Serlachius museot

Feel free to
come farther

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

Open summertime 1 June–31 August daily 10am–6pm, 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

Feel free to
come farther

Friday 12. October 2018

Time of Stone – Harry Kivijärvi and six Finnish contemporary sculptors

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,

Requests for photos:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums, tel. +358 (0) 50 560 0156

Wednesday 13. June 2018

Elina Brotherus opens doors to a playful and strange world at Serlachius Museums, Finland

The exhibition playground / leikkikenttä at Serlachius Museums in Mänttä presents a new development in Elina Brotherus’ work. The photographs and video works from 2016–18 are humorous and adventurous and at the same time absurd. They take their inspiration from the ‘event scores’ of the 1960s’ Fluxus artists.

Fluxus artists were typically arbitrary, whimsical and absurdist in their work. These pioneers of conceptual and performance art used everyday life, chance operations and humour in their practice. Truly international, they opened up questions about what could and could not be considered art.

Elina Brotherus has worked for two decades with photographs and moving image. Recurring themes in the artist’s work have often been autobiographical or linked to art history as well as the interaction between the human figure and landscape. She has photographed herself throughout her entire career.

Brotherus adopted as a starting point for her work the ‘event scores’ developed by the artist George Brecht in the early 1960s. Interpreting these in her own style she has expanded the idea of a score, also seeking inspiration from film makers, poets, painters and photographers. In many works, she has collaborated with the dancer and choreographer Vera Nevanlinna.

The exhibition also includes new works, in which Brotherus partners with the sculptor Erwin Wurm and the Austrian avant-garde feminist artist VALIE EXPORT.

The result is an exceptionally rich series of photographs and short videos that turn a new page in Brotherus’ production. The exhibition, overflowing with energy, creates a link between artists over the decades. A continuum, extending from the past to the present, challenges the artist and encourages the viewer to reflect on the nature of art, history, repetition, authorship and interpretation.

Brotherus won the prestigious Carte blanche PMU award in France in autumn 2017. The exhibition Règle du jeu / Rules of the Game, associated with the award, was shown in the Pompidou Centre in Paris. A more extensive exhibition playground / leikkikenttä, continuing with the same thematic, is now presented at Serlachius Museum Gustaf. The exhibition is curated by Dr Susan Bright.

Elina Brotherus' work has been given prominence in numerous art and photography books and magazines. She has previously published eight monographs. In connection with the exhibition playground / leikkikenttä, a limited edition hand-made box is released in 250 numbered and signed copies, that contains all the exhibited works on separate cards.

Further information:

Serlachius Museums

Serlachius Museums are located in the small town of Mänttä-Vilppula in Central Finland. The locality, which developed 150 years ago around the paper industry, has undergone an industrial upheaval, but it has risen in recent years to become one of Finland’s most important art towns.

Serlachius Museums are maintained by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, which has been operating for 85 years. The foundation’s own collections include master works from the Golden Age of Finnish art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Through a museum extension, completed in 2014, the museums have also become a strong influence in the field of contemporary art. The timber-frame new building, designed by the Barcelona architectural studio MX_SI, has been awarded many international and Finnish architecture prizes. In Finland, Serlachius Museums has won the Museum of Year 2015 award and Finland’s Best Tourism Destination 2015 and 2016.

playground / leikkikenttä is open in Serlachius Museum Gustaf 16 June 2018 – 6 January 2019
Serlachius Museums are open in summer 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm.

Further information: 

Elina Brotherus,
Curator Susan Bright,

Requests for photos:
Serlachius Museums’ Information Officer Susanna Yläjärvi, tel. +358 (0)50 560 0156


Wednesday 13. June 2018

Dalí’s Gala is a tribute to the master of Surrealism

Dalí’s Gala is an installation presenting the master of Surrealism Salvador Dalí and his late output, and is based on the cook book Les dîners de Gala, which he published in 1973. Serlachius Museum Gustaf’s exhibition is a delightful tribute to an artist whose life and art are inseparable.

The Spanish artist Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) was a controversial figure whose merits as a pioneer of Surrealist art and the avant-garde are indisputably recognised. During his career spanning 70 years, he produced paintings, sculptures, graphics, installations, stage sets, jewellery, dinner plates, postage stamps, wallpapers and logos.

