Maria Sann (b. 1982) plays with the possibilities and limits of picture books. The style of the Building exhibit follows Sann’s previous work known for toying with simplistic shapes, but its subject matter is particularly personal: To Moscow with a Broken Heart picture book for adults is based on the Finland Swedish illustrator’s trip that she took last autumn to Moscow where she was born. It is also a journey into the child within. On her journey, Sann met relatives that she had not seen in decades and visited places that make up her childhood landscape.  

Sann began planning the art project on Russia and Russianism already in the autumn of 2021, but as the work progressed the subject garnered additional meanings to which nobody has any answers. With her exhibit Sann participates in the discussion on Russia primarily from the perspective of multiculturalism – as an illustrator.

The income from the sold works will be donated to the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF (Doctors Without Borders).

Known for her insightful graphic illustrations, Maria Sann graduated as Master of Arts from Aalto University in 2018 and has illustrated six books. She is the recipient of the 2021 Rudolf Koivu Prize and the 2022 Most Beautiful Books of the Year Award.

Media links: 

Helsingin Sanomat 18.12.2022

Svenska Yle 8.10.2022

List of works >

Opening hours:

Thu-Fri 12–17, Sat 12–16, and by appointment. Inquiries: veera.pekkinen(at) Please note that the gallery is closed during the Easter holidays, April 7-8.

Photography: Ilkka Vuorinen

Upcoming exhibitions


Ivanda Jansone


Tuuli Haapio


Janne Korsumäki


Anja Reponen