Thursday 29. October 2015
Helene Schjerfbeck’s work Robber at the Gate of Paradise to Serlachius Museums in Finland
Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation has acquired Helene Schjerfbeck’s painting Robber at the Gate of Paradise. The work, acquired from Christie´s auction house in a private sale, successfully complements the series of Schjerfbeck male images in the Fine Arts Foundation’s collection.
Helene Schjerfbeck painted the Robber at the Gate of Paradise in 1924–1925, just before she moved from Hyvinkää to Tammisaari. The model was a local farmer, Alku Jaakkola. The model’s beauty moved the artist away from the original theme: a Christ figure transformed into a robber for whom the gate of Paradise does not open.
The Robber at the Gate of Paradise was in its time an exceptional male image. Schjerfbeck painted it at the age of 62. The artist depicts her half-naked male model idealising his fleshly beauty in a way that was unique for a female artist at that time.
In autumn 1924, the artist wrote to her friend Maria Wiik: “I’ve begun to paint ‘The Back’, a local farmer has sat as my model twice already. How beautiful it is, such a strong muscular back.” She mentioned the painting on a couple of other occasions in her later letters: “I’ll leave ‘The Back’ as a study, because overpainting it will weaken everything.”
Although the Robber at the Gate of Paradise is among Schjerfbeck’s most interesting paintings of the 1920s, it is not widely known, as it was for a long time in the ownership of one family. The work was shown, however, in an exhibition at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm in 1944 and in a memorial exhibition held in honour of the artist at the Kunsthalle Helsinki in 1946. The work has also been shown in Schjerfbeck exhibitions in Lübeck in 1969, at the Helsinki Art House in 1980, at the Ateneum Art Museum in 1992 and in Frankfurt in 2014.
The Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation already had a series of well-known male images painted by Schjerfbeck: Young Man, c. 1882, Death of Wilhelm von Schwerin, 1927 and Motorist Måns Schjerfbeck 1929.
Schjerfbeck, Robber at the Gate of Paradise, 1924–1925, oil and tempera on canvas, 83.5 x 62.5 cm, Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation.
For further information, please contact:
Pauli Sivonen, Director of Serlachius Museums tel. +358 50 566 1355 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tarja Talvitie, Head of Collections tel. +358 40 638 6700, email@example.com
Friday 2. October 2015
Major Anselm Kiefer exhibition to open at Serlachius Museums in Finland
An exhibition Anselm Kiefer – Works from the Grothe Collection, presenting the output of Anselm Kiefer, one of leading artists of our time, opens to the public on 3 October 2015 at the Serlachius Museums in Finland. Finland’s first extensive Kiefer exhibition will completely fill the art museum’s new, internationally acclaimed extension, the Pavilion.
The Serlachius Museums’ exhibition includes nearly 30 monumental works from the collection of Hans Grothe. The exhibition has been produced by Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur in Bonn, and it is curated by the foundation’s director, Walter Smerling.
Anselm Kiefer is a storyteller, whose themes are drawn from history, literature and philosophy. The themes of his works relate, for example, to painful episodes in the history of Germany and of Europe as a whole. Kiefer's works are huge and very heavy. In thick layers of paint, the artist combines cement, sand, lead, ash, plants or even barbed wire. His relief-like works form a memorable ensemble in conjunction with the Pavilion’s acclaimed architecture.
Only individual works of Anselm Kiefer have been seen in Finland before the Serlachius Museums’ exhibition. In the Nordic countries, his art was last shown on such an extensive scale at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark five years ago.
A collector who loves stories
Hans Grothe (b. 1930) is a German businessman and art collector, who over the decades acquired an extensive art collection. In 2005, however, he sold most of his collection and only kept Anselm Kiefer’s works. Since then, he has collected solely Kiefer’s monumental works.
The works of the Grothe collection have been exhibited earlier in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. All the exhibitions have been different, however, in terms of scope and hanging. The exhibition in Finland is more extensive than any of the previous ones, because Hans Grothe has added to his collection after each exhibition. The intention is for the collection to be permanently housed at the Kunsthalle Mannheim in Germany in 2017.
