comment was a reference to the fact that artists such as Erik Bruun, Per-Olof Nyström and Raimo Raimela had dominated the competition until then.

In spite of his success within the world of advertising, Kimmo Kaivanto felt that there was a conflict between commercial graphic art and free art. He left his work at the advertising agency in 1962 and chose to concentrate on his own art. Kaivanto’s list of merits is impressive and he has created several pieces of artwork for public buildings.

It is a less well known fact that Kimmo Kaivanto has also worked in stage design for both the theatre and opera. For instance, he has done work for the Opera Festival in Olavinlinna, Finland, and for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Kimmo Kaivanto received the title of Professor in 1995.

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