Serlachius museot

Feel free to
come farther

+358 (0)3 488 6800 | Gustaf, R. Erik. Serlachiuksen katu 2 | Gösta, Joenniementie 47 | Mänttä

Open wintertime 1 September–31 May Tue–Sun 11am–6pm.


+358 (0)3 488 6800 | Gustaf, R. Erik. Serlachiuksen katu 2 | Gösta, Joenniementie 47 | Mänttä

wintertime 1 September–31 May Tue–Sun 11am–6pm
summertime 1 June–31 August daily 10am–6pm
Closed 6 Dec, 24–25 Dec, 31 Dec, 25 Mar and 30 Apr

Feel free to
come farther

Friday 2. February 2018

Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s artwork Potentiality for Love to be premiered at the Serlachius Museums in Finland

Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s new work Potentiality for Love will have its premiere 2 February at Serlachius Museums in Finland. The exhibition opens for the public on 3 February. Ahtila’s three-part artwork is a hybrid piece that combines sculpture with moving image. After its premiere in Mänttä, the artwork commissioned by the Serlachius Museums embarks on a world tour.

Moving image sculpture in three parts
#1 – Angular video sculpture of 22 DIP LED modules (4K/HD; 8 min loop; sculpture size 614 x 384 x 15 cm)
#2 – Two research tables with attached ‘monitor mirrors’ (4K/HD; 4 min loops; size 100 x 72 x 54 cm)
#3 – Sound landscape with 3 directional loudspeakers and spot lights (3 discrete audio channels; 6 min loop)

Potentiality for Love (2018) deals with the potential for empathy and love towards other living beings. It turns attention to those human emotions that could serve as a foundation for dismantling the hierarchical structures between living things, thereby engendering a turn towards non-humans and the recognition of others. The work reflects the origins of these emotions, how we define them and how we conceive of their function as part of a larger continuum of living beings.

The first element of the installation is a hybrid work that combines sculpture with moving image technology to focus attention on the point where love is born. Using outdated LED modules, it recreates an image of a distant memory, of mother and the primal unity. It also touches upon the memory of loss and distance, the moment when the possibility for love that rests as potentiality, first emerges.

The second element asks whether our love and empathy is reserved only for our own kind, or whether we are capable of holding them towards other living beings as well. This question is approached by addressing the historical divide between humans and non-humans. This is achieved by creating a situation that questions what it is to be a human being and how the other, the stranger, is constructed in our culture. The medium for this is a modified situation featuring a setup similar to that used to treat phantom limb aches. In these two works, however, the mirror is replaced by a thin LED monitor showing the arms of another primate.

The third element of the installation approaches the theme by creating a sound landscape with dialogue.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila says that her new work differs from her earlier pieces so that the work isn’t a story that has a specific duration, but rather uses different elements from moving pictures and their characteristics, as tools to approach the motif.  They range from things such as the creating of illusions, the ability of sounds to create emotions and the relationship of what is presented by moving pictures to experienced reality, and so on.

– The previous pieces and the process of making them led me to the question I could not avoid: what is it that gives us human beings the potentiality to turn our attention to others, to respect and appreciate other ways of living and other living beings.

Potentiality for Love
Cast Jenny & Matleena Kuusniemi
Written & directed by Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Key crew:
Cinematography Jussi Eerola – Edit Heikki Kotsalo – Wire FX Reijo Kontio - 3d VFX Jari Hakala – Audio Olli Pärnänen – Music Ville Ahonen – Animal supervisor Roger Farr
Commissioned by Serlachius Museums
With support from Avek, Biennale of Sydney, Frame, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnish Film Foundation, Kordelin Foundation, Museum M
Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London
Produced by Ilppo Pohjola
© 2018 - Crystal Eye,

Potentiality for Love -exhibition is open 3 February 2018 – 6 January 2019

Serlachius Museums are open 11:00–18:00, Tuesday to Sunday during the winter season 1 September–31 May, and 10:00–18:00, Monday to Sunday during the summer season, 1 June–31 August.

