Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum

Ateneum exhibitions in spring 2022: The Modern Woman and Dialogue – Elina Brotherus and Hannele Rantala

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From 10 February to 27 March 2022, the third floor of the Ateneum Art Museum will be divided between two exhibitions. The Modern Woman will discuss the role and position of Finnish women artists in the decades of 20th century modernism. Dialogue will present works by photographic artists Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) and Hannele Rantala (b. 1952) that are based on assignments and messages exchanged between the two artists. The artists featured in both exhibitions are role models for today’s young people: the themes are linked to the debate on equality and the opportunities of women to pursue careers as artists. When the exhibitions end, the Ateneum’s ventilation systems will be renovated, which means that the museum will be closed to the public for about nine months.

Elina Brotherus & Hannele Rantala: Art Lovers in a Museum (2020). Private collection.
Elina Brotherus & Hannele Rantala: Art Lovers in a Museum (2020). Private collection.

Other exhibitions on display until the renovation

Until the renovation, the Ateneum will also be showing the collection exhibition The Stories of Finnish Art and the Fokus Gallery exhibition Eino Ruutsalo’s Experimental 1960s. After the renovation, in early 2023, the Ateneum will open a completely new collection exhibition.

During the renovation, the Ateneum’s ventilation systems will be renewed to meet the demands set by both the works of art and the increased number of visitors. The start date of the renovation will be specified in 2022, which means that the ongoing exhibitions may run longer.

The Modern Woman, 10 February–27 March 2022 

The Modern Woman discusses the role and position of Finnish women artists in the decades of 20th century modernism. The exhibition delves into the role of women in the midst of the social, political and cultural changes of the era. The exhibition is curated by senior researcher at the Ateneum, Anu Utriainen.

The artists featured in the exhibition are Helene Schjerfbeck, Sigrid Schauman, Ellen Thesleff, Elga Sesemann, Hilda Flodin, Sigrid af Forselles, Gunvor Grönvik, Eila Hiltunen, Lea Ignatius, Helmi Kuusi, Laila Pullinen, and Essi Renvall. The exhibition of approximately 150 works includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints from the Ateneum collection.

The exhibition explores women artists from two angles: women as creators of images, and women as objects in images and as objects of the gaze. The themes are linked to the debate on gender equality, which continues to be a topical and globally important issue.

An abridged version of the exhibition has been touring the world since 2017, and shown, for example, in New York, Tokyo and Copenhagen. Everywhere, it has sparked a lively debate about the social status of women and their opportunities for independent professional careers.

Through the selected works and the artist biographies, an image is formed of the opportunities of Finnish women to get an education and to work as artists. The artists featured in the exhibition worked internationally as artists throughout their lives. One of the key questions in the exhibition is how class background and life situations influenced the artists in making careers for themselves, and how this is reflected in the choice of subject matter and techniques in the works at different times.

The exhibition at Ateneum's website

Dialogue – Elina Brotherus and Hannele Rantala, 10 February–27 March 2022

The exhibition is based on the long friendship between the photographic artists Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) and Hannele Rantala (b. 1952), and the discussions between the two friends about art. The works are based on the assignments and messages exchanged between the two artists that each interpreted in their own way. The assignments have been set in the spirit of Fluxus and poetry. The body of works on show continues the dialogue between the artists, which was first presented in the form of an exhibition at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in 2009.

Comprising some 90 works, the current show in the Ateneum features also video works and installations along with photographs. Together with the artists, the exhibition is curated by the director of the Ateneum Art Museum, Marja Sakari, and the chief curator, Sointu Fritze.

Along with the works by Brotherus and Rantala, a number of forgotten woman photographers are highlighted. Brotherus and Rantala chose inspirational images from the archives of the Finnish Museum of Photography and the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland to engage in dialogue with their departed colleagues. These photographers, who worked in the early 20th century, include Emmi Fock, Kuvasiskot (Eila Marjala and Margit Ekman), Nancy Pietinen, Hilja Raviniemi, and Petra Tiirikkala, and, above all, the modern woman of Nordic poetry, Edith Södergran.

