Finland’s centenary celebrations in 2017 highlight our nation’s special strengths – equality and democracy – with a rich and diverse international programme offering something for all friends of Finland. On the visual arts front, a wide array of centenary exhibitions, events and a competition will be held both in Finland and abroad. We share our top picks from the vast and varied programme.
The Aalto Natives: Finland at the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
The Aalto Natives is an exhibition featuring artists Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors, who will represent Finland at the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition is commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland, and is curated by Xander Karskens.
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
ARS17 – Hello World!
The theme of the ARS17 exhibition is the global digital revolution, whose impacts extend all the way from culture and the economy to human identity and behaviour. Opening in March 2017, the exhibition will showcase artists of the new millennium and offer a fresh approach to contemporary art with a web extension expanding the viewing experience into the online realm.
ARS17 features works by several Finnish and international contemporary artists. Many of the featured artists have conquered the internet in one way or another. Many are represented in the most prestigious collections in the world, and they have exhibited in key forums such as the international biennales in Venice and Berlin.
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
Five Finnish museums join forces to celebrate Finland’s centennial year 2017 with a major shared initiative. The Modern life! exhibition portrays Finnish modernism and its national and international success stories in the years 1917–1968.
In Finland, this period was marked with fast-paced societal development: urbanisation, industrialisation and the ground stones of the welfare state. Modernism created and strengthened the Finnish identity. The era created a frame of cultural values that are still pursued.
The exhibition portrays the work of designers and artists such as Alvar and Aino Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala, Kaj Franck, Eliel Saarinen, Viljo Revell, Timo Sarpaneva and Laila Pullinen.
HAM – Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki
One Hundred Years, A Thousand Meanings
“One Hundred Years, A Thousand Meanings” is an exhibition and public work project. Fine art helped to build Finland’s identity, but is art interpreted the same way today as it was in the past? What does art tell us about Finnish culture and people, and from whose perspective is it told? With new eyes and an open mind, the exhibition reinterprets Finland’s image as presented by the nation’ artists.
Interpretations will be presented by both Finnish immigrants and nationals.
The show features paintings, sculptures and design from the Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations’ member collections from the end of the 19th century into the 21st century.
Jyväskylä Art Museum, Jyväskylä
Sharing – Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Archive Competition and Permanent Exhibition Realisation
This international concept competition aims to create a new kind of operating environment that opens new paths for museum activities, with the extensive Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk collection serving as a basis and a source of inspiration.
The new concept will be realised as a permanent part of the EMMA Art Museum and the WeeGee Exhibition Centre in Espoo.
Salon Dahlmann in Berlin
Salon Dahlmann will present three art exhibitions in Germany’s capital during Finland’s centenary year. The first major show will be the Tom of Finland exhibition highlighting a wide selection of works and also looking at the life of Touko Laaksonen, the creator of Tom of Finland.
The second exhibition features a selection of works from the collection of the Päivi and Paavo Lipponen Foundation, giving German and international audiences an overview of young Finnish art. Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s solo exhibition will be presented at the end of the year.
Salon Dahlmann, Berlin
Anu Pentik: Three Spaces
Finnish designer Anu Pentik will fill Kunsthalle Helsinki with large-sized ceramic installations drawing inspiration from the nature of Lapland. Celebrating the joy of life, courage and beauty, Pentik’s works embody the austere beauty of the northern wilderness along with its dazzling, flamboyant spectacle of colour.
The Three Spaces exhibition introduces designer Anu Pentik as a visual artist and celebrates her long career in Finnish ceramics. All the exhibited pieces are new works created especially for the Kunsthalle Helsinki exhibition.
Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki
Opening of the Moomin Museum
The City of Tampere will pay tribute to the Centenary of Finland’s independence by inaugurating the world’s first and only Moomin Museum, to be housed in the renovated and expanded Tampere Hall.
A selection of works from the museum’s collection of over 2 000 original items will form the basis of an experiential, immersive exhibition marking a wholly new kind of museum service in Finland. The complex will also incorporate a reading room offering Tove Jansson’s books in 51 languages, a space dedicated to pedagogical events, a novel restaurant and shopping facilities and services.
Tampere Hall, Tampere
Explore these and other centenary year events from http://suomifinland100.fi/
Photos: Ugo Carmeni and Sirja Moberg.
Descriptions of the events: Suomi Finland 100