4 x finsk kunstdesign at Kunstmuseet i Tønder

17.10.2017 by

Kunstmuseet i Tønder’s new exhibition 4 x finsk kunstdesign shows a different take on the golden age of Finnish design, which is usually depicted through the works of Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva. This exhibition focuses on showing the audience something new, an unknown side of Finnish design. The exhibition consists of works by Michael Schilkin, Kaj Franck, Helena Tynell and Rut Bryk.

Helena Tynell, Skov, 1968-1976

Rut Bryk, Michael Schilkin, various pieces


Markku Valkonen, the exhibition’s curator, says that the idea was: ”Not to do a typical Finnish international design exhibition, which is usually abstract, clear glass and not much colour. The Finnish history is a bit different, especially in the 40’s. There is much colour, a strong connection to sculpting and a picturesque element”.

Michael Schilkin, Maske, udateret

The reason why Schilkin, Franck, Tynell and Bryk didn’t acquire international fame, and why some Finnish people aren’t even familiar with the name Schilkin is according to Valkonen: ”The breakthrough during 1950’s of pure form, simplistic and minimalistic design. For the next decades it was specifically this type of design that were presented as Finnish design, and the rest was forgotten”.

Schilkin, Franck, Tynell, Bryk, Aalto, Wirkkala and Sarpaneva all worked in a Finland that hade been severely weakened by the Second World War and by the war reparations to the Soviet Union. Nevertheless Finnish design moved forward with innovative designs. Alongside design that was heavily influenced by Finnish nature was design that was inspired by free art, blurring the lines between design and sculpture/relief. The latter movement has started to gain some ground.

”Even art and what people are interested in is cyclical” says Valkonen, referring to an exhibition at EMMA which showed early works by Rut Bryk and which generated a huge interest from the public.

Kaj Franck, Skål med håndtag, 1970’erne

Kyösti Kakkonen

 The works exhibited at 4 x finsk kunstdesign is unique in two ways. Firstly it focuses on shedding new light on the history of Finnish design. Secondly the art works exhibited comes from a private art collection, more specifically from Kyösti Kakkonen’s collection.

Kakkonen has a vast art collection, consisting of about 10 000 art pieces. The focus of his collection lies in ceramic and glass art. Kakkonen is also generous with his collection, borrowing pieces to all over the world. Kakkonens engagement in art and the sheer size of his collection means that there are unique pieces just waiting to find an audience. Many of the works in 4x finsk kunstdesign has probably never been shown after they were made many decades ago.





The exhibiton can be seen until 3.4.2018 at Kunstmuseet i Tønder.

Rut Bryk, Venetiansk Palads: Harlequin, 1955

Michael Schilkin, Liggende figur, 1940’erne

Tove Jansson – The artist in the shadows of the Moomins

8.6.2017 by

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) may be most famous for her Moomin characters, but there was much more to her as an artist and she produced a vast array of works during her lifetime. The exhibition Tove Jansson – Art, Love & Moomins opens this Saturday at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND – an impressive exhibition which takes on the matter of presenting Tove Jansson the artist, and not only ‘the Mother of Moomins’.

Tove Marika Jansson was born in 1914, the daughter of a sculptor and an illustrator. In a family where art and the artistic process very much blended into their home-life, Tove is said to have learned to draw before she could walk. Growing up in this environment resulted in all three of the Jansson children pursuing creative careers; Tove became a painter, illustrator and writer, Per Olov a photographer and Lars a writer and Moomin cartoonist. Tove’s family and upbringing influenced her career in numerous ways, and formed a firm foundation for her philosophical approach to her career as an artist.

Tove was only fourteen when her first illustrations were printed, and fifteen when her first comic strip and satirical drawings were published. Her first picture book came out in 1933 and she participated in her first art exhibition the same year. In 1943 Tove had her first solo exhibition. As an artist, Tove was skilled in many ways, using several different techniques and styles. Her personal style evolved through her career from detailed dispositions and arrangements towards a more and more abstract aesthetic.

Tove struggled with issues of fitting in and being a female artist, while rejecting traditional gender roles and gender-based rules. In the mid-1950s, Tove met her life partner, graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä.

Tove and Tuulikki. Photo: © Moomin Characters™

The Moomins
The earliest versions of the Moomins date from the 1930s, but the first Moomin book was not published until 1946. Writing the Moomin books provided Tove with an outlet for her to process and cope with the anxiety caused by the Second World War. But by the 1950s the Moomin market had intensified and expanded to the point where Tove expressed frustration over the phenomenon, which she felt was getting out of hand. The popularity of the Moomins did bring Tove worldwide fame, but it threatened to sideline her career as an artist. Because of this, Tove, who always saw herself primarily as a painter, changed her signature from ‘Tove’ to ‘Jansson’ during the 1960s to get away from the connotations of being simply ‘the Mother of the Moomins’. In 1970, 25 years after the release of the first Moomin book, Tove left the Moominvalley. She then continued to distance herself from her image as children’s literature author and wrote several short stories and novels for adults. Even though Jansson is a recognised author, she always considered writing only to be a hobby.

