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Press release: New exhibition at Ateneum looks back at the impressive career of Rafael Wardi


Ateneum Art Museum is presenting a new retrospective exhibition that provides an overview of the different phases of the artistic career of Finnish artist Rafael Wardi, highlighting his versatility and ability to transform. The exhibition includes around 90 works covering all periods of his oeuvre.

Rafael Wardi (born 1928) has had an exceptionally long career spanning over 60 years, and he remains active to this day. Wardi is known for his colourful paintings, the motifs of which range from still lifes and portraits to city views and landscapes. The works on display in the exhibition include those from the museum’s own collections, as well as others on loan from other museums and private collections. The curators of the exhibition are Acting Museum Director Timo Huusko and Curator (Collections) Anne-Maria Pennonen. The exhibition architecture is by Simo Freese.

The particular importance of light and colour is often emphasised when discussing Wardi’s art. He is even been called a master of the colour yellow, although the artist’s palette is made up of a much broader spectrum of colours that has varied over the decades. Wardi’s energy and artistic force continues to shine through in his latest works, which he completed in summer 2013 and are included in this exhibition.

The majority of his works up to the end of the 1990s were oil paintings, but towards the end of the decade he began using pastels. He has also produced watercolours, drawings and prints. The portrait he made of President Tarja Halonen in 2002 attracted a lot of attention and further increased awareness of the artist among the general public.

Wardi's work has not been restricted to the visual arts, however; he has also designed opera sets and costumes and participated in dance productions. In addition, he has worked as a teacher at the School of the Fine Arts Academy (now the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, part of the University of the Arts Helsinki) and helped develop art therapy at Nikkilä psychiatric hospital.

Rafael Wardi
Ateneum Art Museum, 3rd floor

Further information about the exhibition: www.ateneum.fi/en/rafael-wardi

Ateneum Art Museum Kaivokatu 2, 00100 Helsinki, www.ateneum.fi
Open: Tue, Fri 10-18 | Wed, Thu 10-20 | Sat, Sun 11-17 | Closed on Mondays
Tickets: €12/10, free admission for visitors under the age of 18
Tickets in advance: Lippupalvelu outlets and online shop, www.lippupalvelu.fi

Further information: Marja Istala Kumpunen, Communications Manager, +358 (0)50 555 3551, mik@ateneum.fi


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