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Helsinki City Art Museum Presents Exhibition of Works by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

The Helsinki City Art Museuman exhibition of works by Akseli Gallen-Kallela on view 15 January 2012.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s (1865-1931) artistic work shows boundless sensitivity and yet also a passionate desire to express. It contains both small-scale works and monumental compositions. His character was a combination of sustained political conviction and mercurial impulsiveness. He was prone to both wanderlust and homesickness. It was this weaving together of opposites that formed the core of Gallen-Kallela’s art and which suggests links with Finnish history as much as with the broad directions of modern art.

The works in the exhibition are mainly from 1884-1910, a period easily described as the peak of Gallen-Kallela’s output. It is also a period in European art history that both preceded and anticipated the forward march of abstract art. During that time Gallen-Kallela was known as an artist whose distinctive Nordic style and idiom stood apart from that of most other artists. It was possible to become familiar with his work through many exhibitions around Europe. Important critics wrote about him, and he was well known in avant-garde circles. In Finland, he was known as a leading artist of the emerging nation and as a pioneer of the visual arts.

This exhibition presents the artist’s aesthetically most brilliant peak, a selection of masterworks. After Helsinki the exhibition will be presented in Paris and Düsseldorf. It is the broadest survey of Gallen-Kallela’s art ever organised in France or Germany.

This exhibition is organised by the Helsinki Art Museum, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. –

Image: Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931), Ad Astra

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