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30 March, 2020

Helsinki’s art year 2020: from Van Gogh to archipelago adventures

The Helsinki area will see a festival of artistic firsts in 2020, from Tacita Dean's first exhibition in the Nordics to the brand new Helsinki Biennial art event.

Lue artikkeli suomeksi

The Helsinki area will see a festival of artistic firsts in 2020. The year kicks off with internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Tacita Dean’s first exhibition in the Nordics, while the summer introduces the brand-new Helsinki Biennial art event.

In the autumn we will see Finland’s first exhibition comprised solely of Vincent van Gogh’s works. For a sneak peek into Helsinki’s most exciting art events in 2020, read on.

The analogue film advocate arrives at EMMA 

British artist Tacita Dean is one of today’s hottest names in contemporary art. Renowned for her dedication to preserving the analogue film tradition, she explores themes such as the temporary nature of everything around us.

Dean’s solo exhibition features key works from her career thus far. One of the seven films on display is brand new and showcased for the first time at EMMA. The films will be accompanied by blackboard drawings and a series of overpainted postcards.

After Dean’s exhibition, we are in for another treat, as next up is the socially conscious installation artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset

Chalk Fall by Tacita Dean, 2018. Phto: Fredrik Nilsen

Art in the archipelago at Helsinki Biennale

The international contemporary art event Helsinki Biennial will take place for the first time on the island of Vallisaari from 12 June to 27 September. Admission is free, and the event will include both new and existing works from approximately 35 artists. 

The key criteria for all featured works is that they complement or communicate with the unique island surroundings.

The subtitle of Helsinki Biennial 2020, The Same Sea, refers to the ecological crisis unconstrained by borders. Art will be present everywhere on the island, which is a former maritime base that has only been open to the public for the past few years. 

There’s no question that the wilderness, old gunpowder cellars, cobbled paths and abandoned residential buildings of Vallisaari present the most interesting setting for art in 2020.

Photo: Helsinki Biennial

Didrichsen celebrates with grand master Van Gogh  

Didrichsen Art Museum on Kuusisaari island celebrates its 55th birthday in 2020. To commemorate the occasion, the museum will open its most large-scale and ambitious exhibition to date. Becoming Van Gogh is the result of six years’ work. 

Focusing on Van Gogh’s early drawings, the exhibition is the broadest collection of the master impressionist’s art ever seen in Finland. Along with drawings, it will comprise one graphic and two oil paintings from the height of the artist’s career. 

Those interested in drawing will be particularly inspired by this stunning showcase of Van Gogh’s techniques. 

Windmills at Dordrecht (Weeskinderendijk), Vincent van Gogh 1881 Photo: Rik Klein Gotink

Art, art and more art

Should you still have room in your 2020 art schedule, you’ll have plenty more options. 

We recommend Travel as a Tool at Design Museum Helsinki, the work of Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova at Ateneum Art Museum, the Weather Report: Forecasting Future exhibition, fresh from Venice Biennale at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and the experiential collaboration Blick by visual artist Raija Malka and composer Kaija Saariaho at Amos Rex.

Save 25 % on museum entry fees

When staying at Hotel St. George, you can pick up a Museum Art Card from the reception and enjoy 25% off tickets to Ateneum, Design Museum, Emma, Helsinki Art Museum HAM, Kiasma and Kunsthalle Helsinki.

Save the dates

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