Helene Schjerfbeck: Self-Portrait, Black Background (1919)
Helene Schjerfbeck: Self-Portrait, Black Background (1919). Finnish National Gallery/Ateneum Art Museum, The Hallonblad Collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery/Yehia Eweis.

Helene Schjerfbeck

Royal Academy of Arts, London

The Helene Schjerfbeck survey at the Royal Academy of Arts in London is the first ever extensive overview of her art in the UK. The survey is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in London in collaboration with the Ateneum Art Museum, part of the Finnish National Gallery.

Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) is one of Finland’s most famous artists. She had a long and productive career whose output moved from the naturalistic approach of the paintings exhibited at the Paris Salon to one that manifested the impact of modernism. This survey of Schjerfbeck’s works will articulate the development of her work from relatively conventional beginnings to a radically abstracted figuration with an emphasis on the materiality of paint and canvas.

The survey of approximately 60 works of art from Schjerfbeck’s career will be shown in the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries at the Royal Academy in London. The works include early naturalistic paintings, still lifes and landscapes, and shows her art turning increasingly modernist especially in her impressive self-portraits. Key works such as the Convalescent (1888), painted during her short stay at St Ives in Cornwall, will be shown at the Royal Academy.

The survey is curated by Jeremy Lewison, independent curator and formerly Director of Collections at Tate; Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, Chief Curator at the Ateneum Art Museum and Sarah Lea, Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Explore the exhibition on the website of the Royal Academy of Arts