Joonas Kota (b.1976) lives and works in Helsinki. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki 2003. Kota’s works are paintings and sculptures. He is represented by the Zetterberg gallery.

Kota’s works examine the ways by which we look at the world. His works create parallel realities and drifts between the fragility of the captured moment and timelessness. The abstracted forests turn into virtualized sceneries, the delicately layered diamonds reflect fractions of the world around you without revealing its core. The Emoji icons have become faded memories of their virtual existence when taken out of their original context.

Kota describes his work as often consisting of three dimensions: symbolic reality, reality-in-itself and the transcendentally. At its best, the viewer’s thoughts move between these three dimensions effortlessly.

His latest exhibition was the Virtualized Sceneries in the Zetterberg gallery. He has had group and solo exhibitions internationally, of which the most important are: The Illicit Cell Aid in the Kluuvi gallery, Helsinki 2011, Paintings in the Huuto gallery, Helsinki 2010, Dialogues in the Manege, Saint-Petersburg 2009, Serendipity, Homg Kong 2006, Songs of Freedom and Love, Platform Garanti, Istanbul 2006, Flow, Barcelona 2005.

Kota’s works have been placed in private and public collections such as the Finnish National gallery Kiasma and the Helsinki Art Museum HAM.


2003 Master of Fine Arts, The Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
2001 The Slade School of Fine Arts, London
1995 The High School diploma, Tampere

2017 Virtualized Sceneries, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2011 Diallectic Illicid Cell Aid, Joonas Kota / Erkka Nissinen, Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki
2011 Paintings, Gallery Huuto!, Helsinki
2005 Flaw, Gallery Serilla, Barcelona, Spain
2004 Trailers, Helsinki City Art Museums Gallery
2003 Highlight, The Academy of Fine Arts’ gallery
2001 Pretending Is Honest, The Slade School of Fine Arts, London

2018 Teachers and Students, Exhibition Laboratory, Helsinki
2017 Attempting Ideal, Salon Dahlmann, Berliini
2016 Enslaved or Free, gallery Zetterberg, Helsinki
2009 Dialogues Biennale, Manege, St-Petersburg, Russia
2008 Made in Kuvataideakatemia, Kaiku gallery, Helsinki
2006 Serendipity, 1A Space, Hong Kong, China
2006 Songs of Freedom and Love, Platform Garanti, Istanbul
2004 The Measure of a Man, Helsinki City Art Museum
2002 The Degree Show, The Academy of Fine Arts
2000 Riiko Sakkinen, Bad Milk, The Academy of Fine Arts’ gallery
1998 11 and 33 Influencers, together with Jani Leinonen, Käytävä!, Helsinki

2017 Alfred Kordelin foundation
2017 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2016 Taike
2010 Majaoja Foundation
2006 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2006 Avek
2005 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2005 Kunststyrelsen, Denmark
2004 Frame-Fund
1998 Nelimarkka Foundation

2018 E.W. Ponkalan säätiö
2017 Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki
2016 Miettinen Collection
2003 The Art Collection of Päivi and Paavo Lipponen
2002 Helsinki City Art Museum
1998 Nelimarkka Foundation

2017 Helsinki Art Guide: Worlds colliding in Joonas kotas Virtualized Sceneries
2008 Made in Kuvataideakatemia, exhibition katalogue
2006 Serendipity, exhibition katalogue
2005 Joonas Kota. Strategies of Seduction – Self-image under presssure.

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Paradise is Now | Palm Trees in Art

Curated by Robert Grunenberg | Artists: John Baldessari, Juliette Blightman, Marcel Broodthaers, Rodney Graham, Secundino Hernández, Gregor Hildebrandt, David Hockney, Stefan Knauf, Joonas Kota, Alicja Kwade, Talisa Lallai, Mevlana Lipp, Sarah Ortmeyer, Sigmar Polke, Bruno V. Roels, Ed Ruscha, Raf Simons, Yutaka Sone & Rirkrit Tiravanija, Simon Speiser, Henning Strassburger, Vivian Suter, Barthélémy Togu | Salon Dahlman 27.4 – 30.6.2018 Opening: Thursday, 26 April 2018, 6 pm

Teachers and Students

Curators Markus Konttinen and Anna Tuori. Artists:Malin Ahlsved, Elina Autio, Erik Creutziger, Eeva-Leena Eklund, Sami Havia, Alma Heikkilä, Lotta Hänninen, Marko Karpow, Markus Konttinen, Joonas Kota, Muriel Kuoppala, Kalle Leino, Robin Lindqvist, Tiina Mielonen, Teemu Mäenpää, Nabb & Teeri, Tarmo Paunu, Outi Pieski, Janne Räisänen, Stiina Saaristo, Kim Somervuori, Kaarlo Stauffer, Tuukka Tammisaari, Milla Toivanen, Anna Tuori, Pauliina Turakka Purhonen, Samppa Törmälehto Exhibition Laboratory / 12.1.–4.2.2018, Merimiehenkatu 36 C, inner court


Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid. Joonas Kota's and Erkka Nissinen's exhibition Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid contains painting installations and video works. Kluuvi gallery 6.8 – 21.8.2011


"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely think they are free" -Goethe. Artists Jiri Geller, Mari Keto, Joonas Kota, Jani Leinonen, Aurora Reinhard and Sampsa. Zetterberg Gallery 29.1 – 6.3.2016


Joonas Kota's first solo exhibition at Zetterberg gallery – Virtualized Sceneries presents the artists latest work through three new work series: Transcendent Diamods, Broken Forests and Degradable Emoji -icons. Kota's works examine the ways by which we look at the world. His works creates parallel realities and drifts between the fragility of the captured moment and timelessness. Zetterberg Gallery 26.1 – 19.2.2017


Attempting Ideal -Emerging Artists from Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Lipponen Collection in Salon Dahlmann. Artists: Ville Andersson, Alma Heikkilä, Hannaleena Heiska, Mikko Hintz, Karolina Hellberg, Alge Julia Kavalaiskaite, Joonas Kota, Robin Lindqvist, Nabb+Teeri, Tiina Palmu, Olli Piippo, Tiina Pyykkinen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Liu Susiraja and Jenni Toikka. Salon Dahlman 9.6 – 26.8.2017


Emoji Works

Broken Forest