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Will and Vision
Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation Collection 50 Years

Hall, April 30 – September 26, 2021



The year 2021 marks the passage of 50 years since the establishment of the Maire Gullichsen Foundation and 40 years since the inaugural exhibition of Pori Art Museum. The exhibition Will and Vision – Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation Collection 50 Years celebrates these landmark events by presenting a selection of Finnish and international art from the foundation’s collection.


Maire Gullichsen (1907–1990) was the true powerhouse behind the founding of the Pori Art Museum. In 1971 she established a foundation bearing her name and donated to it some 300 artworks from her own collection. Subsequently she began to systematically develop the body of work into a museum collection, with abstract art focusing on form and colour as its guiding light.


Following Gullichsen’s wishes, art from the foundation formed the core of the Pori Art Museum, which opened in 1981. That core has since then set the tone for the museum’s strategy in presenting contemporary art. Currently, the collection comprises 536 works of art. All key names of Finnish modernism are represented in the collection. Matti Kujasalo’s 2019 Untitled, a donation made by the Johan Gullichsen family, was added as a tribute to the anniversary year.


The jubilee exhibition focuses on works acquired from 1971 onwards. The collection stands witness to its founder’s networks, through which she imported international influences to Finnish art – particularly those of French modernism – and her work as the gallerist of Galerie Artek and as a patron of the arts. The core of the collection consists of work by teachers and students of the Free Art School, which Maire Gullichsen founded, including Unto Pusa, Sam Vanni, Tor Arne, Carolus Enckell, Paul Osipow, Outi Ikkala and Seppo Kärkkäinen.


The exhibition has two main thematic strands. Hard edge and concretism showcases works that explore the basic elements of painting: colour, geometric form, the rhythm and structure of composition. “Hard edge” denotes works in which signs of the artist’s hand have been obliterated; instead the work consists of severely controlled shapes and colour surfaces.


Colour and soft brush presents a body of work where instead of stringent form, the picture is made of vibrant fields of colour and studies of light and colour that emphasise the rhythms and gestures of brushwork. Many of the works are inspired by natural forms, even when the motif is almost or completely abstract or non-figurative.


Also featured in the show are artists who renewed the language and techniques of sculpture, such as Mauno Hartman, Kain Tapper, Harry Kivijärvi, Laila Pullinen and Anthony Caro.




Images Pori Art Museum opened in 1981

Will and Vision – Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation Collection 50 Years, Pori Art Museum 2021





The exhibition is permanently closed.



Pori Art Museum 40 years



The Will and Vision Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation Collection 50 Years exhibition will reopen as soon as possible.



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