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Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art

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Bodies and Moments – Three Perspectives to the Kuntsi Foundation Collection

Bodies and Moments – Three perspectives to the Kuntsi Foundation Collection


Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art 

Every three years, the Kuntsi Foundation presents an exhibition based on the collection in the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa. The exhibition that is now being presented, Bodies and Moments – Three Perspectives to the Kuntsi Collection, has been curated by three of the foundation’s board members, Leevi Haapala, dean of the Academy of Fine Arts, Teemu Mäki, chairman of the Artists’ Association of Finland, and Anne-Maj Salin, the foundation’s representative and museum director emerita.  

The section curated by Leevi Haapala presents the transition from surrealism towards contemporary art. He provides a foundation to the Kuntsi Collection, while highlighting the surrealism of it as well as its legacy consisting of more contemporary works and subsequent art trends. The common thread of the exhibition begins in the European surrealism and continues with contemporary art. The exhibition presents artists who investigate the surface and gloss of urban life, artists who are enthusiastic about constructivism and pop art. Leevi Haapala has, in addition to the collection, also selected works by the Helsinki-based contemporary artist Antti Ruuhela, whose work enters a dialogue with the collection. 

David Hockney. Gregory in the Pool, 1978. Photo: Mikko Lehtimäki 

Teemu Mäki’s curation is divided into four sections: An Ode to Everyday Life – Paradise Is Here and Now, A Grotesque Body (Is a Living Body), Art Is a Hammer – Public Stances, and More than Human. In Mäki’s section, in addition to works from the collection, there are also works on loan, namely a few graphic sheets borrowed from the Artists’ Association of Finland’s collections, as well as works loaned by the contemporary artist Eeva Honkanen and a work by the curator himself. The loans enrich the section and act as support for the audience to see the relevance of the Foundation’s collection and its connections to contemporary art. 

Marjatta Tapiola. The Easter, 1980. Photo: Mikko Lehtimäki  

Anne-Maj Salin has selected a collection of significant and central works for the exhibition. The starting point in her selection has been moments, the situations and atmospheres the works depict, as well as the encounter with the work and the feelings they generate. Even a familiar work can create a new encounter, which in a different situation can evoke completely different thoughts and emotions. In this way, familiar works can become even more current and engaging. Time creates distance and perspective. Good works stand the test of time. 

Juhani Harri. Doves of Peace, 1960’s. Photo: Noora Lehtovuori 

Header: Kauko Lehtinen. Summercloud, 1967. Photo: Mikko Lehtimäki.