Friday 2. October 2015
An exhibition Anselm Kiefer – Works from the Grothe Collection, presenting the output of Anselm Kiefer, one of leading artists of our time, opens to the public on 3 October 2015 at the Serlachius Museums in Finland. Finland’s first extensive Kiefer exhibition will completely fill the art museum’s new, internationally acclaimed extension, the Pavilion.
The Serlachius Museums’ exhibition includes nearly 30 monumental works from the collection of Hans Grothe. The exhibition has been produced by Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur in Bonn, and it is curated by the foundation’s director, Walter Smerling.
Anselm Kiefer is a storyteller, whose themes are drawn from history, literature and philosophy. The themes of his works relate, for example, to painful episodes in the history of Germany and of Europe as a whole. Kiefer's works are huge and very heavy. In thick layers of paint, the artist combines cement, sand, lead, ash, plants or even barbed wire. His relief-like works form a memorable ensemble in conjunction with the Pavilion’s acclaimed architecture.
Only individual works of Anselm Kiefer have been seen in Finland before the Serlachius Museums’ exhibition. In the Nordic countries, his art was last shown on such an extensive scale at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark five years ago.
A collector who loves stories
Hans Grothe (b. 1930) is a German businessman and art collector, who over the decades acquired an extensive art collection. In 2005, however, he sold most of his collection and only kept Anselm Kiefer’s works. Since then, he has collected solely Kiefer’s monumental works.
The works of the Grothe collection have been exhibited earlier in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. All the exhibitions have been different, however, in terms of scope and hanging. The exhibition in Finland is more extensive than any of the previous ones, because Hans Grothe has added to his collection after each exhibition. The intention is for the collection to be permanently housed at the Kunsthalle Mannheim in Germany in 2017.
Serlachius Museums – a strong name in contemporary art
The Serlachius Museums are located in the small town of Mänttä in Central Finland. Mänttä, which developed around the paper industry in the late 19th century, has undergone industrial restructuring, but in recent years has risen to become one of Finland’s best known art towns.
The image of the art town is enhanced by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, which has operated for over 80 years and maintains two museums in Mänttä. The Serlachius Museums are known for their important collection of works from the Finland’s Golden Age of art. Through the art museum’s extension, which opened in summer 2014, the Serlachius Museums have also become a strong player in the field of contemporary art.
The art museum’s wood-constructed Pavilion has attracted international attention and received a number of awards in Finnish and international architectural competitions. The Pavilion was designed by the Barcelona studio MX_SI, which won an international competition on the museum extension held in 2010–2011.
The Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open at the Serlachius Museums from 3 October 2015 to 24 April 2016.
The Serlachius Museums are open in the winter season, 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm.
Director of Serlachius Museums, Pauli Sivonen, tel. +358 50 566 1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org