The Moomins, while still incredibly popular worldwide after several decades, turned out to be somewhat of a double-edged sword.

© Moomin Characters™

The exhibition
The exhibition, Tove Jansson – Art, Love & Moomins, created by the Ateneum Art Museum in co-operation with Kunstforeningen GL SRAND, presents a nuanced view of Tove Jansson’s work as a painter, writer, and illustrator. It includes paintings by Tove from the 1930s to the 1970s showing Jansson’s development as an artist through early surrealist paintings via modernist and experimental works to the lyrical style of her later works. The exhibition also includes some of Tove Jansson’s illustrations, from satirical anti-war illustrations to comics and children’s books. Not to mention Tove Jansson’s extensive work with the Moomins, which is presented through drawings, figures, and photographs.

The exhibition opens its doors on Saturday June 10th and will be open until September 3rd 2017. For a more comprehensive view of the beloved Finnish artist, we highly recommend a visit!

The Smoking Girl 1940. Photo: © Moomin Characters™

The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times

30.5.2017 by

The final two parts of The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times triennial at ARoS – Aarhus Art Museum will open to the public this week. The first part, The Past, opened in April and will run until September 10th / October 22nd on levels 1 and 5 of the museum. The Present and The Future will both open with a party on June 2nd and be a prominent part of the cityscape in and around Aarhus until July 30th. The Garden is one of four “mega” events celebrating Aarhus as the European capital of culture 2017.

ARoS. Photo: Adam Mørk


So what is The Garden all about?
The overarching theme for all three parts of the triennial is the coexistence of human beings and nature as well as the human view on nature. The idea is to demonstrate how changing worldviews, whether they are political, scientific, religious, cultural etc., impact on how nature is and has been represented in art.

The Past consists of more than 100 works of art, from paintings to installations and sculptures to video art, by artists such as Paul Gauguin, Olafur Eliasson, Meg Webster and René Magritte. These collectively present around 400 years of art history on the topic of human interaction with nature and reveal how society’s attitude towards and manipulation of nature has changed over the years.

The Present consists of fourteen works placed around Aarhus city. They explore topics such as the present global explosion of human movement and the incredibly rapid and widespread circulation of capital and culture around the globe. The focus is kept on varying forms of nature today and nature as art.

One of the artists in The Present is Finnish Pia Sirén. Sirén works with installations and sculpting, and the concept for the artwork ‘Vista’ for The Garden is a landscape collage design on viewing and alternate viewpoints. It is created using industrial surfaces such as tarpaulins and landscaping membranes, masonry materials such as gravel and concrete blocks, and outline drawings on plastic sheets. All of this blends together into a view on how nature becomes a landscape and how space becomes a picture. Sirén’s work ‘VISTA’ will be placed at O Space (Mindet 6).

VISTA by Pia Sirén

The Future switches its focus to environmental changes and challenges. There are 17 works of art in The Future, all situated along the coast of southern Aarhus, from Tangkrogen to Ballehage. Among the works in this section of The Garden you can find one installation by Hans Rosenström as well as a two-part installation by Anssi Pulkkinen & Taneli Rautiainen.

Hans Rosenström works with various materials, such as sound, text and lights, to create spatial installations that deal with the viewer’s psychological and physical relationship with a specific moment or space. The viewer is at the core of the works and as such they are never completed until they are experienced. For The Garden, Rosenström has created ‘Shoreline’, an artificial ruin archway looking onto the horizon. The ruin wall is accompanied by a 13 minute audio track which is triggered by movement.

Shoreline by Hans Rosenström

Anssi Pulkkinen and Taneli Rautiainen work with sculptures, installations and moving images with an interest in space and architecture, favouring distortion of the norm as the approach for their art. For The Garden, they have created ‘Constrained view’, a two-part installation around questions of freedom, movement, augmented reality and different notions of the pace of time. The artwork consists of a billboard depicting the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö, which appears to be broken, and a car filled with seawater lifted up in the air. The water constantly flows out of the car, in essence making the car work like a fountain.

Constrained view by Anssi Pulkkinen & Taneli Rautiainen

The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times; The Present and The Future is open to the public
from June 3rd to July 30th 2017.

It is time for SPOT Festival 2017!

2.5.2017 by

The SPOT Festival 2017 is just around the corner, and it is about time we have a look at what the festival has in store. This year’s line-up includes over 250 acts, three of which are from Finland, as well as a whole heap of exciting events around the city of Aarhus. Since Aarhus is also the 2017 European capital of culture, this weekend is guaranteed to be impressive!

