Maritta Tapanainen

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Artist’s Statement

The collages are intuitive accretions, built-up layers of intricately contoured cut paper fragments—fragments found sifting through outmoded textbooks, encyclopedias, technical manuals and the like. Lyric improvisations recontextualize the natural, biological world with scientific, mechanical elements evoking recognition while simultaneously remaining enigmatic. I began acquiring old, discarded volumes long before their possibilities unfolded attracted by the visual beauty and richness, the soft warmth of the patina, the fragility inherent of this arcane printed matter—its evocative obsolescence, qualities redolent of another age—an authenticity that I desire to preserve and channel. Selections are made with a practiced eye—informed by snatches of memory and meditations on the micro- macro cosmos—finding inspiration in antiquated print aberrations, engraved optical eccentricities, and odd, inartful renderings. All coalesce to imbue the work with a sense of immediacy, and detached timelessness.

Maritta Tapanainen was born in Finland, raised in Canada, has since lived in Europe, Central America, and in the harsh expansive beauty of the Mojave desert. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Her work can be found in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (mfa), The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The International Collage Center (ICC), and many other venues, and has been presented at The ADAA Art Show, Palm Springs Fine, Art Fair, Houston Fine Art Fair, CA Boom–Dwell on Design, Pulse Art Fair, LA Art Show, and Works on Paper (Park Avenue Armory). She has twice received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, been highlighted in The Paris Review, and had solo shows reviewed by Artforum, The Los Angeles Times, and more.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.