- About Ateneum
Exhibition room closed for the time being
Harmony, ideals and reality
The works in this room are mostly from the 1920s and 1930s. While the artists of this period seek a sense of balance in the classical tradition, they also focus on depicting objects in minute detail. Often this style creates a somewhat mystical and captivating mood, as in the paintings of Sulho Sipilä, Väinö Kamppuri, Ragnar Ekelund and Vilho Lampi.
A second, more referential theme can also be seen in these works: the search for self, growing up, and the conflict between ideals and reality. These aspects appear, for example, in the works of Yrjö Ollila, Väinö Kunnas and Vilho Lampi. Coincidentally, these three artists also shared the tragic fate of dying young: Yrjö Ollila died of liver disease in 1932 at the age of 45, Väinö Kunnas died of acute pneumonia in 1929 at the age of 32 – Väinö Kamppuri’s painting Smoke Sacrifice (Savu-uhri, 1929) depicts the cremation of Väinö Kunnas at the Hietaniemi Crematorium – and Vilho Lampi took his own life by throwing himself into the Merikoski rapids in Oulu in 1936 at the age of 37.
Ismo Kajander’s installation To Mayakovsky, which was recently acquired by Ateneum, serves as a kind of response to these works. The installation refers to the life and work of the revolutionary Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, who committed suicide in 1930 at the age of 36.
Works displayed in this room
von Boehm, Tuomas: Still Life with Pears, 1958
Ekelund, Ragnar: View with a Bridge, 1922
Kajander, Ismo: To Mayakovsky, 2012
Kamppuri, Väinö: Self-Portrait, 1929
Smoke Sacrifice, 1929
Kunnas, Väinö: The Grey Dance, 1928
Lampi, Vilho: Seated Girl, 1932
Lehtinen, Kauko: Self-Portrait with a Dead Bird, 1958
Miettinen, Olli: Crisp Bread Still Life, 1931
Ollila, Yrjö: Hearing the Homework, 1923
Raittila, Tapani: Juha, 1953
Sipilä, Sulho: Interior, Woman Playing the Piano, 1931
The First of May, 1932
More information on the works and artists from the Finnish National Gallery Collections web service.