Untamed Art brings together 280 works of art from 46 outside artists from Europe, Brazil and Finland. Among the artists in the exhibition are internationally renowned Franjo Klopota, Madge Gill, Natalie Schmidtova and Calm Eskoamong others.
Outside artists are self-taught artists from outside the art world who make art ambitiously over a long period of time. They don’t aspire to be professional artists; in fact, many of them don’t even want to show their art. As people, they are often visionaries, recluses or other fringes of society. Many of them have dedicated their whole lives to art.
The exhibition has been curated by an art historian and nonfiction writer Tuula Karelian(PhD), who has previously worked as the director of Kiasma and the Helsinki Art Museum, as well as a Bachelor of Culture and Art and an art publisher Liisa Heikkilä-Palo. Heikkilä-Palo can respectfully be called a pioneer of ITE art, the Finnish variation of outside art.
Outsiders as part of the international art world
In recent decades, outsider art has risen prominently in the international art scene, and it has also been exhibited at the Venice Biennale. The creative potential of these works has always inspired contemporaries as well.
For example, the first exhibition of work Natalie Schmidtovawho is one of the artists featured in the exhibition, was organized by the artists Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso at the famous Galerie Pierre Loeb in Paris in 1947. Schmidtova herself was illiterate, but she painted dreams of the South Sea, landscapes of South America and Egyptian subjects based on the stories told aloud by her husband.
Finnish artist Calm Esko worked as a building cleaner until his disability retirement, after which he built a career as a self-taught visual artist, culminating in a New York Times-acclaimed exhibition at the Luise Ross Gallery in SoHo, New York. Croatian artist Ivan Rabuzin has illustrated the Suomi tableware collection Timo Sarpaneva.
Many people have found their creativity and the need to make art after traumatic events. After going through his trials, Madge Gill For 40 years in Great Britain, drawings were created that included architectural patterns and featured an elegant woman. Gill often worked in a trance-like state guided by a spirit called Myrninerest.
“What’s especially attractive about Outsider art is that it addresses the viewer directly. You can sense from the works what they meant to their creator,” says Karjalainen. “External art is like a beloved child with many different names around the world. Precisely its indeterminacy and limitlessness make it fascinating.”
“For example, ITE art is a specifically Finnish phenomenon, but on the other hand, it has created the basis for outside art in Finland. Late Erkki Pirtola used the term “tool shed Picassos” to aptly describe ITE artists”, says Heikkilä-Palo.
Outsider art lives outside the mainstream. “Through the exhibition, the National Museum shines a spotlight on originality and margins as challengers to the current mainstream and norms. As a national museum, it is natural for us to present outside art, which stems from people’s inner need for creativity, which arises outside the mainstream and through which many voices from outside high art come to the fore,” says exhibition producer Viveka Forsman from Kansala. Museum of Finland.
To the worlds of the subconscious through five themes
The exhibition has five themes. They explore everyday life and the joy of existence, but the works also lead the viewer into the world of dreams, beliefs and nightmares. Politics and particularly harsh criticism of it is a lifelong passion of many authors. Several of the works are like surreal stories about subconscious worlds or cosmic dimensions. Christian tradition and spiritual images of the afterlife are recurring themes in paintings and miniature sculptures.
Many of the works were made from materials available at the time. “For example, Jussi Tukainen Kerimäätä represents the Arte Povera movement. The materials used in his works are practically waste, and the votive ships on display are built from chicken bones and old shavings, says Heikkilä-Palo.
You can learn more about the exhibition’s themes and artists on guided tours organized in the exhibition space on Sundays at 15:00.
The exhibition features loaned exhibits from private collections and artists, the collections of the Saarijärvi Museum and two international collections of the KHRenlund Museum.
The program, which challenges the norms, offers room for creativity
The public also has the opportunity to go outside the norms and make art in the spirit of outsider art in the workshops organized in cooperation with Drink & Draw Helsinki.
May’s program includes crochet and wine; workshop participants can create a unique piece either based on a pattern or without a pattern. While crocheting, they can sip wine and pick up tarot cards. During Pride week in June, a catwalk show is organized in the central hall of the National Museum. Accompanied by ballroom music, the models stop for a moment at the end of the catwalk to pose, giving the participants time to make a quick kroquis drawing. The soul-building workshop organized at the end of August gives participants the opportunity to create a self-portrait with intuitive mixed media technology. In September, participants can create memes with or without a mobile phone and explore the role of memes, especially in activism.
In the seminar organized in June, the emerging power of the marginal will be discussed as speakers, such as professors. Jussi T. Koski and Alf Rehn topic introduction.
On the night of the arts on August 17, the National Museum will host the Outsider Art Festival 2023. The evening, which serves as the festival’s opening event, is dedicated to outsider art and equality. The event includes performances, films and discussion sessions.
The last exhibition before the doors close
Untamed Art, which is the National Museum’s last changing exhibition before the museum’s renovation and expansion project begins, is open from May 5 to September 24, 2023. The National Museum will close its doors for about two to three years on October 16.
Source: National Museum
Source: The Nordic Page