Serlachius Museums – a strong name in contemporary art
The Serlachius Museums are located in the small town of Mänttä in Central Finland. Mänttä, which developed around the paper industry in the late 19th century, has undergone industrial restructuring, but in recent years has risen to become one of Finland’s best known art towns.
The image of the art town is enhanced by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, which has operated for over 80 years and maintains two museums in Mänttä. The Serlachius Museums are known for their important collection of works from the Finland’s Golden Age of art. Through the art museum’s extension, which opened in summer 2014, the Serlachius Museums have also become a strong player in the field of contemporary art.
The art museum’s wood-constructed Pavilion has attracted international attention and received a number of awards in Finnish and international architectural competitions. The Pavilion was designed by the Barcelona studio MX_SI, which won an international competition on the museum extension held in 2010–2011.
The Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open at the Serlachius Museums from 3 October 2015 to 24 April 2016.
The Serlachius Museums are open in the winter season, 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm.
Director of Serlachius Museums, Pauli Sivonen, tel. +358 50 566 1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 18. June 2015
International architecture experts assess Serlachius Museum Gösta’s Pavilion
The publication Göstan paviljonki – pohjoisessa valossa/Gösta’s Pavilion – in a Nordic Light, containing the reviews of international distinguished architecture experts, has been published about Serlachius Museum Gösta’s Pavilion, located in Mänttä, Central Finland. Professors Jaime J. Ferrer Forés, Peter MacKeith and Juhani Pallasmaa have contributed to the publication. Impressive photographs have been taken by architecture photographer Pedro Pegenaute.
According to Professor Juhani Pallasmaa, a member of the Finnish Association of Architects, the fundamental task of architecture is a dialogue with both landscape and cultural background. In his opinion, Gösta’s timber-frame pavilion is appealingly adapted to its old manor house environment. “The southern designers have also recognised the variation of the northern seasons as well as the special visual essence and atmosphere of winter time,” he says in praise.
In Professor Jaime J. Ferrer Forés’ view, the building’s timber cladding is reminiscent of Finnish vernacular building tradition, and the variation of light and shade – of the forest. “Like the forest, the resonance of building frames and façade repeat the rhythm of the trees in the surrounding landscape. Northern light filters between the frame beams into the interior just like it does in the forest.”
Professor Peter MacKeith suspects that the competition programme’s desired use of wood as the main building material could have felt challenging to architects born far from the tree zone of northern latitudes. “The strengths of the design of Gösta’s Pavilion – appraisal of the site’s characteristics and sense of place as well as familiarisation with the material and tectonic inventiveness – spring from a fresh and invigorating approach, from a foreign, external perspective.”
Serlachius Museum Gösta’s Pavilion, which opened in Mänttä in June 2014, was designed by the Barcelonian architectural studio MX_SI. Since it opened, the timber-framed pavilion has attracted lots of attention in Finland and Europe. The pavilion and the architects who designed it, Héctor Mendoza, Mara Partida and Boris Bezan, have also won a number of architecture awards.
Göstan paviljonki – pohjoisessa valossa / Gösta’s Pavilion – in a Nordic Light is a 50-page soft-cover book with fascinating content and excellent print quality. Reasonably priced (€10), it is will satisfy the wishes of countless museum visitors and others interested in the pavilion’s architecture to obtain further information about the building.
The book is printed in both English and Finnish.
If you would like a review copy, please send a request to Serlachius Museums’ email address email@example.com.
Editor: Päivi Viherkoski
Graphic design: Teija Lammi, Grafemi
Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute, Estudio de Fotografia Pegenaute
Printed by: Lönnberg Print & Promo, Helsinki
Serlachius Museums publication no. 23
Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, Mänttä, Finland
More information: Head of Development Päivi Viherkoski, p. +358 (0)50 352 2567, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 12. June 2015
Touching from a Distance and Vision 2015 open Serlachius Museums’ summer
In Serlachius Museums’ new exhibition Touching from a Distance, well-known photographic artists from Finland and abroad encounter a small town in Central Finland called Mänttä. The exhibition is curated by photographic artist Ville Lenkkeri. Sculptor Antero Toikka’s exhibition Vision 2015, on the other hand, combines art, architecture and landscape. Both exhibitions will open to the public on Saturday, 13 June.
