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Henrik Tikkanen


Henrik Tikkanen (1924-1984) was a Swedish-language Finnish author and artist. He is best known as a drawer: his Helsinki views, female bodies and quickly drawn portraits are easily recognizable. He wrote novels, travel books, plays, radio dramas, TV plays, children’s books, and aphorisms.

Henrik Tikkanen was born in Helsinki in a family belonging to the narrow rich Swedish speaking privileged elite of Finland. In his family there had been several prominent figures of Finnish political and cultural life.

He served in the army during the Continuation War (1941-44) as a volunteer, but found it all too ”foolish for words, ghastly and scary” – and shot himself in the arm and was demobilized. After the war he studied art at the University of Helsinki. He worked first for the main Finland-Swedish newspaper, but from 1967 he was the art director at the main Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, where he also wrote columns illustrated with his own drawings.

His cartoon series and drawings were published in various journals and newspapers already before the war; his first book came out in 1946. Tikkanen had several exhibitions in Finland and abroad. His elegant line was clearly recognizable. He used only a few strokes to build his drawing, sometimes in a hesitating, sensitive manner, sometimes with freely and firmly running lines.

Henrik Tikkanen

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