Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Velisurmaaja, 1897. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Antell. Kuva: Suomen Kansallisgalleria / Jukka Romu
Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Velisurmaaja, 1897. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Antell. Kuva: Suomen Kansallisgalleria / Jukka Romu

Research and Exhibition Project Gothic Modern has been launched

 

The research and exhibition project Gothic Modern has been launched. The period of the project is from 2018 to 2024. ‘Gothic Modern: from Northern Renaissance to Dark, Emotive, Uncanny Modern Art’ explores the pivotal importance of Gothic art for the artistic modernisms of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries.

  • An ambitious new approach to modern art focusing on the untold story of Nordic and Northern European medieval reinventions from the 1890s to the fall of the Weimar Republic.
  • Illuminates the Gothic as a core fascination for early twentieth-century art, transcending nationalism, straddling war and its aftermath.
  • Reveals a hidden Edvard Munch and Käthe Kollwitz through their deep attraction to the art of the ‘Gothic’ past and how this resonated for their contemporaries, including Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Hugo Simberg and Helene Schjerfbeck.
  • Explores how these artists were inspired by medieval art through pilgrimages, eroticism and the ‘Dance of Death’ to create powerful new expressions of sexuality and trauma, death and reconnection.
  • Project’s focus is on major fin-de-siècle and early twentieth-century Nordic, German and Russian art works displayed alongside rare medieval and Northern Renaissance objects.
  • A compelling exploration of the Gothic for the twenty-first century, about individual, gender and transnational community, entwined with the dark, the emotive and uncanny.
    (Juliet Simpson, 2020)

Key Events

May 2019: ‘Gothic Modern’ project launch – Knowledge-Sharing Workshop and papers co-convened by Dr Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff and Prof. Juliet Simpson (Ateneum; FNG) exploring the Gothic in the long nineteenth-century: artists, collections and museums – beyond national art canons .

Forthcoming in Spring and Autumn 2020: workshops and symposia (Helsinki and London), co-organized by Prof. Juliet Simpson and Dr Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff on ‘Gothic Connections’ – Northern medieval and Renaissance art in Nordic, German contexts: reception, display and reinvention, 1900s-to the fall of the Weimar Republic. For international scholars, curators, PhD and early-career researchers.

More information:

Guest Curator: Professor Juliet Simpson, FRSA, FRHist.S. Coventry University, UK (Juliet.simpson@coventry.ac.uk)

Project Leader: Dr Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, Chief Curator, Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery (abonsdor@fng.fi)

 

Artwork:
Akseli Gallen-Kallela: The Fratricide, 1897. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, coll. Antell. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jukka Romu