For further information, please contact:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums, +358 (0) 50 560 0156,

Friday 27. October 2017

Jiri Geller’s exhibition FUCK THE WORLD! at the Serlachius Museums

Sculptor Jiri Geller finds his subjects in popular culture and combines them with new themes. At the Serlachius Museums on 28 October 2017 opens his exhibition FUCK THE WORLD!, whose works can be characterised as punk objects with their everlasting beauty.

Jiri Geller is interested in well-known, recognisable and visually tested images and symbols. Chosen figures, however, receive new roles in events that are coloured by unusual coincidences and comical encounters. At the same time, these frozen events momentarily hint at the transitory nature of everything.

An important feature of Geller’s art is US-derived customisation, which he applies in his unique way. Geller customises the familiar, recognisable popular visual catalogue and, based on it, makes new objects and images. By varying these elements, he dramatises new situations and encounters.

An astronaut’s greeting

Jiri Geller’s new subjects of interest are smileys and astronauts. Smileys he sees even as a new global form of folk art. Space, on the other hand, has been part of Geller’s catalogue from the very beginning. It is a spiritual space of escape or a possible alternative to this planet and its growing problems. The exhibition's title work FUCK THE WORLD! shows a natural-size astronaut waving his hand in greeting, but who leaves the viewer wondering whether it is about entering or exiting.

Rock music, related attitudes and philosophy are subjects that interest Geller. As a performer of rock music himself, he is deeply familiar with the comic strips, graphic art and underground publications associated with it.

“He experiences something of the immediacy and seductiveness of rock music in neon colours, which he has been using in recent years. According to Geller, neon colours create a distinctive, anarchist state of mind and make the works look better than reality,” explains the curator of the exhibition, Maaretta Jaukkuri.

A moment of bliss that lasts forever

Jiri Geller (b. 1970) is a silversmith by education, but he combines in his works both craftsmanship and digital techniques and production methods. Central to Geller’s art is making objects so beautiful that they, in his own words, produce “a moment of bliss that lasts forever”.

Geller was one of the founder members of the ROR (Revolutions on Request) group of artists, and he belonged to the group from 1997 to 2008. The group brought a whole new kind of energy and edge into the field of art in Finland, and they also exhibited internationally, for example at Manifesta in Frankfurt am Main 2002, the Venice Biennale 2003 and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo 2005.

FUCK THE WORLD! is open from 28 October 2017 to 22 April 2018.

The Serlachius Museums are open in the winter season, 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm, Mondays closed.

For further information please contact:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer of Serlachius Museums, +358 (0)50 560 0156,


Tuesday 26. September 2017

Elina Brotherus at the Serlachius Museums

Exhibition Playground from June 15th 2018 to January 6th 2019.

Serlachius Museums has announced today a major contemporary photography exhibition for their season 2018: Playground by Elina Brotherus.

Playground focuses on Brotherus’ newest works since 2016. It includes both photographs and short videos. The exhibition is a larger version of her solo show currently displayed at The Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou in Paris. The Pompidou Centre exhibition as well as the accompanying book, Règle du jeu, are the result of her winning the prestigious Carte blanche PMU 2017 prize.

As a starting point for her new works, Brotherus uses Fluxus event scores from the 1960’s and other instructions that artists have written to explain how a piece can be made. After 20 years of self-representation, with these performative, absurd and playful works Brotherus turns a new page in her production. The works presented in Playground have not been previously shown in Finland. The exhibition is curated by Dr Susan Bright.

– Elina Brotherus is a well-known and much-liked artist at the Serlachius Museums. Her works were exhibited here in summer 2015 to a great success. We are enthusiastic to see Elina’s work again here in Mänttä, and hope to attract new audiences in addition to the large number of existing fans. Our wish is also to see this exhibition travel the world, Pauli Sivonen, Director of Serlachius Museums says.

– Serlachius museums is known in Finland for their exceptional and ambitious program. They have attracted several international super-star artists, and they regularly work with top Finnish contemporary artists such as the inspiring and influencial video-artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue my ongoing research around event scores, first introduced in Paris with Règle du jeu, and now shown in Mänttä on an even larger scope, Elina Brotherus says.

The exhibition Playground will take place from June 15th 2018 to January 6th 2019 at the Serlachius Museums in Mänttä, Finland.

