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– Early Forms of Abstraction in The Collection of Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation
20.03.2020 – 27.09.2020
Project Room


This research-based exhibition examines the Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation collection through the looking glass of exhibitions held at Galerie Artek in the 1950s. The exhibition also examines the dynamic between Alvar Aalto’s abstract artworks and his architectural designs. The exhibition Maire Gullichsen, Alvar Aalto and Galerie Artek showcases a period of transition in Finnish fine art when abstraction in its various forms came to challenge the established norms of aesthetics.


Maire Gullichsen (1907–1990) was one of the founding members of the Artek design store (https://www.artek.fi/en/company/abou), along with architect Alvar Aalto (1898–1976). The Gullichsen art collection includes works by Aalto that illustrate the different periods of his architectural career and his practice of exploring ideas by sculpting wood, drawing and painting.


Galerie Artek was an exhibition space that operated in Helsinki. The gallery was famous for its bold exhibition programme. Gullichsen steered the gallery with a firm hand, and is known to have acquired art from exhibitions held there. New archival research has uncovered connections between shows at Galerie Artek in the 1950s and the art collection of the Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation.


The exhibited artists are Alvar Aalto, Lars-Gunnar Nordström, Edgard Pillet, Tyko Sallinen, Rolf Sandqvist, Per Stenius and Sam Vanni. The exhibition includes rare archive material such as videos and photographs, art works from AD HOC – Kristian and Kirsi Gullichsen Collection and an Artek chair designed by Edgard Pillet.



The exhibition is part of the ALVAR AALTO Week 2020 program. Alvar Aalto Week 2020 is to be held in Pori and Eura, Finland, 22–30 August. The theme of the week will be ”Aalto in everyday life”.



Alvar Aalto, Satakunta (Satakunnan synteesi), 1939
32 x 33,5 cm, öljy, pahvi
Maire Gullichsenin taidesäätiön kokoelma, Porin taidemuseo, MG 0405


Tyko Sallinen, Tytön muotokuva, 1914
49 x 46 cm, öljy kankaalle
Maire Gullichsenin taidesäätiön kokoelma, Porin taidemuseo, MG 0108


Lars-Gunnar Nordström, Serigrafia, 1952
27 x 42 cm, serigrafia paperille
Maire Gullichsenin taidesäätiön kokoelma, Porin taidemuseo, MG 0245


Photos: Pori Art Museum photo archive






Exhibition program



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