Espoon kaupunki - Esbo stadEspoon kaupunki - Esbo stadEspoon kaupunki - Esbo stad

EMMA and the Saastamoinen Foundation are delighted to host the Finnish debut of Alicja Kwade 


Alicja Kwade, a contemporary artist widely celebrated in recent international art biennials, will make her Finnish debut at EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art with her solo show Trans-For-Men. The exhibition marks the beginning of a new form of collaboration between EMMA and the Saastamoinen Foundation. Every year, a new work will be commissioned from a seminal, topical contemporary artist. An exhibition will be held in conjunction with the commission to shed light on the artist’s current practice.

Alicja Kwade: 88 Seconds, 2017, Private Collection, Vienna. Courtesy of König Galerie, Berlin / London Kuva/Photo: Roman März

The first artist appearing in the series is Alicja Kwade, whose exhibition is tailored to interact with the museum’s unique architecture. The show will feature five sculptural pieces that engage in an intriguing dialogue with the museum’s interior spaces and surrounding scenery. Kwade drew inspiration from the concrete brutalism of the WeeGee Exhibition Centre and the building’s history as a printing house, particularly the heavy printing machines and giant rolls of paper that once filled the gallery spaces. All the exhibits are monumental, time-based installations that depict movement and metamorphosis while guiding the visitor through the space.  

The highlight is a new piece by Kwade, the majestic Trans-For–Men (Fibonacci) (2018). The work reflects on interactions between people and nature, as well as investigating our relationship with nature from a broader, philosophical perspective. The work will be added to the Saastamoinen Foundation’s permanent collection. Kwade also created another piece especially for EMMA exploring the themes of nature and growth and the nature’s systems, featuring bronze-cast branches and roots that sprout from a copper tree trunk. The tree is systematically divided into eight parts, disrupting its logical and natural order.

The other works in the exhibition touch upon one of the artist’s enduring topics of fascination: the philosophy of time. Kwade’s art delves into the concepts of space, time and matter, raising salient questions regarding the fundamental nature of reality. What makes things what they are – or could everything be totally different?  

“This new concept opens up wholly new opportunities for deeper collaboration with relevant contemporary artists. It also offers us a new way of presenting the work of significant artists already represented in the collection,” states Pilvi Kalhama, Museum Director of EMMA.

Alicja Kwade (b. 1979 Katowice, Poland) lives and works in Berlin. She is an award-winning rising name in contemporary art whose work has featured at the Venice Biennale and numerous major museums over the past decade. Kwade has exhibited in many international shows at venues including the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, where Kwade’s exhibition is currently ongoing. 

The exhibition is curated by Marie Nipper (Creator Projects) and EMMA’s Chief Curator Arja Miller. Marie Nipper is the Director of Copenhagen Contemporary. She worked previously as the Chief Curator of ARoS Art Museum and senior curator of Tate Liverpool. 

An extensive catalogue highlighting Kwade’s work will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. The catalogue will be published by Hatje Cantz and Roulette Russe in collaboration with EMMA and the Saastamoinen Foundation.

Press images:

Password: emmamuseum  

Alicja Kwade: 88 Seconds, 2017, Private Collection, Vienna. Courtesy of König Galerie, Berlin / London, Kuva/Photo: Roman März



For further details:
Arja Miller, Chief Curator, EMMA, tel. +358 50 336 1980 

Päivi Karttunen, Saastamoinen Foundation Art Committee, tel +358 40 529 2544

Interview requests:  
Asta Teräväinen, Communications Coordinator, tel +358 44 760 1930


Tietoja julkaisijasta

Espoon kaupunki - Esbo stad
Espoon kaupunki - Esbo stad
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EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art showcases Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art and design. EMMA is located in Espoo’s Tapiola at the Exhibition Centre WeeGee, an iconic example of Brutalist architecture designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. EMMA has the largest exhibition space in Finland. The clean-lined modern architecture enhances the experiential presentation of works from the changing exhibitions and the permanent collections of EMMA, Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.


EMMA has been awarded Museum of the Year 2018. Welcome!

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