The Ateneum’s spring 2018 exhibitions to feature Adel Abidin and Italian art

The von Wright Brothers exhibition will open the Ateneum’s winter season by presenting landscapes, still lifes, images of nature, and scientific illustrations by Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand von Wright. In March, an exhibition of works by the contemporary artist Adel Abidin will explore the relationship between power and identity. In May, the halls on the third floor will be taken over by Italian art from the 1920s and 1930s.

Exhibitions at the Ateneum Art Museum

The von Wright Brothers 27 Oct 2017–25 Feb 2018
The exhibition will offer new perspectives on the work of the artist brothers Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand von Wright, who lived during the period of the Grand Duchy of Finland. In addition to the familiar nature depictions and scientific illustrations, the exhibition will present an extensive display of landscapes and still lifes. The brothers’ works will be accompanied by new art by the photographic artist Sanna Kannisto (born 1974) and the conceptual artist Jussi Heikkilä (born 1952).

The historical significance of the von Wright brothers for Finnish art, culture and science is explored through 300 works. In addition to oil paintings, watercolours, prints and sketches, exhibits will include birds stuffed by Magnus von Wright, courtesy of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. The chief curator of the exhibition is Anne-Maria Pennonen. The Ateneum last staged an exhibition of works by the von Wright brothers in 1982. The exhibition is part of the programme celebrating the centenary of Finland’s independence. After being on display at the Ateneum, the exhibition will, in 2018, travel to the Kuopio Art Museum and the Tikanoja Art Museum in Vaasa.

Adel Abidin: History Wipes 14 Mar–22 Apr 2018
Each culture has narratives about its history, but remains silent about difficult issues. The series of multi-media works by the contemporary artist Adel Abidin (born 1973) comments on identity, power and Finland. The Iraqi-born artist works in Helsinki and Amman.

Fantastico! Italian art from the 1920s and 1930s 10 May–19 Aug 2018
In the Italian art of the 1920s and 1930s, artists began to look at reality and to interpret the world in a new way. The phenomenon, entitled magical realism, emerged after the end of the First World War and lasted throughout the 1920s. Magical realist art was characterised by the rejection of everyday reality, solemn monumentality, and a stylised, staged quality. The works display an identifiable sense of silence, which is symbolised by, for example, a sense of waiting, dreaming, strangeness, and loneliness.

The exhibition is produced by 24ORE Cultura of Italy, and it is curated by Gabriella Belli and Valerio Terraroli. Some 80 works from Italy and elsewhere in Europe will be on display at the exhibition, which will be further augmented with works from the Ateneum collection. The artists featured at the exhibition include Felice Casorati, Antonio Donghi, Ubaldo Oppi and Giorgio de Chirico.

Travelling exhibitions to celebrate Finland’s centenary

Classics on tour
The Ateneum’s most beloved classics – Helene Schjerfbeck’s The Convalescent (1888) and Eero Järnefelt’s Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood) (1893) – have toured Finland as part of the country’s centenary year celebrations. The last stops of the tour this year are: The Convalescent at the Rauma Art Museum from 5 to 24 Sept; and Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood) at the Lappeenranta Art Museum until 10 Sept, at the Joensuu Art Museum Onni from 19 Sept to 22 Oct, and at the Jyväskylä Art Museum from 31 Oct to 10 Dec.

Stories of Finnish Art – the Ateneum Collection on Tour
The exhibition will explore the same themes as the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition currently on display at the Ateneum, and will feature, for example, works by Wäinö Aaltonen, Albert Edelfelt, Tyko Sallinen and Ellen Thesleff. The exhibition will be on display at the Oulu Museum of Art until 17 Sep 2017, and at the Kuopio Art Museum from 6 Oct 2017 to 4 Mar 2018.

International touring exhibitions

Three international exhibitions produced by the Ateneum will tour museums in Europe and the United States.

A Tove Jansson retrospective will open on 25 October at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.
Independent Visions, an exhibition presenting works by Helene Schjerfbeck, Ellen Thesleff, Sigrid Schauman and Elga Sesemann, will be on display until 7 October at Scandinavia House in New York, after which the exhibition will open again at Millesgården in Stockholm on 28 October.
– The exhibition Alice Neel – Painter of Modern Life will be on display at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles until 17 September, after which the exhibition will open again at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg on 13 October.

The Ateneum’s main corporate partners are Helsingin Sanomat, HOK-Elanto and KPMG. The Ateneum is sponsored by Veikkaus. The Ateneum Art Museum is part of the Finnish National Gallery, together with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum.

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