New Exhibition at New York’s Scandinavia House

. March 10, 2017

Independent Visions: Helen Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries from the Collection of Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery, an exhibition presenting 55 works by 4 celebrated Finnish artists, opens at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, in New York City, on April 29, 2017. The exhibition highlights the pioneering role of these artists at the end of the 19th century and in the early decades of the 20th: Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946), Sigrid Schauman (1877-1979), Ellen Thesleff (1869-1954), and Elga Sesemann (1922-2007). Coinciding with the yearlong celebration of the centennial anniversary of Finland’s independence, the exhibition provides a rich opportunity for American audiences to engage with these beloved Finnish painters.

Ellen Thesleff, Decorative Landscape, 1910. Oil on canvas, 39 4/5 x 39 4/5 in., Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Gallery.

Drawn from Ateneum’s extensive collection, Independent Visions features Schjerfbeck’s complex self-portraits, Thesleff’s colorful woodcuts, Schauman’s lush and delicate landscapes, and
Sesemann’s brooding Expressionist portraits. Sharing the experience of traveling and studying in France and Italy while maintaining strong attachments to their home country of Finland, these artists and their work reveal the excitement and turbulence of the modern period in Europe that generated a newly found independence-both cultural and personal.
Independent Visions was curated by Anu Utrianen and organized by Dr. Susanna Pettersson of the Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery.

Anu Utriainen is the curator of collections at Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery. She has co-curated a number of exhibitions at Ateneum, including Stories of Finnish Art 2016-2020; Tuulikki Pietilä Collection, 2017; and The Great Rider: Italian Prints & Finnish Female Sculptors, 2016. She is also an editor
of Ateneum’s exhibition catalogues. Her work focuses on Finnish art and sculpture of the 1920s and 1930s.

Dr. Susanna Pettersson is museum director of the Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery. She previously served as director of the Finnish Institute in London, director of the Alvar Aalto Museum, and director of development at the Finnish National Gallery. She is also an adjunct professor of museology at the University of Jyväskylä and associate professor at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam. She specializes in museum history and collection studies and the history of art history, and has published widely on the subjects. Dr. Pettersson headed the curatorial team of the Ateneum’s extensive collection exhibition Stories of Finnish Art, 2016-2020.

As the headquarters of ASF, Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America presents contemporary Nordic culture through a wide range of programs that encompass the visual arts, music, and literature, as well as business, finance, and technology. Offerings include art, design, and historical exhibitions; films; concerts; lectures and literary programs; symposia; language courses; and programs for children and families.

For more information visit scandinaviahouse.org

Category: Fine Art News

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