Memorable portraits, works by other contemporaries and the bohemian life of artist in Paris
A retrospective of the world-renowned Italian master, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) will open on 28 October 2016. The entire third floor of the museum is dedicated to nearly 100 works. The exhibition is the largest Modigliani exhibition in the Nordic countries to date. It is a La Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN) – Grand Palais production, which has toured Lille and Budapest prior to Helsinki.
The works of art of the exhibition give an overview of Modigliani’s life work and a glimpse into the artists’ circles of Montparnasse, which was the centre of artistic endeavour in the Paris of the early 1900s. Modigliani is best known for his female portraits, whose sensuality left an indelible mark on art and fashion imagery. Almost equally well known for his bohemian lifestyle: Modigliani socialised with painters, sculptors, novelists, poets and composers. The exhibition also features works by Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi, among others. “One of the key aspects of this exhibition are the works bought by Roger Dutilleul, a fervent art lover and collector”, says Philippe Platel, Director of Exhibitions at La Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN) – Grand Palais. “Dutilleul’s Modigliani collection is one of the best that is housed in a single museum, the Lille Art Museum’s collection.”
Portrait of the Artist Léopold Survage (1918), which was acquired by the Ateneum Art Museum in 1955, represents Modigliani’s work from his most prolific period, when the artist lived and worked in Nice. “Ateneum’s collection of international art has been accumulated with great discretion and the choices have been excellent. The portrait of the artist Léopold Survage is a prime example of the museum’s successful acquisition policy. It is from Modigliani’s most productive period and it is one of the most sought-after artworks in our collection”, explains Susanna Pettersson, Museum Director at Ateneum Art Museum.
The City of Helsinki supports the Amedeo Modigliani exhibition. ”This exhibition further strengthens Helsinki as a fine and vibrant city of visual arts. And the timing is perfect!” says Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development for the City of Helsinki. ”We have had good experiences with projects that involve co-operation between national and city organizations; the Picasso exhibition of 2009 and last summer’s World Gymnaestrada event, for example. Culture fortifies the vitality of Helsinki. So many profit from its positive impact: travel agents, cafés and restaurants, to name but a few.”
The most popular past exhibitions at Ateneum
Pablo Picasso (18 September 2009–28 January 2010) 314,755 visitors
Albert Edelfelt (3 September 2004–30 January 2005) 304,767 visitors
Tove Jansson (14 March 2014–7 September 2014) 293,837 visitors
Helene Schjerfbeck (1 June–14 October 2012) 230,906 visitors