Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Esko Männikkö: Time Flies -näyttely Helsingin Taidehallissa 2014. Kuva: Patrik Rastenberger
Esko Männikkö: Time Flies -näyttely Helsingin Taidehallissa 2014. Kuva: Patrik Rastenberger
Heikki Marila: Kukkia ja perkeleitä, Helsingin Taidehallissa 2014. Kuva: Patrik Rastenberger
Heikki Marila: Kukkia ja perkeleitä, Helsingin Taidehallissa 2014. Kuva: Patrik Rastenberger
Hilma af Klint – Abstraktin edelläkävijä / Abstrakt pionjär / A Pioneer of Abstraction. Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Hilma af Klint – Abstraktin edelläkävijä / Abstrakt pionjär / A Pioneer of Abstraction. Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Hilma af Klint – Abstraktin edelläkävijä / Abstrakt pionjär / A Pioneer of Abstraction. Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Hilma af Klint – Abstraktin edelläkävijä / Abstrakt pionjär / A Pioneer of Abstraction. Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Hilma af Klint – Abstraktin edelläkävijä / Abstrakt pionjär / A Pioneer of Abstraction. Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger
Taidehalli / Konsthallen / Kunsthalle / elokuu / augusti / August 2014. Kuva / Bild / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

About Kunsthalle Helsinki

Each year, the Kunsthalle Helsinki hosts 6 major exhibitions, in addition to special events and a cross-disciplinary programme. The focus of the exhibitions is on contemporary art but the exhibition programme also includes design and architecture. Kunsthalle Helsinki does not have a collection of its own, but serves as a venue for changing exhibitions.

The Kunsthalle is owned by a private foundation supported by various artist and art organisations. Chairman of the Board of the Kunsthalle Foundation is Matti Vuoria (since 2009). Director of the Kunsthalle is Jan Förster.

The operations of the Kunsthalle are supported by the City of Helsinki and the Ministry of Education. About 25% of the Kunsthalle’s annual budget comes from public subsidies; its own earnings cover the rest.

The café on site and restaurant Farang are operated by an outside entrepreneur.

The Saarnilaakso school in Espoo is the Kunsthalle’s adopted school for art education.

Kunsthalle Helsinki is a member of the Finnish Museums Association and of the International Council of Museums, ICOM.

Staff

Please contact us by e-mail using firstname.lastname@taidehalli.fi

Director Jan Förster

tel. +358 (0) 40 130 5545

Senior Curator Satu Metsola

tel. +358 (0) 40 451 4771

Senior Curator Susanna Santala (on maternity leave)

Communications Manager Lotta Nelimarkka

tel. +358 (0) 40 451 4772

Customer Service Manager Marko Saranpää

tel. +358 (0) 400 316 885

Producer Birgitta Orava

tuottaja(at)taidehalli.fi, tel. +358 (0) 400 904 749

Kioski Shop Heini Kärki

kioski(at)taidehalli.fi

Cashier

tel. +358 (0) 40 450 7211

Secretary for the Finnish Art Society Anna Kinnunen

tel. +358 (0) 45 7731 4315

 

Customer service:

Emily Boswell

Jaakko Hanhela

Sanna Lappalainen

Enni Suominen

And: Tiina-Maria Aalto, Heidi Lahtinen, Aino Keinänen, Säde Kultanen, Iisa Lepistö, Iiris Markkola, Outi Saukkonen

 

Guides:

Emily Boswell

Lotta Djupsund

Jonna Karanka

Kastehelmi Korpijaakko

Emelie Luostarinen

Iiris Markkola

Johanna Torkkola

 

History

Kunsthalle Helsinki has been a central place for changing exhibitions since 1928. It was created because there were artists who needed a place to arrange changing contemporary art exhibitions in the Finnish capital.

There were a lot of different plans and location alternatives, but Kunsthalle Helsinki was eventually built on the Nervanderinkatu street in the Etu-Töölö district of Helsinki. The building was designed by the architects Jarl Eklund (1876–1962) and Hilding Ekelund (1893–1984) on the basis of the 1927 invitational competition. The Kunsthalle Helsinki Foundation was established in 1927 to look after the construction of the building, which is still owned by the foundation.

As the first director of Kunsthalle Helsinki, Bertel Hintze (1901–1969), an art critic, a researcher, and an art expert, was starting a new kind of art institution in Finland. He led Kunsthalle Helsinki until 1968 when he retired. Since then, Kunsthalle Helsinki has been led by Seppo Niinivaara in 1968–1994, Timo Valjakka in 1994–2001, Maija Tanninen-Mattila in 2001–2006, Maija Koskinen 2006–2013, and by the current director Jan Förster since 2013.

Kunsthalle Helsinki was inaugurated on 3 March 1928 together with the opening of a comprehensive Finnish art exhibition. Kunsthalle Helsinki could not have been created without the support and donations from the business world and the patrons of the time. The building project received significant support from Industrial Counsellors Gösta Serlachius and Salomo Wuorio and from Amos Anderson, editor-in-chief. The supporters were later joined by Jalo Sihtola, an engineer. The picture is from the inauguration of the building.

