Building up a national identity - The Finns’ forest relationship as reflected in the art collection of the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation
April 28, 2017 – January 7, 2018 at Finnish Forest Museum Lusto, Punkaharju
The forest has played a leading role in Finnish culture, art and design. In the 19th century, inspired by European ideas, Finns began to trace their origins and seek out their own distinctive culture, which inspired Finnish artists to look for indigenous nature and people, especially from Karelia. Their journey led them to discover a wilderness whose rugged beauty was perfectly suited to become a symbol of Finnish people.
The exhibition focuses on how the gradual increase in economic activity and the social changes it stimulated were depicted in the national art of the 1890s. The aim was to depict Finland not just through its wilderness, but also as a progressive nation: sawmill and factory settings were considered to symbolise the beginning of a time of economic wellbeing. The exhibition is not just a way of familiarising yourself with the art history of Finnish forests, but also the interesting networks that are revealed in the foundation’s art collection, between financial patrons from the business world and artists, for instance, which have influenced the history of art, people and business.
Fascination with Collecting Art and Networks in Art - UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation’s anniversary exhibition
March 23rd – June 22nd, 2016 Villa Gyllenberg
The exhibition opened at the Villa Gyllenberg offers a cross-section of UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation’s collection. At the same time it celebrates the foundation’s 10th anniversary!
Fascination with Collecting Art refers to the collection that was built fragmentarily while the Networks in Art refers to the interesting networks that emerged between managerial patrons, art centers and artists. The Foundation has launched a research project on the collection. Some of the research results are displayed in the exhibition.
The exhibition includes 60 works of art from 40 artists: paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs. Chronologically, it extends from the 1700s until the 2000s. The exhibition focuses on contemporary European art from the foundation’s collection in Augsburg represented by, among others, A.R. Penck, David Hockney, Markus Lüpertz, Sigmar Polke and Strawalde. These works of art are combined with Finnish art including Elin Danielson’s Girl with cats in a summer landscape (1892) and a part of Hugo Simberg etching series (1899-1900). There are also works by Ahti Lavonen, Antti Favén, Brother Börjeson, Eero Järnefelt, Einar Ilmoni, Helene Schjerfbeck, H. Ahtela, Jalmari Ruokokoski, Pekka Halonen, Pentti Sammallahti and Yngve Bäck.
The exhibition is produced by the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation and its curator is the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation’s executive director Dr Anna-Maria Wiljanen.