Unique Amedeo Modigliani exhibition to open at the Ateneum

An exhibition of the work of the painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) will open at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland, on Friday 28 October 2016. The exhibition, which was on display in Lille and Budapest prior to Helsinki, will present the multifaceted life and work of the Italian artist. Modigliani, who died on the verge of fame at the early age of 35, is one of the most interesting artists in modern art today. The works on display constitute the largest Modigliani retrospective in the Nordic countries to date.

A letter by Léopold Survage found at the Ateneum presents new information on Modigliani

The Ateneum collection includes what is presumably the only Finnish-owned Modigliani oil painting, Portrait of the Artist Léopold Survage (1918). When the Modigliani exhibition was being put together, a letter sent by Léopold Survage to the Ateneum in 1956 was discovered in the museum archives, in which he describes the circumstances around the painting’s creation and its provenance. The correspondence was related to the acquisition of the Modigliani piece and its inclusion in the Ateneum collection in 1955. The letter presents new information on Modigliani for international research. Léopold Survage (1879–1968) was one of Modigliani’s closest artist friends.

Modigliani’s timeless art offers a glimpse into early 20th-century Paris

Amedeo Modigliani is known particularly for his sensuous portrayals of women. This top international exhibition will provide an opportunity to explore Modigliani’s diverse work, and his life in the Montparnasse district, which was the centre of artistic life in Paris in the early part of the 20th century. Modigliani wanted to use his sculptures and paintings to create a new kind of aesthetic that would bring together art from different eras and continents. His fascinating portraits, mystical sculptures, and sensuous nudes present a picture of an international, ambitious and educated artist.

The inner circle of the charismatic Modigliani included painters, sculptors, writers, poets and composers. Modigliani’s lady friends – the poet Anna Akhmatova, the art critic Beatrice Hastings, and the art student Jeanne Hébuterne – also played a significant role in his art and life. The exhibition will also feature works by Modigliani’s artist friends, such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncusi. A total of 83 paintings, sculptures and paper-based works will be on display.

A Finnish-language book presents Modigliani’s life and art

The exhibition will coincide with the publication of a book that presents Modigliani’s art and his eventful life. The work is the first Finnish-language publication on the artist in decades. The book will also be available in Swedish. An English-language exhibition catalogue, specifically produced for the touring exhibition, will also be for sale at the Ateneum.

The exhibition has been produced by La Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN)/Grand Palais, and the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, in association with the Hungarian National Gallery/Museum of Fine Arts Budapest, and the Ateneum Art Museum. The chief curator of the Modigliani exhibition is Sophie Lévy, who previously worked as the director of the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art. The other curators of the exhibition are Jeanne-Bathilde Lacourt and Marie-Amélie Senot. The chief curators Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff and Timo Huusko are responsible for the exhibition at the Ateneum end.

More about the exhibition: www.ateneum.fi/nayttelyt/amedeo-modigliani/?lang=e

Opening hours
Tue, Fri 10–18 | Wed, Thu 10–20 | Sat, Sun 10–17 | Mon closed

Admission fees
Normal admission fee €15 | Concessions €13 | Under 18-year-olds free of charge | S-Etukortti loyalty card holders €14

The Ateneum’s main corporate partners are Helsingin Sanomat, HOK-Elanto and KPMG. The main cooperation partner for the Modigliani exhibition is the City of Helsinki.