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 artists. These include Marina Abramović, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Nancy Fouts, Mark Karasick, Ola Kolehmainen, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Sara Masüger and Yinka Shonibare CBE.Get to know the exhibition
The theme of the Ateneum’s summer season 2020 is ‘inspiration’. Art classics have, through the ages, served as sources of inspiration for artists and designers. The exhibition staged in the Fokus gallery looks at works by the von Wright brothers that have inspired, for example, craft enthusiasts and street fashion designers. The exhibition Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics, which is on show from 18 June to 20 September 2020, focuses on the same theme.
15 February–16 August 2020
Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde, Stockholm
Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde, an art museum located in Stockholm, presents a version of the exhibition staged at the Ateneum Art Museum from 14 June to 6 October 2019, with a focus on Swedish art.Get to know the exhibition
Natalia Goncharova (1881–1962) is known as a central figure in Russian avant-garde art, inspiring experimental artists in both Russia and Western Europe. 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.Get to know the exhibition
6 December 2019–April 2020
Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn
Creating the Self: Emancipating Women in Estonian and Finnish Art is an extensive research and exhibition project that presents works by Estonian and Finnish women artists, dating from a period between 1850 and 1950. The project is a collaboration between the Kumu Art Museum in Estonia and the Ateneum Art Museum.Get to know the exhibition
The Modern Identity small-scale exhibition presents works acquired for the Ateneum collection between 2016 and 2019. The exhibition includes works by 17 artists, dating from the period between 1908 and 1966. The artists featured include Birger Carlstedt, Ragni Cawén, Eva Cederström, Magnus Enckell, Gunvor Grönvik, Ole Kandelin, Elga Sesemann and Hugo Simberg.Get to know the exhibition
The exhibition describes how Helene Schjerfbeck became Helene, and how a talented student grew into one of the most influential artists in our history. The exhibition focuses specifically on Schjerfbeck’s years of travel, during which she stayed in Paris, Pont-Aven in northern France, Fiesole in Italy, and St Ives in England at the end of the 19th century.Get to know the exhibition
Ruovesi and its surroundings in Pirkanmaa have attracted artists since the 1820s. All the artists who have operated in the region are linked by an interest in the spirit of the place, its nature, people and culture. How has this influenced the art of those who have worked in Ruovesi?Get to know the exhibition
The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of visual artist Olli Lyytikäinen’s (1949–1987) birth. Lyytikäinen’s works from the 1970s anticipated the spirit of the art of the 1980s: among his contemporaries, the artist has taken on an almost mythical sheen as a modern Finnish artistic genius. The exhibition opens the Ateneum’s new Fokus gallery, which will present concise displays, featuring selected artists or themes from the Ateneum collection.Get to know the exhibition
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.Get to know the exhibition
Over a period of a century, from 1919 to 2019, the Friends of the Ateneum have donated more than 130 works to the Ateneum Art Museum. The donated works include 24 paintings and 2 sculptures, as well as 5 sketchbooks and 100 sketches by Helene Schjerfbeck. Through the exhibition of works selected from the Friends of the Ateneum collection, art acquisition methods and sources are discussed from various perspectives, and the background and provenance of the works are described.Get to know the exhibition
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
The Modern Woman will present seven Finnish artists: Maria Wiik (1853–1928), Sigrid af Forselles (1860–1935), Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946), Ellen Thesleff (1869–1954), Sigrid Schauman (1877–1979), Hilda Flodin (1877–1958) and Elga Sesemann (1922–2007). The exhibition of more than 80 works from the Ateneum collection will include paintings, sculptures, prints and sketchbooks.Get to know the exhibition
The Czech artist František Kupka (1871–1957) is known as a pioneer of abstract art. This retrospective of the painter, who enjoyed a long career in Paris, will enable viewers to explore the history of Western art: the stage-wise transition from traditional portraiture towards abstract expression. Kupka’s art has been described as “modern poetry of colour”. This major international exhibition covers the artist’s entire career, from the 1890s to the 1950s.Get to know the exhibition
Kuopio Art Museum
Tikanoja Art Museum, Vaasa
Tampere Art Museum
The von Wright Brothers presented the artist brothers Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand von Wright as versatile painters of portraits, landscapes, and nature subjects, especially birds, and as creators of scientific illustrations.Get to know the exhibition
Artist Not Vital (born 1948, Switzerland), whose career started in the 1960s, is best known for his sculptures and the architectonic installations he has created around the world. This exhibition presents him in a new light: as a painter. The exhibition in one of the exhibition galleries features a series of 26 Vital’s most recent paintings.Get to know the exhibition
How did urbanisation influence the Finnish way of life – and how did this show in visual art? How did everyday life change when people had more free time and gender roles were liberated? Urban Encounters tells a fascinating story about 20th-century Finland. The exhibition of approximately 300 works features many rarely shown pieces from the Finnish National Gallery collection.Get to know the exhibition
The portrait of President Sauli Niinistö is a collective artwork made up of a hundred smaller works created by as many artists. Among the creators are sculptors, printmakers and visual, photographic, video and performance artists, all of whom belong to the younger generation of artists who work or have worked in Finland. All artists were free to create their own segment of the portrait without knowing how the others would approach the task.Get to know the exhibition
Fantastico! explores an artistic movement known as magic realism, which emerged in Italy at the end of the First World War. The works exhibited are characterised by silence and a mysterious atmosphere, and the conflict between reality and the world of dreams. The depictions of everyday life seem to reveal a hidden side of existence. The exhibition features masterpieces by artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Carlo Carrà, Felice Casorati, Antonio Donghi and Cagnaccio di San Pietro.
