Goncharova, Lavonen, Edelfelt and Luostarinen.

Exhibitions by Albert Edelfelt, Kuutti Lavonen and Natalia Goncharova in Helsinki this spring

This spring, Helsinki offers exhibitions by, among others, Albert EdelfeltAnu TuominenKuutti Lavonen and Natalia GoncharovaSeppo Fränti’s collection will be exhibited at Kiasma, and Amos Rex offers an exhibition called Generation 2020.

The first ever Helsinki Biennial is organised in the summer in the unique environment of Vallisaari. It exhibits 35 top names in visual arts from Finland and abroad. You can find art along an old cannon path, in a gunpowder magazine and even in emptied residential buildings. See you next summer on the treasure island of art!

HAM Helsinki Art Museum and Helsinki City Museum have co-produced the exhibition State of Mind – Helsinki 1939‒1945. During the war, the appearance and the spirit of the city changed radically. The exhibition, which is spread over Tennispalatsi and Villa Hakasalmi, highlights pessimism and optimism as reflected by visual art and photographs, in addition to providing a broader look at the visual world that people had to get used to during wartime. The exhibition is open at HAM until 1 March and at Villa Hakasalmi until 30 August.

In 2020, the exhibitions at HAM Helsinki Art Museum are interwoven with the first ever Helsinki Biennial in Vallisaari. Helsinki Biennial, which takes place in summer and early autumn, is supplemented by HAM’s two main exhibitions in the arched halls upstairs in Tennispalatsi: Laura Gustafsson’s and Terike Haapoja’s Museum of Becoming, which is opening in spring and, the highlight of the end of the year, Katharina Grosse’s private exhibition. Grosse’s exhibition continues HAM’s series of contemporary artists. Grosse’s exhibition is made up of two installations created specifically for HAM. The installations, one of which the artist will paint on site, study painting as an art form. Museum visitors will literally be stepping inside a painting.

Helene Schjerfbeck’s Through My Travels I Found Myself is on display at Ateneum until 26 January. On 27 February, an exhibition by Natalia Goncharova is opened. She is known as a central figure and innovator of the Russian avant-garde. The exhibition broadly exhibits the artist’s production from the first four decades of the century. Prior to Ateneum, the exhibition is on display at Tate Modern in London and Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.

The exhibition Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics is opened on 18 June. How have international contemporary artists been inspired by the classics of European art? Moreover, why is it that these art works, in particular, have become known around the world? In the beginning of the autumn, an exhibition by Magnus Enckell is put on display. He is known especially as a representative of Finnish symbolism. 

Weather Report – Forecasting Future opens at Kiasma on 31 January and deals with a globally hot topic: the multifaceted relationship between the human and non-human now when climate change and the mass extinction of species are constricting the possibilities of life on earth. The exhibition was seen in the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

Seppo Fränti is an art patron and collector from Helsinki, who started collecting art already in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2018, Fränti donated his collection to the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Seppo Fränti’s sizable art collection is bold, open and yet intimate. Through visual arts, it pieces together the pain of being human. The exhibition opens at Kiasma on 27 March.

In an exhibition opening at Sinebrychoff Art Museum on 6 February, Albert Edelfelt and the Romanovs, displays Edelfelt’s lesser-known works of the Russian Imperial family. The centrepiece is a portrait depicting the nephews of Alexander III, The Grand Dukes Boris and Kirill Vladimirovich as Children (1881). The portrait belongs to the Rybinsk Art Museum’s collection. This painting is seen in Finland now for the first time. The piece is one of the portraits Albert Edelfelt has painted of the children of the Romanov family. Last time the paintings were exhibited together was in Moscow in 1882.

An exhibition by Anu Tuominen kicks off the year at Kunsthalle Helsinki on 18 January. The exhibition is produced by the Finnish Art Society and presents new works alongside the artist’s popular classics. To mark the occasion of its 50-year long history, the Kuntsi Foundation showcases part of its collection as a jubilee exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki. The exhibition especially presents central works of the period between the 1960s and 1980s by, among others, Kauko Lehtinen and Leena Luostarinen. The exhibition opens on 7 March.

The exhibition Ingrians – the Forgotten Finns opens on 24 January at The National Museum of Finland. The World That Wasn't There is on display until 15 March. The exhibition deals with the peoples and cultures that developed and flourished in Meso-America and the Andes without them being known of on the European continent. When explorers arrived on the, from their perspective, new continent, they encountered unforeseen skills, customs, natural resources and art – a whole world that had never existed for them before.

The ambitious goal of the Generation 2020 exhibition that opens at Amos Rex on 12 February is to present up-and-coming art by young artists. The Generation exhibition, which is organised every three years, was seen for the first time at Amos Anderson Art Museum in spring 2017.

Didrichsen Art Museum has three interesting exhibitions this year: 1 February–3 May 2020 Kuutti Lavonen – Time and eternity, 20 May–16 August 2020 Björn Weckström – Man, machine and jewelry and, rounding off the year, 5 September 2020–31 January 2021 Becoming Van Gogh.

Villa Gyllenberg’s next exhibition opens on 29 April. Lately, the art world has awoken more to the significant role occultism and esotericism have played in the history of modern art. Villa Gyllenberg’s exhibition The Path to Hidden Knowledge sheds light on the significance of these schools of thought in Finnish art during the period 1890–1950. Until then Villa Gyllenberg is displaying Schjerfbeck - among others. The Gyllenberg Collection.

The flagship exhibition at the Museum of Finnish Architecture displays a lesser-known side of the internationally most recognised Finnish architect Alvar Aalto: the connection between his architecture and the surrounding nature. The exhibition is on display until the beginning of April.

The Design Museum showcases the exhibition Collectors and Collections until 15 March. The exhibition presents design collections by private collectors for the first time.

On 24 January, the Hotel and Restaurant Museum opens the exhibition Oispa kaljaa (I wish there was beer). The exhibition offers fresh perspectives on beer and its significance in the Finnish cultural heritage and history.

The Theatre Museum opens an exhibition on 31 January that celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the Association for Amateur and Professional Theatres (TNL). The exhibition explores what significance making theatre can have on a private and national level. At the end of January, the Theatre Museum will exhibit a display of colour with hippies as well as the message of peace and love. The exhibition HAIR, which focuses on the period 1969–2019, from pop theatre and onward, celebrates the musical HAIR’s 50-year era on Finnish stages. The exhibition forms a both funny and thought-provoking whole.

The Finnish Museum of Photography opens three exhibitions on 17 January – Vivian Maier: The Self-portrait and its Double, the Unfold exhibition which presents photographic artists from the master’s degree programme in photography at Aalto University and Documenting the body – a history of the Finnish passport.

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