SPOT Festival is one of the biggest showcase festivals in Europe for up-and-coming as well as more seasoned artists and bands with potential to make it big on the international music scene. The festival emphasises Danish and Nordic music in a wide range of genres, and takes place at different venues around the city of Aarhus. The festival aims to serve as a platform where talent can connect with international labels, media, and other professionals within the creative industries.

This year, SPOT takes place on May 4th-7th, and the Finnish acts at this year’s festival are:

Many have predicted that the 21-year-old ALMA is the next Nordic queen of pop to dominate the airwaves. With singles KarmaDye My Hair and her newest Chasing Highs doing extremely well, this neon haired powerhouse, who first came up through the Finnish TV-series Idols, is definitely one to watch.
ALMA will perform on Friday May 5th, 22:00 at Scandinavian Congress Center – Left.

Photo: PR/SPOT Festival

Photo: PR/SPOT Festival


Man Duo is a collaborative project by childhood friends Jaakko Eino Kalevi and Sami Toroi (aka Long-Sam). The duo delivers rich electronic pop and will perform on Friday May 5th, 0:15 at Voxhall.

Photo: PR/SPOT Festival

Photo: PR/SPOT Festival


Lyrics filled with dark humour and beats invoking a sense of 80s funk that make even the most stiff of people feel the groove are two aspects of what makes Tuuttimörkö’s music so captivating. The Finnish rapper is known to deliver epic performances and we expect nothing less on Saturday May 6th, 22:30 at Godsbane – Åbne scene.

Photo: Samuli Härkönen

Photo: Samuli Härkönen


Other interesting events during this year’s festival worth mentioning include:

Roots&Hybrid – A new festival within the SPOT festival with music developed from or inspired by specific peoples or geographical traditions. Roots&Hybrid is a collaboration with ‘det turkise telt’, the entrance is free with the SPOT ticket and it takes place on Friday and Saturday (May 5th-6th).

KarriereKanonen – A talent development program for Danish musicians will be showcasing 12 acts. Half of them will perform on Friday the 5th and half on Saturday the 6th. Eight of the acts will then be chosen to go on to the final and perform at Smukfest in August.

Strøm Sessions #3 – Strøm and Heineken present two Danish DJs that will perform at Plantecaféen on Thursday the 4th.

Open festival court – From Friday to Sunday there will be food trucks (Kødbyens Mad & Marked), a roller disco, record fair, market etc. as well as the official afterparty on Saturday in and around Den Rå Hal. You can find more information as well as the schedule here.

Aarhus Volume – The area between Godsbanen and Scandinavian Congress Center will be the place for one of the biggest events when the Aarhus Volume street party crew present a new outdoor scene for SPOT 2017 running from Thursday to Saturday.

TAPE x SPOT – A specialised focus on alternative electronic music at the music venue TAPE, Thursday to Saturday.

SPOT at Dokk1 – SPOT will once again take over the Aarhus main library Dokk1 on Saturday the 6th. The day includes music and discussions, with musicians, researchers, journalists and others from the creative industries putting together an interesting program for all ages.

Headstart fashion – On Friday, Balticagade will be transformed into an open house of music, beer and fashion with labels H2O and Minimum.

Cinema Øst for Paradis – The collaboration with cinema Øst for Paradis continues, and Sunday brings with it different films and music performances during the breaks, as well as the city’s biggest breakfast! On the program for children and the child-minded is the ever popular, and of course Finnish, Moomin at 13:00.

This is of course only a selection of the events during this coming weekend’s SPOT festival, so remember that there is an app available via app-store or Google Play, which will help you keep up with the schedule. There is also a SPOT playlist on Spotify to get you into the festival mood!




21.4.2017 by

Hvad sker der, når Japan møder Norden, spørger udstillingen Japanomania i Norden 1875-1918Statens Museum for Kunst. Halfdan Abrahamsen besøgte museet, og fortæller nu os, hvad der skete da han mødte udstillingen.


Anmeldelse af Japanomania i Norden 1875-1918 af Halfdan Abrahamsen,
8. klasse, Utterslev Skole

Da jeg først trådte ind i udstillingen på Statens Museum for Kunst lagde jeg ikke mærke til meget, mine forventninger var heller ikke sat særlig højt. Det var en udstilling omkring Japanismen som var en tidsperiode hvor næsten alle kunstnere blev inspireret af Japansk kunst. Da man trådte ind var der lidt historisk baggrund på Japanismen og hvordan den var kommet til de nordlige lande via handel. Først kiggede jeg på malerierne af mennesker, jeg ville vide hvordan Japanismens finske portrætter så ud. Det første jeg lagde mærke til var rummet imellem de forskellige ting.