Touching from a Distance / Kaukainen kosketus arose as the result of a visit made to Mänttä in autumn 2014 by nine photographic artists. The purpose was for the artists to photograph the small Finnish town honestly from their own outlooks, backgrounds and working methods.
The artists of the exhibition are Roger Ballen (USA/South Africa), Elina Brotherus (Finland), Petros Efstathiadis (Greece), Aino Kannisto (Finland), Trish Morrissey (UK), Esko Männikkö (Finland), Pekka Niittyvirta (Finland), Inta Ruka (Latvia) and Pekka Turunen (Finland).
Some of the artists came to Mänttä with a prepared plan. Others wanted to document the life of the community just as they found it. From these encounters, a diverse exhibition, which includes a video and installations as well as photographs, has been created in Art Museum Gösta.
A house inside a museum
In autumn 2014, Roger Ballen, who has something of a cult following worldwide, built an extraordinary installation in a abandoned house condemned for demolition. This installation has now been transferred in its entirety to Art Museum Gösta. Entitled Resurrected, the installation includes photographs in addition to the house.
Petros Efstathiadis has also worked among installations. He assembled devices and appliances from abandoned materials and photographed them. For Petros, they symbolise a small northern paper industry community that arose in the middle of the Finnish forest.
Touching from a Distance includes a video and photographs from women artists, who use themselves as the models of their images. The artists are Elina Brotherus, Aino Kannisto and Trish Morrissey. Each artist’s approach to and implementation of the theme is very different, however. Inta Ruka interviewed and photographed people whose family roots are in Finnish Karelia.
Esko Männikkö and Pekka Turunen are known particularly for their depictions of the life and people of Finland’s remote areas. Pekka Niittyvirta worked a lot in the evenings and nights, photographing the people he met by chance as well as the surprise encounters that led him to new places and situations.
According to Ville Lenkkeri, the artists he selected usually depict people in their own environments and work on their exhibitions for a long time. Now they had to complete a project in a few days. According to Lenkkeri, this was actually a mission impossible that, even so, proved to be a success.
– The exhibition is diverse, which was my goal when I started to put this team together. I wanted the exhibition to be more a synthesis of different approaches and responses, like a surprising touch – a caress or squeeze – reaching out from afar, he explains.
Vision 2015 in Gösta’s park and pavilion
Sculptor Antero Toikka’s retrospective exhibition Vision 2015 spreads across Art Museum Gösta's park and continues from there into a small exhibition space in the pavilion. Toikka brings to Art Museum Gösta his large steel sculptures, which depict the museum as a cradle and home of art.
In addition to painted steel, Vision 2015 includes stone, wood and photographs. Toikka explains that the exhibition crystallises a vision of sculpting at the focal point of past, present and future. Sound Artist Timo Humaloja has created a sound world for two of his works.
– The undeniable power of art is in the present moment. It’s said that a thousand years old work you see tomorrow can provide building materials for the day after tomorrow. And what if the impression of my art received by the public were, in this respect, to be the future of my own art? he ponders.
Claude Monet’s work on show
The painting Haystack in the Evening Sun (1891) by Claude Monet, the master of Impressionism, will also be exhibited at Serlachius Museum Gösta until 31 August. The artwork from Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation’s collection gained a lot of publicity earlier this spring when it was studied with latest technology and authenticated as genuine Monet.
The Foundation originally acquired the painting in 1957 through a London art broker. Ever since its acquisition, the painting has been assumed to be a Monet. As the artist’s signature is not visible and the painting is largely unknown, its authenticity has at times been questioned by others.
The artwork was studied with hyperspectral imaging layer by layer. This examination revealed underneath the layers of paint in the lower right corner the signature of Claude Monet along with the year 1891.
The Serlachius Museums are open in summer 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm, also at Midsummer.
