towards Paris

The importance of friends and collaborators became important for their part. He stated to Turku Sanom in April 1986: "This work can no longer be done alone ... it requires the cooperation of many people." The sky for foreign forums was multi-generational and long. Actually, we have to talk about several parallel roads and stories - "going to the world" is not a single route.

Among the first connections, we must mention the exhibition organized by my father in Stockholm in 1977. The Germans, on the other hand, found Palmu in Hämeenlinna. The first exhibition in Bonn was in 1980 - the "Institut für Sprachvermittlung" organized the exhibition from 15 to 27 April. and the reception was positive. The newspapers Bonner Anzeigerblatt and General-Anzeiger mentioned the event, a slightly more extensive story was in the Bonner Rundschau under the title "Prägnante Bilder aus dem Norden Finnland". In recent years, Palmu has had several exhibitions in Stockholm and he has received a lot of public attention from them.

Palmu did not shy away from his own efforts in his quest for the world. The classic story is getting his exhibition to Amsterdam in 1983. With his art dealer friend Roel Wildeboer, he went from gallery to gallery with five paintings under his arm for almost a week, only to be politely rejected time after time.

They simply offered Palmu's work to the wrong type of galleries because they didn't know enough about the Amsterdam gallery world. In the last gallery, where at the end of the week we were thinking of going in the rain, it finally took off. The gallerist lady happily stated that "these are just like my husband's paintings" and the exhibition was agreed upon. The exhibition at the gallery Den Gulden Fontey from September 24 to October 16, 1983 also received positive press mentions. Juhani Palmu's work was also exhibited in a joint exhibition of artists from Hämeenlinna in the German twin city of Celle in 1983.

Perhaps the most legendary story, and served with many spices in the Finnish public, is Palmu's arrival in Paris to the world-famous Bernheim-Jeune gallery, where he had his first exhibition at the beginning of 1986.

Juhani Palmu had received the name and address of the gallery on Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré from the French ambassador, Philippe Husson, when he visited Palmu's home in the fall of 1984 at a cocktail party.

That same fall, Palmu made a trip to Paris and arranged a rendez-vous with the owners of Berheim-Jeune. Photographs of his paintings had been taken along for the first visit, and Palmu was helped by a French interpreter and an old friend Reijo Oras. The Embassy of Finland in Paris, when told about the intention of the exhibition, had told them that Finnish artists had never done business on the corners of the city's finest shopping street before, and that the idea of ​​having an exhibition at Bernheim-Jeune was mostly utopian.

So, when entering, I had the feeling at first that it's not really funny to be rejected in such a nice place. That would also be a valuable experience. With this, on the other hand, there was nothing to lose. The meeting had been arranged - now he just had to present his case.

When, as the discussions progressed, the owners of the gallery, the Dauberville family, had then politely inquired which part of the gallery the unknown Finnish artist might be interested in, Oras had hurried to answer that, of course, the whole gallery!

As a result of the negotiation in a friendly atmosphere, Juhani Palmu received preliminary approval for his exhibition effort in this art sanctuary with 200 years of tradition. At the same time, however, it was agreed that before the actual contract was signed, he would bring some of his latest paintings to Paris to be seen. This moment came three weeks later.

Examining the paintings in the back room of the gallery took a long time and Palmu was asked questions about this and that. The grandfather of the Dauberville family, a gray-haired academic, who was there - chatted politely to the guest, trying to ease the agony of waiting. Among other things, he said that he was the little boy of the mother and child painting hung on the opposite wall of the guest salon. Palmu noticed Auguste Renoir as the author of the fine painting!

The Finnish artist sat quietly in his chair - he had made a long journey from the far North to the metropolis of world art.

After three hours of sitting and dozens of questions, Palmu's acceptance to the Dauberville gallery was confirmed. He had joined a very prestigious group of artists - he would have an exhibition at Bernheim-Jeune.

From the artists of this gallery for 200 years, it is enough to list the main names of the art of painting for a long time: Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Bonnard, Vuillard, Seurat, Matisse, Dufy, Modigliani, the Italian Futurists, Rousseau and also Vincent van Gogh. Historical exhibitions one after another and a very impressive group of contemporary artists as we approach the new century, and now also the beginning of the new millennium. Juhani Palmu felt that he was looking from the history of the gallery directly into the heart of Western painting.

His first appearance at Bernheim-Jeune in 1986 was an artistic and commercial victory for the artist, who certainly did not imagine in advance that he would sell seven paintings in Paris on the opening day. The works sold were still mainly the exhibition's largest master works.

It was clear that Juhani Palmu gained a foothold in Paris with this debut - and the initial success was followed by a continuation. In 1988, he was accepted as a contract artist of Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, of which there are only a dozen at a time. Since then, Palmu's work has been permanently exhibited in this perhaps the most famous art gallery in France. Another successful Palmu exhibition followed at Bernheim-Jeune already in 1990, and a third exhibition in March 1993, which was well noted by French art magazines.

The opening of Bernheim-Jeune's doors can be considered a major breakthrough for Juhani Palmu on the international art market and visual art forums. The exhibitions held in the gallery led by Michel and Guy-Patrice Dauberville have been, as it were, a calling card and a recommendation to other prestigious galleries as well, whether they were establishing connections to, say, Monaco or Tokyo.

After the first exhibition in Paris in 1986-88, Juhani Palmu also made a spectacular appearance in California, USA. His exhibitions and works have been exhibited in e.g. At the Richard Burton Gallery, the Dyansen Gallery in Beverly Hills, and finally at the very famous Arnold Ashkenazy Gallery and Collection. This famous art collector and owner of a hotel chain from Los Angeles was a guest of Juhani Palmu in Finland as well - having previously acquired a large group of Palmu's paintings for his collection of more than 10,000 works of art.

Juhani Palmu's works are also permanently exhibited at The Carlan Collection Gallery in Palm Springs and Kioicho Gallery in Tokyo.

Of course, all these contacts have their own story. At the turn of the 1980s and 90s, the amount of things to tell about Juhani Palmu seems to be growing exponentially. This public popularity can of course also be measured economically. Juhani Palmu, who hated drawing in his childhood under his father's harsh criticism, has been one of the most successful visual artists in Finland since the mid-80s.

The fact that Juhani Palmu is presented as the "Artist of the Month" in the international edition of Selected Fires that spreads to over a hundred countries in the fall of 1993 is also the first recognition for the Finnish image maker.