During its history, Kunsthalle Helsinki has presented central Finnish artists of the various movements, from Juho Rissanen and Helene Schjerfbeck to Sam Vanni and Reidar Säreistöniemi. There were also some Finnish artist groups, such as Prisma and the November Group, arranging exhibitions in Kunsthalle Helsinki during the 20th century. Foreign contemporary art exhibitions, for instance the 1952 Klar Form exhibition of French contemporary art, were important to the development of the Finnish arts. Many visitors remember the 1990s exhibitions of Andy Warhol (1997) or Alvar Aalto (1998). The most popular exhibitions of the 21st century have been those of Kaj Stenvall (2000), Anish Kapoor (2001), Maaria Wirkkala (2002), Helmut Newton (2004), Marlene Dumas (2005, pictured), Mari Rantanen (2007), or Karin Mamma Andersson (2007). Artists especially remembered for their design and architecture exhibitions are Arne Jacobsen (2002), Eero Aarnio (2003), and Eero Saarinen (2006). Helsinki’s art life has gone through major changes in eighty years, but Kunsthalle Helsinki has maintained its position as the place where young artists can make their breakthroughs and recognized masters can have comprehensive retrospective exhibitions. Kunsthalle Helsinki has become a home for living art, a place where artists, researchers, and art-lovers meet each other.

 

Architecture

Designed by Hilding Ekelund (1893–1984) and Jarl Eklund (1876–1962) and completed in 1928, Helsinki Kunsthalle is a fine example of 1920s’ Classicism and a prime example of this style in Finland. The building itself is protected, defined as a culturally and historically important architectural monument.

Owing to robust massing, the façade of the Kunsthalle is divided into two rectangular elements that reveal the positioning and spatial outline of the galleries. The asymmetry of the building is typical of the architecture of the period. The part facing Aurorankatu street is taller and deeper compared with the rest of the building. It houses the monumental sculpture gallery with its concrete floor decorated with geometric patterns. The lower part of the house runs along Nervanderinkatu street, housing the slightly lower painting galleries.

In keeping with the simple Classicistic style of the 1920s, the building has very few decorations. One of the few decorative elements on the exterior consists of 28 round medallions on the concave wall above the entrance. Intended specifically as an exhibition venue, the house was a very modern space designed on functional lines. The galleries were designed for the display of different art forms; sculpture and painting had their own, separate spaces. The galleries were positioned so as to give visitors a clear and logical route through the exhibition, and lighting was arranged by placing windows providing natural light in every gallery.

In keeping with the period, the galleries were originally quite dark in colour, but as ideals and requirements changed, they gradually became less sombre and lighter. The entrance of the Kunsthalle is an oval reception area with the main staircase at one end ascending to the galleries on the upper floor. The Studio exhibition space, separated from the Chief Curator’s office and the archives, is also on the ground floor.

Located in the middle of the building, the staircase at the junction of the two main building masses separates the sculpture gallery from the painting galleries. The ceiling over the staircase has octagonal coffers painted blue and decorated with gilded star shapes.

The door at the end of the building facing Ainonkatu street was used as the entrance to the Kunsthalle Club which housed the facilities of three organisations: the Artists’ Association of Finland, the Finnish Association of Designers, Ornamo, and the Finnish Association of Architects, SAFA. Since these associations relocated, a restaurant has operated on the premises since 1995. The architecture of Kunsthalle Helsinki has withstood time well. The basic concept of the building remains valid to this day. Over time, the galleries have been modified to suit exhibitions of the type of art typical of each particular period. In its current form, the Kunsthalle is a state-of-the-art exhibition venue that follows the 1960s’ ideal of the ‘white cube’.

The first comprehensive refurbishment in the history of the Kunsthalle was begun in May 2008. It took 15 months and was completed in summer 2009. There were two underground floors quarried under the building for the placement of the lift machinery and other new technology. In connection with the renovation, all the windows and the doors were renovated. The middle and the back hall received an underfloor heating system. The office of Kunsthalle Helsinki had been placed in the former caretaker’s flat. The office premises were completely renewed during the renovation.

Kunsthalle Helsinki is located in a narrow area right next to the library of the Finnish Parliament, which created a challenge for the renovation. The ceiling was renovated, and the air conditioners were hidden where possible. The painting hall is about nine metres high in the middle. The colours of the entrance hall were brought back to those of the 1930s after a careful colour analysis. The maintenance technology of the building was updated entirely, and the facilities in the galleries were modernised to meet current requirements. The repairs and modifications were done in sympathy with the architecture and history of the building.

 

Kunsthalle Helsinki

Nervanderinkatu 3

Tickets +358 40 450 7211

 

Tue, Thu, Fri 11–18

Wed 11–20

Sat-Sun 11–17

Mon closed

 

€12 / €8

Under 18s – no charge

Museum Card

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