Friday 15. May 2015
Serlachius Museums presents a major collection of Outsider Art
The Outsider Art collection of Korine and Max E. Ammann is one of the most important in the world. An exhibition, The Art of Others, assembled from the collection, opens to the public at Serlachius Museums located in Central Finland. Outsider Art, which originates outside the official art world, tells of the creative power and passion for art of its creators. Exhibition opens on 16 May.
Outsider offers a different perspective on art. The works are characterised by fantasy, curiosity, otherness, creativity, sights and visions. The subject may be the politics or ideology of today, public life, fairy tales or the unconscious paths of the human mind.
As a group, Outsider artists consist of highly varied individuals. In addition to naïvists and visionaries, they include people who live outside of society voluntarily or by compulsion. Some of them are intellectually disabled or psychically ill. What they have in common is principally a need to express themselves through art.
In French, the terms Art Brut or Art Differencié are used for Outsider Art, in German, Volkskunst, and in English, the terms Folk Art and Raw Art are also used. In Finnish, the name ITE art is generally used. The abbreviation stands for “self-made life”.
Own discoveries the foundation of the collection
Max E. Ammann, from Switzerland, began to collect Outsider Art in the mid-1990s. He had acquired contemporary art since his youth, but was disappointed with its development. After seeing Outsider Art, it attracted his interest and he began to collect it systematically, together with his wife, Korine.
The Ammanns have travelled all over the world due to their work. On their travels, they have searched for Outsider artists. An important part of their collecting activity are visits to artists in their work locations. They have met in person a large proportion of the artists whose works they have purchased.
Today, the Korine and Max E. Ammann Collection comprises around 6,000 works by 600 artists from 30 countries. The foundation of the collection is formed by artists discovered by the Ammanns themselves. They include, among others, Martine Copenaut, Yves Fleuri, Evert Panis and Han Ploos van Amstel.
“In principle, we buy art that we like and which touches us. Of course, as our collection grows, we have also started to consider what it might look like in the future. We have formed our own concept by discussing the issue with other collectors of Outsider Art and by reading literature and journals covering the field,” says Max E. Ammann.
Finnish ITE art in the collection
The couple have visited Finland ten times or more and have driven around the country meeting ITE artists. Their collection includes works by 18 Finnish ITE artists. Last year, for example, they acquired three Tuula Husko drawings and three wood sculptures by Markku Valtonen.
The exhibition assembled from the Ammann Collection has already been shown in Erfurt in Germany, and in Lille and Sables d’Olonne in France. It is curated by the Director of the Thurgau Museum of Fine Arts, Markus Landert, and again for Serlachius Museums by scenographer Tarja Väätänen
Further information: Pauli Sivonen, tel. +358 50 566 1355 email@example.com
- 2.2.2018 Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s artwork Potentiality for Love to be premiered at the Serlachius Museums in Finland
- 27.10.2017 Jiri Geller’s exhibition FUCK THE WORLD! at the Serlachius Museums
- 26.9.2017 Elina Brotherus at the Serlachius Museums
- 19.5.2017 Northern summer and eternal longing in the Serlachius Museums’ Summer Days exhibition in Finland
- 15.5.2017 Artists of the exhibition Summer Days
- 31.3.2017 Esther Shalev-Gerz´s exhibition Factory is Outside opens in Serlachius Museums in Finland
- 3.2.2017 Riiko Sakkinen brings European refugee crisis to Serlachius Museums
- 4.11.2016 Marita Liulia´s exhibition Golden Age opens at Serlachius Museums, Finland
- 22.9.2016 Marita Liulia´s exhibition Golden Age to the Serlachius Museums, Finland
- 27.5.2016 Mark Wallinger exhibition opens in Serlachius Museums, Finland
- 29.10.2015 Helene Schjerfbeck’s work Robber at the Gate of Paradise to Serlachius Museums in Finland
- 2.10.2015 Major Anselm Kiefer exhibition to open at Serlachius Museums in Finland
- 18.6.2015 International architecture experts assess Serlachius Museum Gösta’s Pavilion
- 12.6.2015 Touching from a Distance and Vision 2015 open Serlachius Museums’ summer
- 15.5.2015 Serlachius Museums presents a major collection of Outsider Art