Sunday, April 15, 2012

Muutosten pyörteissä / Art in Transformation (an exhibition)

Art from the sixties, seventies and eighties from the collections of the Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations. An exhibition at the Amos Anderson Art Museum, 20 January 2012 – 4 February 2013. Viewed on 15 April 2012.

Book: Maaretta Jaukkuri: Muutosten pyörteissä. Suomalaista kuvataidetta 1960-1980-luvuilla. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2012.

The official presentation: "The exhibition Art in Transformation is produced by the Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations. It brings together works from the collections of the foundations from a time when postmodernism gradually arrived in Finland. On display there are one hundred paintings, prints and sculptures made by key Finnish artists, filling three floors of the museum. The make-up of a private collection is determined by its aim and purpose, while a museum on the other hand, in addition to all this, documents events. The Foundations' collections are supplemented by works from the Amos Anderson Art Museum collections, as well as by a section showcasing new video art."

"Finnish art in the sixties, seventies and eighties has a strong international character. The standard of living was steadily rising. Artists were able to travel and to take in new international directions in art. There were exhibitions of international art in Finland. Artists went abroad for studies and postgraduate studies, not only to Paris as was traditional, but also to Italy and in the eighties, increasingly to New York. For a short period in the seventies, there was an interest for the realist art of the socialist countries. The eighties were the golden years of shared Nordic perspectives for young artists."

"State funded international cultural politics sought to toe the line of typically Finnish neutralism: there was cultural exchange with the East as well as with the West. In the seventies, the whole cultural field was politicized and the Right and the Left were sharply divided. However, all political directions worked for improving the economic and social situation of artists. A positive legacy of this time is the increasing awareness felt by artists regarding their own situation. In the eighties, focus was shifted towards new feminism and towards criticism against existing institutions. Continental philosophy slowly made its way into art. In general, the era brought vivid discussion and, from time to time, even pointed dialogue."

"Peculiar for Finnish art of the time was that new influences, particularly the abstract, were often interpreted in a framework of romanticized nature. When references shifted to an urban environment and to popular culture, the change was great. The media of art diversified and allowances were made for new attitudes and this is apparent in contemporary collections of art."

"In conjunction with the exhibition, Finnish Literature Society publishes a book written by Professor Maaretta Jaukkuri, in Finnish and in Swedish. It is the final book of a series of four volumes shedding light on different decades of Finnish art history. The richly illustrated art book walks the reader through a period of Finnish art in the grips of continual change."

"Guided tours in Finnish on Wednesdays at 5:30pm, in Swedish on Mondays at 4:30pm. Bookings, tel. +358 (0)9 6844 460."

The fourth and final exhibition in the series from the Association of the Finnish Fine Arts Foundations. The first I missed and have only studied its superb book. An excellent introduction to Finnish art based on works that have rarely / never been displayed to the general audience. This exhibition I would warmly recommend to an art-loving tourist in Helsinki.

The mise-en-scène is excellent, the works look better on each renewed round, and the lighting does justice to them. As a part of my digital re-education I pay more attention to these matters and suffer more than before from glass shields on paintings. Almost all paintings were displayed without a glass.

Artists on display in the exhibition and in the book include: Lauri Ahlgrén, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Martti Aiha, Tor Arne, Juhana Blomstedt, Kari Cavén, Carolus Enckell, Cris af Enehjelm, Mauri Favén, Markku Hakuri, Marjatta Hanhijoki, Juhani Harri, Jorma Hautala, Outi Heiskanen, Reino Hietanen, Kari Huhtamo, Niilo Hyttinen, Outi Ikkala, Tapio Junno, Kimmo Kaivanto, Marjukka Kaminen, Antero Kare, Pentti Kaskipuro, Jussi Kivi, Harry Kivijärvi, Harro Koskinen, Inari Krohn, Kristian Krokfors, Matti Kujasalo, Erkki Kurenniemi, Seppo Kärkkäinen, Ahti Lavonen, Kuutti Lavonen, Kauko Lehtinen, Henrietta Lehtonen, Pentti Lumikangas, Leena Luostarinen, Olli Lyytikäinen, Jan Olof Mallander, Jukka Mäkelä, Marika Mäkelä, Jarmo Mäkilä, Paul Osipow, Zoltan Popovits, Laila Pullinen, Kimmo Pyykkö, Mari Rantanen, Silja Rantanen, Ulla Rantanen, Raimo Reinikainen, Nina Roos, Eino Ruutsalo, Jaakko Sievänen, Arvo Siikamäki, Mikael Stierncreutz, Risto Suomi, Carl-Erik Ström, Iikka-Juhani Takalo-Eskola, Raili Tang, Marjatta Tapiola, Kain Tapper, Esko Tirronen, Raimo Utriainen, Marianna Uutinen, Roi Vaara, Heikki W. Virolainen, Hannu Väisänen, Jan Kenneth Weckman, Henry Wuorila-Stenberg.

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