Virginie (1883), Albert Edelfelt

Virginie (1883), Albert Edelfelt

I de fleste portrætter ser man kun ansigtet og så en væg/farve bag ved men i fx. Virginie (1883) af Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905) var der både en forgrund, mellemgrund og baggrund hvilket virkelig gav liv til billedet. Man kan også se at han brugte mange japanske rekvisitter som skillevæggen, stolen og tæppet på stolen. Man kan rent faktisk se skillevæggen fra Virginie gå igen i hans maleri: Ved klaveret (1884). Nogle andre ting ved de to malerier er lyset. Man kan tydeligt se at han har eksperimenteret med lyset og stemningen. I Virginie er lyset mere flimrende som om det kom fra et stearinlys hvilket giver stemningen af et mere lukket rum mens at i Ved klaveret kaster lyset sig ind som dagslys hvilket viser at der er mere en billedet vi ser, det giver billedet mere rum. Man kan også se at i Edelfelts malerier er der på ingen måde sparet på farverne og malerierne er malet med de fineste penselstrøg hvilket bare giver malerierne en mere hyggelig stemning. Efter at have stået og dånet over Edelfelts malerier gik jeg hen og kiggede lidt på Helene Schjerfbecks (1862-1946) malerier. Dem jeg kiggede på var: Skolepige (1908) og Den arbejdende kvinde (1905) Det første jeg så på dem var hvor meget mørkere de to malerier var end Edelfelts. Der var også et meget mindre farve udvalg. Det så heller ikke ud til at der var noget lys i billederne. Det eneste sted lyset kom fra var farverne. Jeg så også at i maleriet Skolepige var der nærmest intet rum. Det var som om hun var en del af væggen. I Den arbejdende kvinde kan man godt ane noget rum pga. under stolen er der rum.

Snedækkede fyrreskud (1899), Pekka Halonen

Snedækkede fyrreskud (1899), Pekka Halonen

Efter at blive lidt skræmt af Schjerfbecks malerier trådte jeg videre ind i udstillingens naturafdeling hvor at malerne havde malet billeder af naturen i den japanske genre. Det var først der jeg begyndte at se det finske stråle igennem deres malerier. Næsten alle de finske malerier symboliserede noget finsk for mig. Det gav mig følelsen af at jeg var i Finland igen. Det første maleri jeg vil fortælle om er: Snedækkede fyrreskud (1899) af Pekka Halonen (1865-1933). Så simpelt som det er mindede det mig stadig utrolig meget om Finlands kolde vintre. De store klumper af sne der hænger på grenene og den sne dækkede jord får mig til at tænke og genopleve minder fra Finland, som fx kælketure. Maleriet er egentlig bare et par fyrreskud dækket med store klumper af sne der hænger på de små grene. Så er der også Albert Edelfelts maleri: Åkander (1896) som jeg synes er et meget smukt maleri der virkelig viser den japanske indflydelse på måden det er malet. Det hele går i et med hinanden. Det minder mig igen om Finland og alle de små søer jeg har besøgt deroppe. Det maleri der mindede mig mest om Finland og symboliserede Finland for mig var Søbred med sne (1899-1900) af Väinö Blomstedt (1871-1947) Det ligner et billede direkte fra en finsk skov. Det var det billede der virkelig gav stemningen af at jeg var i Finland. Det var som taget ud af en finsk skov. Det var utrolig nostalgisk. Det frembragte mange minder fra Finland. Jeg kunne næsten se mig selv løbe rundt inde i maleriet, det gav bare en magisk stemning. Lyset giver en hyggelig stemning og jeg vil tro at det skal forestille at være eftermiddag. Maleriet er dog lidt surrealistisk da hele maleriet er lidt mærkeligt stillet op. Alt i alt var det et smukt og mindeværdigt billede.

Efter at have kigget på malerierne forlod jeg udstillingen med en ”zen” følelse. Jeg tænkte bare på billederne og formede mine egne billeder ud fra dem. Det var en fantastisk oplevelse. Alle naturmalerierne var utrolig smukke og mindede mig om Finlands natur, så man kunne tydeligt se at de finske kunstnere havde deres inspiration fra Finland.


JAPANOMANIA kan opleves i Statens Museum for Kunst indtil d. 23 april 2017. Udstillingen er et samarbejde mellem tre nordiske nationalgallerier –  Statens Museum for Kunst i København, Ateneum i Helsinki og Nasjonalmuseet i Oslo. 


                            Halfdan Abrahamsen



Halfdan Abrahamsen går på 8. klasse på Utterslev Skole.

Han har været i praktik på Finlands kulturinstitut i Danmark i uge 16.