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