EMMA's exhibitions 2017: Stars of contemporary art and modernist classics | EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo

EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo

EMMA – Espoon modernin taiteen museo lukeutuu Suomen merkittävimpiin taidemuseoihin.

EMMA's exhibitions 2017: Stars of contemporary art and modernist classics

25.10.2016
 
In 2017, EMMA will see the addition of a new design centre, based on the collections of Rut Bryk (1916–1999) and Tapio Wirkkala (1915–1985). EMMA also presents two comprehensive exhibitions combining contemporary art and Modernism.
 
In the spring season, EMMA works with international partners to present exhibitions of two notable artists: the pioneer of conceptual art Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) and the Danish-Icelandic contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson (born 1967).
 
The summer season brings exhibitions of two representatives of geometric abstract art. Ernst Mether-Borgström (1917–1996) lived in Espoo for much of his life. Mether-Borgström and the British painter and filmmaker Sarah Morris (born 1967) together form a dialogue between traditional and contemporary approaches to Modernism.
 
In addition to the comprehensive exhibitions, WeeGee presents an EMMA-produced show of contemporary Scandinavian fashion in the spring. Works by Heli Rekula (born 1963) will be presented in EMMA Areena in the autumn.
 
The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection exhibition Touch continues throughout the year, with minor changes.
 
 
OLAFUR ELIASSON: PENTAGONAL LANDSCAPES / 8 FEBRUARY–21 MAY 2017
 
On the occasion of Saastamoinen Foundation’s acquisition of the work Pentagonal mirror tunnel, created by the Dansih-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson especially for EMMA, the museum is hosting a presentation of the artist’s works titled Pentagonal landscapes.
 
The presenation was created by EMMA in close dialogue with Studio Olafur Eliasson.
        
Olafur Eliasson is a contemporary artist who explores the relationship between people and their surroundings. The works included in the presentation, the majority of which were created within the last six years, explore many of the artist’s key interests, such as light, optics, mirrors, architecture, orientation and landscape.
 
Olafur Eliasson works in a wide range of media, including installation, painting, sculpture, photography, and film. Since 1997, his solo shows have appeared in major museums around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Venice Biennale. Eliasson’s projects in public space include The New York City Waterfalls, 2008; Cirkelbroen (The circle bridge), Copenhagen, 2015; and Ice Watch which brought melting icebergs from Greenland to Copenhagen in 2014 and to Paris on the occasion of the COP21 Climate Conference in 2015.
 
Established in 1995, his studio today numbers about eighty craftsmen, architects, archivists, administrators, and cooks. In 2014, Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann founded Studio Other Spaces, an office for art and architecture focusing on interdisciplinary and experimental building projects and works in public space. Together with engineer Frederik Ottesen, Eliasson runs Little Sun, a global project that produces solar lamps and chargers for off-grid communities.
 
JOSEPH BEUYS / OUTSIDE THE BOX / 8 FEBRUARY–21 MAY 2017
 
The core of the Joseph Beuys – Outside the Box exhibition are the unique collection and archives from Museum Sztuki, the oldest European museum of contemporary art in Poland. The exhibition is produced and curated by EMMA and Museum Sztuki. Museum Sztuki’s collection of works by Beuys is a creation of the artist himself. The compilation, called Polentransport, is one of his most spectacular actions. It is an act of solidarity with Poland which in 1980–1981 saw a momentary release from the grip of the Communist party. 10 million citizens joined the Solidarity movement. Enabled and inspired by this uprising, Beuys went to Poland in 1981. He brought along his personal archives (printed material, posters, photos, drawings, prints and objects) documenting 30 years of his production. He donated the entire collection, contained in a wooden trunk, to the museum in Łódź. Polentransport was intended to promote change, as a symbol of free creativity and action.
 
The exhibition opening at EMMA in February highlights Beuys as a topical artist. It presents his thinking through four themes: ecology, economy, democracy and margins.  Beuys’s ideas of peaceful change, activism or recycling immaterial conceptual art are still relevant today. His art spurs us to consider what we can do about ongoing injustices.
 
Joseph Beuys is a major conceptual artist of the same calibre as Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp. He was one of the artist with the greatest influence on the art concept in the 20th century. For Beuys, creating art represented a humanitarian potential to transform society. It inspired his concept of “social sculpture”, which makes everybody an artist. Beuys believed in the healing power of art. For him, it meant harmonising society and the potential and capacity to tackle social injustice. His conceptual art was above all creative action for social change. He explored the possibilities of replacing mechanisms based on economic value and ownership With the emerging environmentalism, Beuys was one of the founders of the German Green Party. He was also a founding member of the Fluxus movement, which later became important in the rise of ecological art and land art.
 