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History Wipes will present video installations and sculptures by the contemporary artist Adel Abidin (born 1973, Baghdad, Iraq). Some of these works are completely new, while others have been created in recent years. The works by the internationally recognised artist deal with the painful aspects of our history and human existence in an increasingly unstable world.
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The artist brothers Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand von Wright are known as painters of portraits, landscapes, and nature subjects, especially birds, and as creators of scientific illustrations of flora and fauna. New contemporary works by Sanna Kannisto and Jussi Heikkilä complement this colourful major exhibition.
The von Wright Brothers exhibition is part of the programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence.Get to know the exhibition
For the first time, masterpieces from the National Gallery of Duckburg are exhibited outside their hometown! After years of negotiations with the prudent gallery, this rare honour has been accorded to the Ateneum Art Museum in celebration of Finland’s 100 years of independence. Gems of Duckburgian art will be shown alongside works from the Ateneum collection at the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition.Get to know the exhibition
Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) is the most internationally famous Finnish architect and designer. The exhibition opens up new perspectives into Aalto’s life and work. The comprehensive exhibition illustrates how Aalto’s organic design idiom developed in interaction with contemporary visual artists.
Alvar Aalto – Art and the Modern Form exhibition is a part of the programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence.Get to know the exhibition
The Kajaani-based French and English teacher Tuomo Seppo (born 1937) has dedicated his entire life to collecting Finnish art. Seppo has decided to donate his collection of almost 2,000 works to the Ateneum Art Museum, which is part of the Finnish National Gallery. The exhibition covers the period from the early 20th century to the 2010s.Get to know the exhibition
The heirs of the painter and graphic artist Lennart Segerstråle (1892–1975) donated 18 paintings and 24 prints by Segerstråle to the Ateneum Art Museum in November 2016. Six of these paintings will be on display in hall 33. The donated works represent modernist political painting, which is quite rare in Finnish art.
Tuulikki Pietilä (1917–2009) is one of key Finnish graphic artists of the post-Second World War period. This exhibition will present an overview of the extensive body of work by the experimental and technically versatile artist, in honour of the centenary of her birth. The Pietilä collection, bequeathed to the Ateneum, includes almost all the artist’s works.Get to know the exhibition
A retrospective exhibition of the Italian painter and sculptor 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.Get to know the exhibition
Sculptor Kaarina Kaikkonen created two commissioned works that were displayed at the Ateneum Art Museum courtyard and the small park facing Keskuskatu. Known for her spatial installations, Kaikkonen was the first to feature in a new series of works for the Ateneum courtyard by contemporary artists. Works by Kaikkonen, who is one of Finland’s best-known contemporary artists, have been exhibited to great critical acclaim both in Finland and abroad. The works were on display free of charge.Get to know the exhibition
Alice Neel (1900–1984) was one of the most significant American painters of the 20th century. Her psychologically charged portraits tell intimate and unconventional stories, as much about people living on the margins of society and in subcultures as about the New York cultural elite and her own family. Alice Neel led an exceptionally interesting life as a single parent and a feminist in a time when the world of art was largely male-dominated.Get to know the exhibition
A small-scale exhibition on the third floor of the Ateneum Art Museum will feature Italian prints and works by Finnish female sculptors. The prints are part of the extensive Rolando and Siv Pieraccini Collection of Italian art, donated to the museum. The sculptures by the Finnish female artists can be seen to draw inspiration from Italian sculpture.
The opening up of Japan to the rest of the world in the 1860s created great interest in Japanese culture, and collecting Japanese art and objects was in vogue. This left a strong mark in arts, design, crafts and fashion. The Eastern conception of art arrived in the Nordic countries and made an indelible impression on artists of all fields.Get to know the exhibition
The autumn season at Ateneum will feature French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), considered the father of photoreportage. Ateneum’s retrospective exhibition will include almost 300 photographs, archive material and films relating the story of this star of international photographic art. The exhibition is presented together with Magnum Photos and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation (Paris).Get to know the exhibition
Tapio Wirkkala (1915–1985) was a leading figure in modern Finnish applied art, and his glass, ceramic, wood and silver objects charmed international design circles in the 1950s and 1960s, while laying the foundation for the triumphs of Finnish design.Get to know the exhibition
Photographer Ismo Hölttö (born 1940) documented Finns in their own living environments in the 1960s and ‘70s. A goldsmith, Hölttö photographed in his home town Helsinki whenever he could. He developed into a technically skilled and visionary artist at the Helsinki Camera Club. Hölttö also travelled extensively in Finland, capturing with his camera, the lives of people living in remote areas and the Finnish Roma minority among others. In the early 1970s he opened his own studio, where he worked for the next three decades.Get to know the exhibition
Ateneum continues its anniversary year with an exhibition presenting coloured woodcuts by Hokusai (1760–1849) and Hiroshige (1797–1858), two of the best known landscape artists of Japan’s Edo period. Among the most precious works in the exhibition is Hokusai’s The Great Wave (1830–32) which has become one of the icons of Japanese art. All prints in the exhibition come from the Yasusaburo Hara Collection in Tokyo, now on loan outside Japan for the first time. The exhibition is curated by Ateneum’s Chief Curator Heikki Malme.Get to know the exhibition