The exhibitions in Helsinki this spring feature water colour pictures of a Jugend masterpiece, art inspired by striped shirts and a floating monolith of concrete.
Artist Collective Studio Drift’s essential work, Drifter, is a floating monolith made of concrete. Presented at Amos Rex, the collective from Amsterdam was inspired by Thomas More’s classic work Utopia (1516) that describes a society where gender equality predominates, where there is no private property and where everything imaginable can be made of fantastic, mouldable stuff. Using his imagination, More seems to have predicted concrete 200 years before it was invented.
Drifter is also a symbol of human systems: the pieces are large, heavy and rigid when on the ground, but they seem natural, free of gravity and mobile like any living thing when they are floating .
Amos Rex from 6 March to 19 May 2019.
The most public home of its time
An exhibition at the Museum of Finnish Architecture presents the most impressive and complete work of art by Architects Gesellius, Lindgren and Saarinen: the Manor of Suur-Merijoki (1902–1903). The jewel of Finnish Art Nouveau architecture was built in the Vyborg county by Swiss-born Maximilian Neuscheller, who was an active businessman in St. Petersburg. Young Finnish architects designed everything in the building including all interiors, textiles and lighting fixtures.
“From a modern perspective, it’s exciting to think that the client has given such freedom to design and create such a complete work of art. They must have really trusted the artist,” says the exhibition curator, museum assistant Anna Autio.
This exhibition highlights delicious watercolour art created by Architects Gesellius, Lindgren and Saarinen. Their pastel tones convey a very contemporary feel.
The Museum of Finnish Architecture from 6 March to 8 September 2019.
Visual artist Karoliina Hellberg is interested in interiors and how a person builds a space around them.
Didrichsen Art Museum in Kuusisaari is housing Hellberg’s saturated Pro Arte exhibition all spring. The exhibition displays paintings on canvas and paper, glass items as well as a unique tapestry wall.
The modernistic museum building designed by Viljo Revell also features some influence of brutalist concrete architecture and is worth a visit from an architectural point of view, too.
The building was originally designed as a home for Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen. When they founded the museum, they wished “that this little museum will become a centre of all things beautiful; art, nature and architecture, and that it will provide others as much joy as it has for us.” Their wish came true.
Didrichsen Art Museum until 5 May 2019.
The beauty of striped shirts
Artist Jacob Dahlgren’s works consist of everyday objects that are accessible to anybody. The artist has a stock of more than one thousand striped patterns, which he uses as shirts in the background of striped paintings, videos and prints. Dahlgren also uses other daily objects as materials for his art, such as tin cans, plastic cups, coat hangers, dipsticks and saws, and combines them into elegant, abstract ensembles.
In addition to aesthetic pleasure, Dahlgren’s works surprise, delight and, at best, refine daily life, reminding us of the beauty of our environment.
Galerie Anhava from 7 to 31 March 2019
Weekly Tips is a monthly series for the design-minded in Helsinki.