A retrospective exhibition of the work of the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) will be on display at the Ateneum, starting from 28 October 2016. 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 artist had a Bohemian circle of acquaintances in Paris, including Pablo Picasso and Anna Akhmatova. The works on display constitute the largest Modigliani exhibition in the Nordic countries to date. Produced by La Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN) / Grand Palais and Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, the exhibition has toured Lille and Budapest prior to Helsinki.
The 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. The artist is known especially for his elegant paintings of women, which have influenced the worlds of visual art and fashion. Modigliani has a distinctive style: recurring features in his portraits include almond-shaped eyes, and long, arched necks and hands. The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures and prints.
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 Brâncuși.
A lot has been written about Modigliani’s wild lifestyle. However, his rich oeuvre speaks of an artist with a profound knowledge of art from outside Europe and from ancient eras. An ambitious artist, 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. When he died, he was practically penniless: during his lifetime, he only held one solo exhibition, which caused a lot of controversy. In 2015, a Modigliani nude was sold for a record-high price of 170 million dollars.
The exhibition is currently on display at the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art in Lille, France, closing on 5 June. By 20 May 2016, the exhibition had been visited by 140,000 people, and there have been times when visitors have had to queue to get in. Before coming to Helsinki, the exhibition will be on display at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest, from 28 June to 2 October.
Tue & Fri 10am–6pm | Wed & Thu 10am–8pm | Sat & Sun 10am–5pm | Mon closed
9 May 2016 – 2 October 2016: Adults €13 | Concessions €11 | Under 18s free admission | with S-Etukortti card €12
28 October 2016 – 5 February 2017: Adults €15 | Concessions €13 | Under 18s free admission | with S-Etukortti card €14