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Ateneum Art Museum presents top international names in 2012


The 2012 exhibition season at Ateneum Art Museum begins with an exhibition of Carl Larsson, followed by the 150th anniversary celebration of Helene Schjerfbeck and culminating in an international exhibition of Symbolist landscape painting featuring works by such artists as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Munch and Kandinsky.

Carl Larsson is one of Sweden's most beloved artists, whose paintings of idyllic domestic life are well known also in Finland. The new exhibition at Ateneum invites viewers to consider what in fact constitutes a good life. Factors that connect contemporary viewers to Larsson's life include the home, the family, a sense of community, children, gardening and interior decoration.

The exhibition Carl Larsson - In Search of the Good Life focuses on themes related to the home and includes many of his early works. Presented in collaboration with the Turku Art Museum, the exhibition at Ateneum is curated by Timo Huusko, and its warm-spirited architecture is the work of Minna Santakari. Having been exceptionally popular during Turku's year as European Capital of Culture, the exhibition at Ateneum continues the stories of the Larssons in a new form. In addition to their paintings, the exhibition also presents Carl and Karin Larsson as designers of furniture and art handicrafts.

Following the Carl Larsson exhibition, Ateneum will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Helene Schjerfbeck with a major exhibition of her art. Opening in June, this will be the largest exhibition of Schjerfbeck's art to date, presenting almost three hundred works of art covering all periods of her artistic career.

This exhibition will present Schjerfbeck's well-known classics alongside previously unseen or seldom exhibited works of art from private collections. A central theme of the exhibition is Schjerfbeck's interaction with the masters of world art. For the first time, Schjerfbeck's paintings after El Greco will be displayed alongside two original works by the Spanish master. Helene Schjerfbeck painted her El Greco interpretations inspired by black and white prints. The curator of the exhibition is Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse, Chief Curator at the Ateneum Art Museum and an expert on Schjerfbeck's art.

The year will culminate in an international exhibition devoted to Symbolist landscape painting. The exhibition will present a wide selection of poetic, mystical and sensual interpretations of nature, painted between 1880 and 1910, including landscapes by such masters as Gauguin, Van Gogh, Munch, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Monet and Whistler. Other European artists that will be featured include Hammershøi, Hodler, Signac, Strindberg, Leighton and Millais. Finnish Symbolist art will be represented by Albert Edelfelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Hugo Simberg and Ellen Thesleff. In all, the exhibition will show works by 52 artists.

This will be the most significant exhibition of art by Van Gogh or Gauguin ever held in Finland. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to Ateneum's close cooperation with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the National Galleries of Scotland.

The paintings in the exhibition are being lent by the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, Tate in London, MoMA in New York, the Munch Museum in Norway, and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. In addition, paintings have been made available by major private collections in New York, Paris and Italy. The curators of the exhibition are two internationally renowned art experts, Rodolphe Rapetti and Richard Thomson.


Carl Larsson - In Search of the Good Life 10.2-29.4.2012
Helene Schjerfbeck 1.6-14.10.2012
52 Souls - Symbolist Landscape 16.11.2012-17.2.2013, Ateneum Art Museum
-Dreams of nature. Symbolism from Van Gogh to Kandinsky. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 24.2.-17.6.2012
-Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 14.7-14.10.2012


Ateneum Art Museum Kaivokatu 2, 00100 Helsinki
Open: Tue & Fri 10am-6pm; Wed & Thu 10am-8pm; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm, Mon closed
Tickets: €12/10 (52 Souls - Symbolist Landscape €15/13), free admission for visitors under the age of 18
Further information: Marja Istala Kumpunen, Communications Manager, tel. +358 (0)50 555 3551, mik@ateneum.fi


Ateneum's main partners are Helsingin Sanomat, HOK-Elanto and KPMG.