Inspiration - Iconic Works (Group)

Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki (FI)
18 juni - 20 september 2020

How have international contemporary artists been inspired by the classics of European art? And why is it these works, in particular, that have become known around the world? Inspiration presents art that draws inspiration from iconic masterpieces, created by today’s most interesting artists. These include Marina Abramović, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Nancy Fouts, Mark Karasick, Ola Kolehmainen, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Sara Masüger, Koen Vanmechelen and Yinka Shonibare CBE.

The history of Western art includes a great number of works that have become famous throughout the world. The subjects of many of these works involve classical mythology, biblical stories, or notable people and events. This exhibition is a contemporary take on iconic works and stories from art history. Famous paintings and sculptures have served as inspiration for contemporary artists whose viewpoints range from veneration of old masters to critical contemplation of power structures.

Works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt and other masters continue to inspire contemporary artists to this day. The artists featured in the exhibition include Marina Abramović, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Nancy Fouts, Mark Karasick, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Heikki Marila, Sara Masüger, Jarmo Mäkilä, Aurora Reinhard, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Gavin Turk and Koen Vanmechelen.

The photographic artist Ola Kolehmainen’s new series of works, MVSEVM, which he photographed for this exhibition at key museums in Europe, adds the presence of museums to the display. The exhibition also features works from the collection of replicas at the Finnish National Gallery, which includes replicas of works by European masters, created, for example, by Adolf von Becker, Magnus Enckell, Helene Schjerfbeck and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt.

This exhibition was originally on show at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm in spring 2020, and its main curators are Susanna Pettersson and James Putnam. At the Ateneum Art Museum, the exhibition is curated by the museum director, Marja Sakari, and the chief curator, Sointu Fritze.

more on the Ateneum website