Independent Finland: Gallen-Kallela and his Nordic Contemporaries

27 November – 2 December 2017


In the centenary year of Finland’s Independence and against the backdrop of the National Gallery’s own exhibition on the artist, Anna Grundberg is hosting an exhibition, which will participate in the international re-awakening of interest in one of Finland’s greatest modernist painters, Akseli Gallen-Kallela. His work best represents the sea of change in Finland’s fight for independence from Russia. The opening evening is supported by the Finnish Embassy in London.

During 1890-1920 Gallen-Kallela and his fellow Finnish artists were responding to the changing atmosphere in their country. Many Nordic artists travelled to the artistic hubs in France and Germany to learn – and on their return, inspired by the exciting developments they had seen, these artists played a major role in the evolution of a new national awareness in the Nordic countries, especially in Finland. The exhibition includes works by these other notable Nordic artists, such as Jarnefelt, Zorn, Schjerfbeck and Jansson.

Rural landscape and untamed nature are central themes but become increasingly charged with human concerns of life and death. Gallen-Kallela’s unique blend of Art Nouveau and Symbolist ideas also explores his lifelong interest in depicting motifs from Finnish mythology, notably from the Finnish national epic, The Kalevala.

2017 is the centenary of Finland’s Independence. It is being marked in London in various ways, including the National Gallery’s exhibition on their painting of Lake Keitele by Gallen-Kallela. It’s being united for the first time in the UK with his three other versions on the same view. This exhibition is open to the public from 15 November.

Date: 27 November – 2 December, 2017
Opening evening by invitation: 28 November 2017, at 6pm
Location: Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, London SW1Y 6BN

For more information, please contact or +44 208 563 2965

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