Dalí did not guard his output jealously; he often gave permission for commercial products based on his works. The numerous forgeries made of his art did not seem to bother him too much. So the world is flooded with his artworks, copies of them and forgeries.

Surrealist cookbook

The ageing Dalí took his art in surprising directions. In 1973, the French art publisher Felicie published in his name the cookbook Les dîners de Gala. This remarkable book has a total of 136 recipes. The recipes, obtained from the best Parisian restaurants of the time, are imaginative and luxurious. In 2016, the Germany company Taschen published a new edition of the book.

The book is illustrated with a series of Dalí lithographs, his earlier paintings, and photographs of the master himself at dining tables laden with food. The series of 12 lithographs carries the same title as the cook book, and to many people they are among the Surrealist master’s best printed works. The original cookbook is nowadays a collector’s item.

Dalí and his wife Gala also arranged imaginative dinner parties in real life. Wearing a unicorn costume, Gala once hosted a dinner in a huge bed covered with pumpkins while caressing an ocelot cub.

“We are fascinated by the ageing Dalí and the visual and cultural universe he created, which includes artworks, design objects based on them, trinkets and forgeries,” says Pauli Sivonen, Director of Serlachius Museums.

Most of the Dalí works and objects included in the installation come from the collection of the French Dalí collector Jean Amiot, who maintains his private Dalíneum museum in the small town of Beaune, situated near Dijon. A series of lithographs made by Dalí for the original cook book has been obtained from the collection of the Castellani Art Museum in the USA.

Dalí’s Gala is curated by Pauli Sivonen and Chief of Design Tarja Väätänen, who created the exhibition’s imaginative look

The Serlachius Museums are open in summer 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm.

Further information:
Pauli Sivonen, Director of Serlachius Museums tel. ++358 50 566 1355

Requests for photos:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Serlachius Museums’ Information Officer tel. +358 50 560 0156

Friday 18. May 2018

Serlachius Museums presents Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic countries

Koen Vanmechelen is an internationally acclaimed conceptual artist, whose practice ranges across all media from paintings, sculpture and video to large bio-installations, social events and public engagement projects. The extensive exhibition It’s About Time presents 31 works in different media both in the museum building and its surrounding park, including large expressionist paintings and sculptures made of bronze, marble and taxidermic animals.

The exhibition also introduces the Mechelse Maatiaiskana, the 22nd generation of Vanmechelen’s world-famous chicken breeding program, the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. The resulting art work has been shown in exhibitions all over the world. It has also attracted growing interest amongst scientists. Each successive generation of the CCP has proven to be more resilient, longer living, less susceptible to disease, and less aggressive than the previous one. Lucy, on the other hand, is a Cosmopolitan Pig, a cross breeding of a Hungarian Mangalica and a Finland-born Duroc.

Vanmechelen works at the intersection of art, nature and science. Key concepts of his art include evolution, diversity, domestication, and cross-breeding. A profoundly ethical artist, he is concerned about the state of the Earth and a sustainable future for all species. In his work, he seeks both symbolically and concretely to open perspectives into a future where people and other species live in a state of balance. He also underlines the importance of the mobility of people and ideas and sees mental and physical barriers as threats to the development of culture and society.

“An artist is motivated by the desire to change the world, not by the power to possess it,” says Vanmechelen. He sees that the time of silence and contemplation has ended, and people have to act. “We need to start taking diversity seriously. There is no ‘in between’ anymore. We have to break the cage of monoculture, and this breathtaking museum in Mänttä seems to be the right place for that switch.”

The exhibition is curated by Timo Valjakka in cooperation with JSVCProjects/London. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated 144-page book with essays by Rod Mengham and Hanna Johansson and an interview with the artist by Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts. The book is published by Serlachius Museums and Parvs Publishing in two language versions, English and Finnish.

Serlachius Museums

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.

Read more:

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

For further information, please contact:
Timo Valjakka, Curator, +358 (0) 40 548 4450,
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums, +358 (0) 50 560 0156,
Goele Scoofs, Process Manager, Studio Koen Vanmechelen, 0032 495 666 771,

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,