Our 2020 exhibitions are Natalia Goncharova, Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics, and Magnus Enckell

In 2020, there will be three temporary exhibitions shown on the third floor of the Ateneum Art Museum. An exhibition by the Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova will be on display from February to May. From June to September, it is time for Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics, an exhibition in which today’s most interesting contemporary artists draw inspiration from some of the best-known works of European art. Then an exhibition of Magnus Enckell’s art, to be presented from October 2020 to January 2021, represents the first comprehensive display of the artist’s oeuvre.

In addition, the new Fokus exhibition gallery on the second floor will present concise displays, with selected artists or themes from the Ateneum’s collection, to be announced later. Of the exhibitions to run until January 2020, Olli Lyytikäinen, in the Fokus gallery, will be on display until 5 January, and Through My Travels I Found Myself – Helene Schjerfbeck and Finnish Artists in Ruovesi will be on display until 26 January.

Natalia Goncharova
27 Feb–17 May 2020

Natalia Goncharova (1881–1962) is known as a central figure and innovator in Russian avant-garde art. The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of the artist’s work from the first four decades of the 20th century. Before coming to the Ateneum, the exhibition is on display at Tate Modern in London and the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. The exhibition continues the work done by the Ateneum in highlighting women artists, examples of which are the Alice Neel exhibition, held in the summer of 2016, and displays by female Finnish artists.

Goncharova’s bold and innovative work was influential among her contemporaries, crossing the boundaries that typically existed between 20th-century art forms. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s most innovative period from the early 1900s to the 1920s, when she inspired experimental artists in both Russia and Western Europe. The exhibition features more than one hundred works, including a large number of paintings, but also illustrations, costumes, sketches of set designs, and recordings of ballet performances. Almost all the works in the exhibition will be seen in Finland for the first time.

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Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics
18 Jun–20 Sept 2020

How have international contemporary artists been inspired by the classics of European art? And why is it these works, in particular, that have become known around the world? Inspiration presents art that draws inspiration from iconic masterpieces, created by today’s most interesting contemporary artists. In the exhibition, the original works are referenced, for example, through replicas, prints, plaster casts and abundant archive materials. It was through these that the Finnish audience became acquainted with the classics during a time when travel was a privilege of the few.

Works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt and other masters continue to inspire contemporary artists to this day. The artists featured in the exhibition include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Mark Karasick, Ola Kolehmainen, Joseph Kosuth, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Heikki Marila, Sara Masüger, Jarmo Mäkilä, Aurora Reinhard, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Gavin Turk.

Get to know the exhibition

On the left: Yinka Shonibare CBE: 
Medusa West (2015). 
James Cohan Gallery, New York. Image: © Yinka Shonibare CBE. Courtesy James Cohan, New York. | On the right: Medusa Rondanini, University of Helsinki. Photo: Timo Huvilinna, Helsinki University Museum.

Magnus Enckell
23 Oct 2020–14 Feb 2021

The painter Magnus Enckell (1870–1925) is known especially as a representative of Finnish symbolism. Enckell is one of the key artists of the golden age of Finnish art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but only some of his work is known. The Ateneum exhibition represents the first comprehensive display of the artist’s entire oeuvre.

Enckell’s oeuvre is extensive, covering portraits, landscapes, fantasies, religious topics, still lifes, and studies of people. He also created numerous monumental paintings for public spaces. The exhibition presents Enckell’s oeuvre, from the early works he created when studying at a drawing school to the mythological subjects of the 1920s.

Get to know the exhibition

Image at the top:
Magnus Enckell: Boy with Skull (1893). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Matti Janas