The exhibition is a natural pairing for The Modern Woman exhibition. The works contain a wealth of references to art history and literature, but they are also strongly linked to the personal and shared experiences of the artists. In the works of the artists, women act both as creators of images and as objects of the gaze. 

The exhibition at Ateneum's website

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Keywords

Contacts

Communications officer Anna Kari, tel. +358 40 717 8185, anna.kari [a] ateneum.fi

Head of Communications Johanna Eiramo, tel. +358 400 995 699, johanna.eiramo [a] ateneum.fi

Images: press.ateneum.fi | Please note! The image bank has been updated. Please create a personal ID for the image bank.

Images

Elina Brotherus & Hannele Rantala: Art Lovers in a Museum (2020). Private collection.
Elina Brotherus & Hannele Rantala: Art Lovers in a Museum (2020). Private collection.
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Elina Brotherus: Piscine, de dos (Villa Empain) (2018). Private collection. Assignment:
Dear friend,
find the water's edge,
and listen to its sound.
Elina Brotherus: Piscine, de dos (Villa Empain) (2018). Private collection. Assignment: Dear friend, find the water's edge, and listen to its sound.
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Hannele Rantala: The Source (2018). Private collection. Assignment:
Dear friend,
find the water's edge,
and listen to its sound.
Hannele Rantala: The Source (2018). Private collection. Assignment: Dear friend, find the water's edge, and listen to its sound.
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Elina Brotherus: Head with Closed Eyes / Head with Open Eyes (2019). Private collection. Assignment:
Choose one or more works by forgotten woman photographers from the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, and create a companion piece.
Elina Brotherus: Head with Closed Eyes / Head with Open Eyes (2019). Private collection. Assignment: Choose one or more works by forgotten woman photographers from the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, and create a companion piece.
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Emmi Fock: Andromeda (1930s). The Finnish Museum of Photography. Assignment:
Choose one or more works by forgotten woman photographers from the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, and create a companion piece.
Emmi Fock: Andromeda (1930s). The Finnish Museum of Photography. Assignment: Choose one or more works by forgotten woman photographers from the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, and create a companion piece.
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Hannele Rantala: Free Will (2018). Private collection. Assignment:
Choose one or more works by forgotten woman photographers from the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, and create a companion piece.
Hannele Rantala: Free Will (2018). Private collection. Assignment: Choose one or more works by forgotten woman photographers from the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, and create a companion piece.
Download
Ellen Thesleff: Finland’s Spring (1942). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen.
Ellen Thesleff: Finland’s Spring (1942). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen.
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Lea Ignatius: Heat (1974). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Tuomo Seppo Collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Lea Ignatius: Heat (1974). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Tuomo Seppo Collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
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Helene Schjerfbeck: Girl from the Islands (1929). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, The Kaunisto Collection. Foto: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.
Helene Schjerfbeck: Girl from the Islands (1929). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, The Kaunisto Collection. Foto: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.
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Helmi Kuusi: Matchstick Girl (1937). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Helmi Kuusi: Matchstick Girl (1937). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
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Elga Sesemann: At a Café (1945). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.
Elga Sesemann: At a Café (1945). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.
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Sigrid Schauman: Italian Landscape (1930s). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Antell collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Sigrid Schauman: Italian Landscape (1930s). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Antell collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
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About Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum

Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum
Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum
Kaivokatu 2
00100 HELSINKI

0294 500 200http://www.ateneum.fi

The Ateneum is the home of Finnish art and part of the Finnish National Gallery, together with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Our collection includes more than 20,000 national treasures; works of art that we all own together. We have art dating from the 19th century to modernity. www.kansallisgalleria.fi/en

 

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The Modern Woman and Dialogue: online press conference on Wednesday 9 February at 11:0026.1.2022 10:25:21 EET | Press Invitation

The exhibitions The Modern Woman and Dialogue – Elina Brotherus and Hannele Rantala will be presented at the Ateneum Art Museum from Thursday 10 February to Sunday 27 March 2022. The opening day of the exhibitions has been advanced by one day. More information about the exhibitions is to be given online on 9 February from 11:00 to 12:00, and visitors can explore the exhibitions at the Ateneum from 14:00 to 16:00.

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