As the Finnish National Gallery takes an exhibition of Finnish landscape to the United States, Anu Utriainen and Hanne Selkokari from the Ateneum Art Museum discuss its themes with Leslie Anderson of the National Nordic Museum in Seattle to gain a deeper insight and context for the show.
This interview is originally made for and published in Nordic Kultur 2021/22, the Magazine of the National Nordic Museum, Seattle
The exhibition ‘Among Forests and Lakes: Landscape Masterpieces from the Finnish National Gallery’, which opens at the National Nordic Museum in May 2021, examines on a wide scale how Finnish artists have depicted the landscape of their native country. The show spans a period of over 100 years from the 1850s to the 1970s, and includes Finnish landscapes from the coast and archipelago in the south to the fells of Lapland and the Arctic Ocean in the North. It celebrates the sophistication of the Finnish art establishment and the concurrent development of the landscape genre through more than 50 paintings, prints, and video art.
The exhibition includes a range of landscape depictions, from idealised views completed in the artist’s studio to realistic scenes painted en plein air and visual expressions of the landscape in a modern artistic language. Organised into four themes, the exhibition also considers the role that landscapes played in the creation of a nation and a national identity.
International research projects and exhibitions form a significant part of the Finnish National Gallery’s operations, both in Europe and overseas. The Ateneum Art Museum has previously worked with Scandinavia House in New York, which served as the first venue of the FNG’s Modern Woman project in 2017. Since then, the show has been exhibited in several cities in Europe as well as further afield in Tokyo.
Featured image: Hugo Simberg, Spring Evening, Ice Break, 1897,
oil on canvas, 27cm x 37cm. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen
Read more — Download ‘Finnish Landscapes on Tour’, by Anu Utriainen and Hanne Selkokari, as a PDF