Serlachius Museums

The Serlachius Museums wishes to be at the forefront of contemporary exhibitions, dealing with current themes and phenomena in innovative and unconventional ways. The Serlachius Foundation benefits from a diverse range of works from its own collection, such as a large private collection of Nordic masterpieces, international Old Masters and accomplished newcomers. The foundation’s team of experts actively monitor the field of international contemporary art and draw parallels between their own collection and the contemporary art of today.

Located in the heart of the beautiful lakeside and forest Finland, the Serlachius Museums enjoy a setting of pure authentic nature and thought-provoking art. The visitors are invited to discover an exciting piece of Northern culture.

To find out more about the Serlachius Museums please visit 

Contact : Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums
+358 (0) 50 560 0156,

Elina Brotherus

Born in 1972 in Helsinki, Finland, Elina Brotherus works in photography, video and film. Her work has been alternating between autobiographical and art-historical approaches. Elina Brotherus lives and works in Helsinki, Finland and Avallon, France. She has an MA degree in Photography from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (2000). She started exhibiting internationally in 1997 and her works are in major collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, to name a few.

For more information:

Susan Bright

Dr. Susan Bright curates exhibitions internationally at institutions including: Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery in London and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago amongst others. The exhibition How We Are: Photographing Britain was the first major exhibition of British photography at Tate. The exhibition of Home Truths (Photographers’ Gallery and the Foundling Museum and traveling to MoCP, Chicago and Belfast Exposed) was named one of the top exhibitions of 2013/2014 by The Guardian and The Chicago Tribune. 

Her published books include: Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography (2017), Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood (2013), Auto Focus: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography (2010), How We Are: Photographing Britain (2007: co-­‐authored with Val Williams), Face of Fashion (2007), and Art Photography Now (2005). She regularly writes for museums and monographic books, and contributes to numerous magazines and journals. She lives and works in Paris.

Friday 19. May 2017

Northern summer and eternal longing in the Serlachius Museums’ Summer Days exhibition in Finland

From 20 May, Serlachius Museums’ Summer Days exhibition presents eight prominent Nordic artists, who represent different generations and different approaches to making art. They are united by a landscape saturated with Northern colour and light, presented either directly or referentially.

The exhibition’s artists are Päivikki Alaräihä, Tor Arne, Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson, Andreas Eriksson, Peter Frie, Olav Christopher Jenssen, Anna Retulainen and Troels Wörsel.

Little has been seen of the painting of Nordic artists in Finland in recent years. Curator Timo Valjakka selected landscape as the theme of the exhibition, because Nordic art is, in essence, natural romantic. “Here in the North, urbanisation is still fairly recent, and the relationship to nature is always present, even if the artist does not particularly emphasise it,” he says.

Valjakka chose for the exhibition at least one artist from each Nordic country. They are among the leading artists of their own countries, but in Finland some of them are relatively unknown. They are united by references to landscape or natural perception, but always filtered by memory. Visual motifs of summer are highlighted in the works selected for the exhibition.

“Summer has mythical significance for us residents of the North. We dream about it and long for it, sometimes even when it’s summer. I was attracted to make an exhibition on a subject that is such an essential part of our identity that we generally are not even aware of it,” says Valjakka.

According to the curator, the bright and airy exhibition encourages one to look at art as one would read poetry. He hopes that it will convey the variety of summer’s day moods that the people of the North recognise. Nearly all of the works of the exhibition are the artists’ new production, many being presented for the first time.

Landscape as building material

“Landscape is food for works of art, not their subject matter,” says Finnish artist Tor Arne (b. 1934). Underlying Arne’s paintings are perceptions of nature, but he develops them into a holistic experience in which memory of the light of the landscape is only one element present in the works.

Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson (b. 1975) is inspired by the surrounding natural environment. Observations of everyday life are the basis of his works, which are situated somewhere between abstract and representational art.

For Danish artist Troels Wörsel (b. 1950), who lives in Italy, painting is simultaneously the focus and the instrument of inspection. He transfers the visual theme to the canvas in a manner that shifts the focus to the painting itself.

