Friday 12. October 2018
The modernist stone sculptures of Harry Kivijärvi (1931–2010) contributed to the international success of Finnish sculptural art in the 1960s/70s. The Time of Stone exhibition, opening at Serlachius Museums on 13 October 2018, presents a wide selection of Kivijärvi’s production as well as his activities as a collector and as a researcher of the tradition of stone sculpture. The production of six Finnish contemporary sculptors is presented alongside Kivijärvi’s works.
Harry Kivijärvi had deep knowledge of the long history of stone sculpture in art, and his work was marked by respect for past cultures. Kivijärvi derived his own expression from international modernism. Typical to his works are precisely curving contours of stone as well as a dialogue between smoothly polished surfaces and areas left rough.
In his time, Kivijärvi was one of Finland’s most international sculptors. He represented Finland, for example, at the Bienal de São Paulo in 1961 and 1967, the Venice Biennale in 1966 and 1972 and Paris FIAC in 1978, 1980 and 1983. He worked for a long time as an art teacher and as an influential figure in the field of art, fostering the continuation of the art of stone sculpture in Finland. He is known in Finland for his many public works, such as the monument to President J. K. Paasikivi and the memorial at the grave of President U. K. Kekkonen.
In the Time of Stone exhibition, the tradition of stone sculpture is continued by six Finnish contemporary sculptors: Maria Duncker (1963), Timo Hannunen (1969), Aaron Heino (1977), Anne Koskinen (1969), Laura Könönen (1980) and Ville Mäkikoskela (1975). They represent very different ways of art working. Like Kivijärvi, each of them has found their own distinctive style in working with stone.
Kivijärvi established a foundation of key works while he was still alive. After the artist’s death, the collection was donated to the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation in 2011. It included 24 of Kivijärvi’s works as well as parts of an art collection accumulated by the artist. Kivijärvi’s sculptures have been placed in a permanent exhibition in the park of Serlachius Museum Gösta.
The Fine Arts Foundation supplemented the collection by acquiring artifacts from Egypt collected by the artist as well as sculptures from the early part of Kivijärvi’s career. Now they can be seen for the first time in the exhibition opening at the Serlachius Museums. The exhibition is curated by Serlachius Museums’ Head Curator, Laura Kuurne.
Exhibition catalogue Time of Stone as well as a reprint of Harry Kivijärvi’s book How Were the Pyramids Built?, first issued in 1990, will be published at the time of exhibition opening. Both books will be available also in English language.
Art and the history of the paper industry
The Serlachius Museums are located in Mänttä-Vilppula, a small town in Central Finland whose growth centred on the paper industry. The Serlachius Museums, surrounded by forest and lakes, present Finnish and international art as well as the history of the Finnish paper industry.
The museums are maintained by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, which was established in 1933 and owns one of the Nordic countries’ most significant private art collections. The collection includes some of the most famous works of the Golden Age of Finnish art, for example paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Hugo Simberg, Helene Schjerfbeck and Albert Edelfelt.
A timber-frame extension, the Pavilion, completed in 2014, now also presents international contemporary art. The Serlachius Museums have hosted major exhibitions by, among others, Anselm Kiefer, Mark Wallinger and, most recently, Koen Vanmechelen.
Time of Stone – Harry Kivijärvi and six Finnish contemporary sculptors is at Serlachius Museum Gösta from 13 October 2018 to 14 April 2019.
The Serlachius Museums are open in the winter season, 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm.
For further information, please contact:
Laura Kuurne, Head Curator, Serlachius Museums, tel. +358 (0) 44 269 6677, firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests for photos:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums, tel. +358 (0) 50 560 0156 email@example.com
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