The Helsinki Art Museum is devoted to art works that "belong to the people of Helsinki." A lovely collectivist notion.
|Kitka River, Ilkka Halso|
|Summer, Erno Enkenberg|
|Moss Girl, Kim Simonsson|
|Gym Class, Jarmo Mäkilä|
|First Day at School, Jarmo Mäkilä|
This is the same piece viewed from the "front."
The Ateneum Art Museum is one of a triumvirate of institutions comprising the Finnish National Galleries of Art. It is devoted to 19th and 20th Century international art. It was here where I found a few recognizable names, even if the art works themselves were unfamiliar...
|The Bathers, Edvard Munch|
|Landscape from Ringerike, Hans Gude|
|Salon style presentation|
|Woman in Lichen, Eila Hiltunen|
|Pregnant Woman, Alice Neel|
|Tuberculosis Harlem, Alice Neel|
My favorite work of art at this museum was "laundry" hanging in the atrium of the building, seen here from a second story window overlooking the courtyard. I couldn't locate a label for the installation and so I don't know the actual title.
Helsinki has a wealth of diverse museums and art galleries and I didn't manage to get to all of them. But of those I did see my favorite was the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.
The website describes it this way, "A lively cultural centre and meeting place, Kiasma is the place for pleasure and experience. The name derives from ‘chiasm’, which stands for an intersection, particularly the crossing of optic nerves." I went on a weekday morning and found it not only lively but also family-friendly. In fact, I'm quite sure I've never seen so many young children in a museum devoted to contemporary art.
|Emerging Thoughts, Anna Estarriola|
In fact, nearly all of the most enjoyable installations, many of which took up entire rooms, were so vast and interactive that a still image will do them no justice. So, I made short videos (Ha! I can do that with my phone now! Even when my phone doesn't work as a phone, as in Finland.) So, I recommend that you ignore the still images below and click on the Youtube links associated with them. They're all short, under 1 minute.
Rubbish Video, by Nabb & Teeri: click here for video.
Kosmos, by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa, fills a two-story space: click here for video.
This one, also by Choi Jeong Hwa, completely fills a room through which visitors have to wander as if through a jungle, pushing aside the "foliage." Click here for video.
An entire floor, including this enormous space, was devoted to Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. Click here for video.
The Ateneum was appropriately housed in a building styled in Beaux Arts tradition, while the HAM seemed quite utilitarian in a nondescript municipal structure. The contemporary mission of the Kiasma was evident even before you entered the dramatically curving and monolithic structure (which I neglected to take a picture of--sorry!)
If you missed my first (much shorter) post from Helsinki about the church in the rock, click here.
Stay tuned for the Hermitage.