Memories of the past

Swedish artist Peter Frie (b. 1947) is a colourist who pursues half-forgotten memories. His works appeal to all the senses and in a manner that enables everyone to easily recognise their own memories and experiences.

Norwegian artist Olav Christopher Jenssen (b. 1954), who lives in Germany and Sweden, says memories of the landscapes of his childhood in Norway are continually present in his works as a kind of yardstick, although very indirectly and referentially.

The themes of Finnish artist Anna Retulainen’s (b. 1969) new works are from her own garden. Even so, she does not paint from models but from motoric memory, where visual perceptions and physical experiences of a beloved location are interwoven.

Mind games in landscape

Finnish artist Päivikki Alaräihä (b. 1981) extends the concept of painting in the direction of architecture. Simple shapes such as rectangles do not as such represent anything, but refer to architectural openings, doors and windows and further to the light that follows the seasons of the year.

Icelandic artist Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson’s (b. 1964) eight-part work turns the idea of landscape painting on its head and tells concretely about the painting of a landscape. The work consists of traffic signs found by the artist in different parts of Italy, which warn about road markings being painted.

Read more about the artists:

Summer Days is open at Serlachius Museum Gösta 20 May–1 October 2017.

The Serlachius Museums are open:
in summer 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm (also at Midsummer)
in winter 1 September–31 May, Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm

For further information, please contact Timo Valjakka, tel. +358 40 548 4450,

Monday 15. May 2017

Artists of the exhibition Summer Days

Päivikki Alaräihä

1984 born in Yli-Ii. Lives and works in Helsinki.
In 2015 graduated with an MFA degree from the University of the Arts Helsinki, the Academy of Fine Arts.
She has held several solo exhibitions and participated in several group exhibitions in Finland.
Her works have been included in the collections of Helsinki Art Museum HAM, the Finnish State and the Finnish Art Association.
2016 received a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, in 2015 a Young Artist grant from the Finnish Art Association and the Toini Mäkelä grant from the Finnish Art Association.

Päivikki Alaräihä makes both stand-alone paintings on canvas and site-specific installations formed out of several paintings. She favours simple abstract forms, such as rectangles, that do not represent anything in themselves, but which contain references to the surrounding architecture, for example, to doors and windows. Her works are extremely reductive, and sometimes even appear to be empty surfaces. And yet the absence of detail is paradoxical: it tempts us into a long, meditative viewing experience and multiple conceptual interpretations.

Tor Arne

1934 born in Turku. Lives and works in Helsinki.
1956–1959 studied at the Free Art School of Helsinki.
1966–1988 worked as a principal of the Free Art School Helsinki.
Several solo exhibitions and group exhibitions.
1975 received a visual art award from the Nyland region.
2011 a retrospective exhibition at Art Museum Emma in Espoo.

Tor Arne thrives in the border zone between the abstract and the figurative image, and amid broken colours, in areas where concepts are loose and things have no specific name. Besides that, he views language with suspicion. “Words are barriers, at least in the world that I spend time in.” One of the key elements in Tor Arne’s paintings is the painting process itself, with traces of it visible on the surface of the canvas. He does not plan his paintings carefully in advance, but brings various things together on the canvas and seeks out a point of origin in the encounter between them.

Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson

1964 born in Iceland. Lives and works in Reykjavik.
1986–1991 Studied at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan.
1980–1985 studied at Iceland’s College of Art and Crafts.
From 1984 has held solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Iceland, Norway, Italy, France and Sweden.
Since 2015 Director of Visual Arts Department at the Reykjavik School of Art, and since 2012 guest lecturer at Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson’s Grand Tour is a work that constantly grows and develops. He began making it in Italy at the end of the 1990s. It consists of road signs that Eiríksson has found in various parts of Italy, signs that warn that road marking is in progress. Even if the visual motif is the same, each sign is a unique painting – the work of an anonymous hand. The simplified, black-and-white visual language of the signs comes close to the punchiness of pop art.

Andreas Eriksson

1975 born in Björsäter. Lives and works in Medelplana, Sweden.
1993–1998 studied at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (1998).
2011 represented Sweden at the Nordic Pavilion of Venice Biennale.
2012 participated at the Sao Paulo Biennal, Brazil.
Several solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in, among other countries, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Italy, England, Poland, Austria, France and the USA.
2007 was awarded the Baloise Art Prize.
Works included in many countries’ public collections.