ERNST METHER-BORGSTRÖM / 21 JUNE 2017–7 JANUARY 2018
 
Ernst Mether-Borgström was one of the pioneers of abstract art in Finland. His early production also includes figurative works. EMMA presents the painter, print-maker and sculptor Mether-Borgström as a key figure of Finnish Modernism and in the context of art life in Espoo. Mether-Borgström lived in Espoo for many years, and worked in the Artists’ Associations studio house on Nallenpolku.
Mether-Borgström made his debut at the exhibition of young artists at Kunsthalle Helsinki in 1941. His works have also been displayed at several exhibitions in Finland and abroad. In addition to Finnish collections, the MoMA in New York, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the National Museum in Stockholm have works by the artist.
 
The exhibition continues EMMA’s series of classics of Finnish modernism. This has already featured names like Tapio Wirkkala, Birger Kaipiainen, Anitra Lucander, Lars-Gunnar Nordström and Rut Bryk. To accompany the exhibition EMMA will publish a book of Mether-Borgström’s art. The exhibition will contain several pieces from EMMA’s collections.  The exhibition and publication are co-projects with the Mether-Borgström Foundation.
 
SARAH MORRIS / 21 JUNE 2017–7 JANUARY 2018
 
The English-born American artist Sarah Morris has risen to international fame in the past few years. She is a painter and filmmaker who sees the two media as one. She is known for her abstract paintings with graphic and colourful ingredients combined with elements of architecture. Morris was intrigued by Tapiola, Espoo. She was also inspired by the architecture of the WeeGee building to create a 30-metre designated mural for EMMA. Only once before has she created a space-specific painting on a similar scale. Morris’s unique films have been described as psychological portraits for cities. In addition to the designated mural, the exhibition at EMMA will include the films Points on a Line (2010), Chicago (2011) and Rio (2012) as well as paintings from the Rio series.
 
FOR FASHION / 3 MAY–3 SEPTEMBER 2017
 
Exploring the boundaries of fashion and art, the For fashion exhibition displays work by approximately a dozen young fashion designers working on the crest of the Scandinavian wave, on the verge of international acclaim or already there.
An interesting feature in contemporary fashion design is the cross-fertilisation with art: many designers find inspiration in art and often invite avant-garde-ish influx in their first drafts for a design. The featured designers display radical elements that stretch the boundaries of fashion towards art. However, the exhibition will not be a show of art works but of design. Especial emphasis will be given to interesting, eye-catching and vivid displays, and to the general debate on fashion.
 
The exhibition is produced by EMMA and shown in Studio Suuronen on the first floor of the WeeGee building.
 
HELI REKULA / AS THE CROW FLIES / AUTUMN 2017
 
 Heli Rekula’s exhibition project As the Crow Flies is based on her exploration along the historical postal service route that ran from Bergen in Norway to St. Petersburg in Russia. As the Crow Flies is an installation based on images and archive material describing the links between the artist’s and her family’s history and the route.
 
Heli Rekula was a professor of photography in Bergen and is now at Aalto University. She is working on her doctoral thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki.
 
EMMA’S OUTREACH SERVICES PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL ART TESTERS PROJECT
 
EMMA participates in the national Art Testers project beginning in autumn 2017. During the three-year campaign, 180,000 eight-graders in Finland will experience art first hand, regardless of where they live. School groups visiting EMMA will be appointed an artist with whom they can interact in various ways. 
 
The project is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres. For more on the project, go to www.taidetestaajat.fi (in Finnish).
 
 
Further information:
Pilvi Kalhama, Museum Director, EMMA
pilvi.kalhama@emma.museum  p. +358 40 533 4070
 
Further information, Art testers project:

Reetta Kalajo, Chief Curator, Education
Reetta.kalajo@emma.museum , p. +358 40 557 1422
 
 
Presentation and exhibitions:
OLAFUR ELIASSON: PENTAGONAL LANDSCAPES / 8 FEBRUARY–21 MAY 2017
JOSEPH BEUYS / OUTSIDE THE BOX / 8 FEBRUARY–21 MAY 2017
ERNST METHER-BORGSTRÖM / 21 JUNE 2017–7 JANUARY 2018
SARAH MORRIS / 21 JUNE 2017–7 JANUARY 2018
FOR FASHION / 3 MAY–3 SEPTEMBER 2017
HELI REKULA / AS THE CROW FLIES / AUTUMN 2017
 
Press material:
 
Keyword: emmamuseum
 

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of the most important art museums in Finland. EMMA’s exhibition rooms are divided between a presentation of the Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection and changing exhibitions. Through its collection and exhibition activities, EMMA profiles itself as a museum of domestic and international modernism, contemporary art, and design. EMMA is located in the WeeGee Exhibition Centre in Tapiola, Espoo.