The first of the new exhibitions at the Ostrobothnian Museum, from 12 April to 8 September 2024, will display visual art from the extensive collection of Roger Broo (1945–2017). The collection was donated to the Åbo Akademi University Foundation. The collection presents paintings and works on paper including graphics and drawings from the 1950s to the 2010s. Broo particularly supported young artists, often acquiring works from thesis exhibitions. He worked for a long time as administrative director of Åbo Akademi and was active in the Svenska Kulturfonden, the Turku Art Museum, and as the chairman of the Amos Rex Museum. In his collection, you can find works by, for example, Carina Granlund (b. 1967), Veronika Ringbom (b. 1961) and Mikko Paakkola (b. 1962).
The forest – a diverse habitat in the exhibition space
From 4 October 2024 to 27 April 2025, the Ostrobothnian Museum will host an exhibition titled Forest of the North Wind by the long-career photographers Ritva Kovalainen (b.1959) and Sanni Seppo (b.1960). The exhibition celebrates Kovalainen’s and Seppo’s thirty years of artistic and research work on forest themes. The photographs in the exhibition, which depict our natural forests, are mainly from protected areas near the eastern border from North Karelia to Lapland. In connection with the exhibition, the artists are also working on new works that examine the situation of forests in Ostrobothnia in particular. In addition to photographic works, the exhibition includes extensive research material and facts about Finnish forests.
The exhibition is the conclusion of a three-part photographic research project, which Kovalainen and Seppo began by delving into Finnish forest mythology in Tree People (1997) and then interpreting the dark sides of forestry in Silvicultural Operations (2009). The book Forest of the North Wind was nominated for the Finlandia Prize for non-fiction this year.
Eastern influences in Finnish art from the 19th century until the present day
Tikanoja Art Museum’s exhibition Eastern Spirituality from 17 May to 27 October 2024 explores influences from the East through cultural and historical objects and nearly 100 works of art. The mysticism and spiritual wisdom of the East have appealed to artists in Finland since the 19th century, and the influence can be seen to extend even to contemporary art. On the one hand, the exhibition reflects on the problematic nature of ideas connected to Eastern spirituality and the shadow of colonialism, but on the other hand, it also reflects on artists’ genuine desire to understand and learn from other cultures.
The exhibition also displays a wide selection of works by the Vaasa-born Ilona Harima, whose works have long been hidden away from the Finnish art history canon. For the exhibition, the City of Vaasa Museums has also surveyed both public and private collections for the works and production of four female artists: Eva Bremer, Meri Genetz, Ilona Harima and Lyyli Visanti.
Other art displayed in the exhibitions include works by Akseli Gallen-Kallela and a selection of objects he collected on his travels, as well as works by contemporary artists such as Outi Heiskanen, J. O Mallander, and Silja Rantanen. Art and religion researcher Dr. Nina Kokkinen, PhD, curates the exhibition.
Kuntsi hosts a collection exhibition and dreamlike contemporary art
The collection of the Vaasa-based art collector Simo Kuntsi (1913–1984) will be the subject of a new temporary exhibition by the Kuntsi Foundation from 3 May to 6 October 2024. Simo Kuntsi collected both Finnish and international modern art.
Kuntsi’s year of modern art will end with the exhibition of the work of Meta Isæus-Berlin (b.1963), one of Sweden’s most prominent contemporary artists. Isaeus-Berlin is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning artist, and this is her first exhibition in Finland. Isæus-Berlin often uses furniture as her material, creating spatial ensembles that are deeply evocative of the dream and the subconscious. Water is a recurring element in her works, but the material range of her sculptural installations is broad.
The exhibition Meta Isaeus-Berlin: Philosopher shows the artist’s development from her early paintings to the current form of her art. The artist often creates a painting, a sculpture, and a spatial installation on the same subject. The City of Vaasa Museums produces the exhibition in collaboration with the artist. The artist’s works are included in the collections of the Malmö Art Museum, Moderna Museet, the Gothenburg Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Finland. Exhibition is on show from 2 November 2024 to 30 March 2025.
Two new exhibitions will close the year at Tikanoja Art Museum, opening on 15 November 2024.
The early part of the year will see the continuation of the exhibitions Roland Persson – Twisted Realities at the Ostrobothnian Museum until the end of March, the group exhibition Dimensions of a Line at the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art until 14 April and Berndt Lindholm – Into the Landscape at the Tikanoja Art Museum until 21 April. The exhibition Dripping Cavities by two local artists with international backgrounds, Valentina Gelain and Bekim Hasaj, will be displayed until mid-January, after which the Vaasa Artists Guild will take over the Vaasa City Art Gallery.
Changes are possible.