Andreas Eriksson is a multi-faceted artist, whose production, alongside paintings and photographs, includes sculptures, tapestries and installations. Eriksson lives in the Swedish countryside, in a house surrounded by open fields and forests. The minor and major events and observations of everyday life serve as starting points for his work, and provide a powerful basis for their formal, conceptual and metaphorical structure. His works, as it were, float in the intermediate terrain between the abstract and the figurative image, which makes them both familiar and enigmatic at the same time.

Peter Frie

1947 born in Lysekil, Sweden. Lives and works in Båstad, Sweden and in Phuket, Thailand.
1998 received the Ars Fennica award and gave a comprehensive touring exhibition in Finland.
Has been exhibited in several dozen solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe. His works are included, in, among others the collection of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, and the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden.

Peter Frie is a poet of light, who in his paintings seeks to render the drowsy heat of a sultry summer’s day and the burnt-orange sun of evening sinking below the horizon. He is a colourist whose works speak to all of our senses. In them it is easy for anyone to recognise their own memories and experiences. Frie does not paint out of doors with his subject spread out before him, but from memory. For him the landscape in the painting signifies a state of happiness and wellbeing, in which experiences he has had as an adult and paintings he has seen are mingled with memories of the summers and happy moments of his childhood.

Olav Christopher Jenssen

1954 born in Norway. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Lya, Sweden.
1976–1979 studied at the National Arts and Crafts School of Norway.
1980–1981 studied at the National Academy of the Arts of Norway.
Works have been exhibited in several solo exhibitions and he has participated in group exhibitions  in, among other countries, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, France and the USA.
Participated in Documenta IX in Kassel in 1992. Solo exhibitions in Ateneum in 1993 and in Kiasma in 2011.
Works have been included in the collections of MoMa in New York, British Museum and Pompidou Centre in Paris as well as many private collections in Finland.

Olav Christopher Jenssen’s production contains an astonishing number of ways that a painter can apply paint to canvas and draw shapes and patterns on its surface. Every broad survey of his art resembles a dictionary or encyclopaedia of abstract painting. For him, conquering new worlds of painting is a joy and a pleasure that carry his art forwards, and also catches hold of the viewer. Nordic nature and especially memories of the landscapes of childhood have always been important for Jenssen, who was born in northern Norway.

Anna Retulainen

1969 born in Orimattila. Lives and works in Helsinki.
Studied at the College of Arts and Crafts and at Konstfack in Stockholm.
Works exhibited in solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in, among other countries, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Britain and France.
1999 and 2014 nominee for the Carnegie Art Award and 2004 nominee for Ars Fennica.
2006 received the William Thuring Award.
Works included in public collections: Kiasma Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki Art Museum HAM, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Sara Hildén Art Museum, among others.

Retulainen paints by “imagining”, by observing the experiences and sensations inscribed in her memory. The paintings may, at first glance, appear not only abstract, but also swift and spontaneous. A closer look reveals fragments of space, light and the visible world, and the way that every work is the outcome of an extended working process. Retulainen’s paintings are like the ruins of experiences, delicate tissues of colour and form. They can be blurred images of the world, but they are exact renditions of the way that human perception and memory operate.

Troels Wörsel

1950 born in Denmark. Lives and works in Cologne, Germany and in Pietrasanta, Italy.
Self-taught as an artist.
2002 won the Carnegie Art Award’s first prize.
2007 represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale.
Had solo exhibitions in, among other countries, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France and the USA.
Works included in public collections, for example MoMa in New York, Kiasma Helsinki, Pompidou Centre Paris, National Gallery of Denmark and Louisiana Art Museum in Denmark.

The starting points for Troels Wörsel’s works lie in his profound interest both in the history and nature of painting, and in its formal properties, along with the tools needed to make it. This being the case, painting is simultaneously both the focus of his inspection and the instrument for that inspection, something that he uses to probe the possibilities of painting. He is interested, for instance, in the way that the meaning of a painting is constructed on the level of form, technique, concept and symbol.