The New Exhibitions Bring Colour into the Darker Time of the Year – Check Out the Tips!

Does your heart belong to the classics, or the newest currents of modern art? This autumns exhibition selection brings plenty of new things to see in museums all around Finland. Photos: Rauno Trskelin / Didrichsens konstmuseum, Jukka Vatanen / Helsingfors Konsthall, Tuomas Uusheimo / Amos Rex.

Experience Rafael Wardi, Kaija Aarikka, Claude Monet and other beloved classics, as well as the newest currents of contemporary art. The autumn’s new exhibitions also offer something to see for fans of rap music, exercise enthusiasts and nostalgic visitors. We have gathered together exhibitions from all around Finland. Check out the tips and find your favorites!

The exhibitions of autumn 2023 present both beloved classics and art never before seen in Finland. You will find Finnish favourites from Rafael Wardi to Elina Brotherus, and masters of impressionism from Claude Monet to August Renoir. There will be several first-time exhibitions in Finland from several stars of modern art, such as Ryoji Ikeda from Japan and Lee Bul from South Korea.

The plentiful exhibition selection will delight more than just fans of art, as there are experiences to be found to suit all tastes. Themes include everything from the joys of exercise to the ill-fated global takeover of Nokia’s video game console and the 40-year-long history of Finnish rap.

In this article, we have collected some of the autumn’s exhibitions all around Finland. Check out the hits in your area, or take a short trip to your favourite exhibition!

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Southern Finland

Photo: Ateneum Art Museum.

Colour & Light – The Legacy of Impressionism

Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki | 20.10.2023–25.2.2024

The exhibition introduces Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art from the period 1860–1916. The exhibition draws parallels between the great masters of international art and the brief but flourishing period in Finnish art from 1906 to 1916. Among the international artists included in the exhibition are Claude Monet, August Renoir and Paul Signac.

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Photo: Rauno Träskelin / Didrichsen Art Museum.

Rafael Wardi

Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki | 9.9.2023–28.1.2024

The exhibition highlights Rafael Wardi's active work during his last years and pays tribute to his long career. Colour is at the heart of Wardi’s (1928–2021) art. The beloved artist’s colourful still lifes, often in shades of yellow, and his portraits of people and cities are very vivid at first sight. On closer inspection the dialogue between colour and light deepens into meanings – glimpses of emotions, stories and life themes.

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Photo: Ahmed Alalousi / Kunsthalle Helsinkil.

Kaija Aarikka

Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki | 9.9.2023–7.1.2024

Kaija Aarikka’s products belong to the cozy core of Finnish design. The exhibition presents the designer’s diverse body of work through both beloved classics and plenty of joy of discovery. In autumn 2023, Kunsthalle Helsinki will be filled with Kaija Aarikka’s diverse designs. The richly colourful exhibition explores Aarikka’s wide-reaching, 60-year career as a designer.

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Photo: Amos Rex.

Ryoji Ikeda

Amos Rex, Helsinki | 27.9.2023–25.2.2024

Explosive abundance and simple line drawings, sound and silence, pulsating light and suddenly darkening screens - Japanese composer and artist Ryoji Ikeda takes over the cavernous spaces of the museum with a precise soundscape and moving image. Based on data visualisation, rhythm, light and sound, his installations explore the invisible dimensions of the universe and the limits of perception with almost mathematical precision.

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Photo: Jyrki Lohva / Music Museum Fame.

JOU! – 40 years of Finnish rap

Music Museum Fame, Helsinki | 9.11.2023–12.5.2024

Over the years, Finnish rap has moved from the fringes into the mainstream and has gone from being an industry worth small change to one worth millions. At the end of the year, the Finnish Music Hall of Fame will present the 40-year history of Finnish rap. The exhibition written by Karri “Paleface” Miettinen uses video, audio and objects to tell about how hip hop came to Finland and spread to every corner of the country.

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Photo: Villa Gyllenberg.

Werner von Hausen – A Forgotten Classic

Villa Gyllenberg, Helsinki | 13.9.2023–14.1.2024

The first retrospective exhibition presenting the art of Finnish painter Werner von Hausen (1870–1951). The exhibition traces von Hausen's life and work in France, Egypt, Italy, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. His landscape paintings depict both the nature of the North and the bright colours and brilliant light of the Mediterranean. In his antimodern and classical art, von Hausen sought eternal truth.

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Photo: Helsinki City Museum.

Your Body – The Sweaty History of Gyms

Helsinki City Museum, Helsinki | 10.11.2023–25.2.2024

This November visitors can expect tights, sweatpants, iron, palm trees and, if not real, at least the imaginary smell of sweat as the Helsinki City Museum turns into an immersive gym. The exhibition tells the story of gyms and gym lovers. Competing bodybuilders, weightlifters, fitness athletes and amateurs improving their condition – what makes them move? Why do people go to the gym or take group exercise classes? The exhibition gives a voice to the various users of gyms and sports services.

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Photo: Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

Ars Fennica 2023

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki | 8.9.2023–28.1.2024

The exhibition presents the nominees for Finland’s most significant visual-art prize: Henni Alftan (Finland), Tuomas A. Laitinen (Finland), Lap-See Lam (Sweden), Camille Norment (Norway) ja Emilija Škarnulytė (Lithuania).

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Photo: Volker von Bonin / Helsinki City Museum.

A Glimpse of Helsinki – Volker von Bonin’s photos

Hakasalmi Villa, Helsinki | 6.10.2023–25.8.2024

The Volker von Bonin photo exhibition will give visitors a rare glimpse of Helsinki as it was decades ago. The retrospective exhibition features both the photographer’s most iconic photos of Helsinki and some of his less frequently seen shots. Von Bonin is known as a humanist photographer whose photos highlight the everyday moments of ordinary people and their urban environment. He also captured plenty of Helsinki’s old buildings and landscapes for prosperity.

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Photo: TAHTO Center for Finnish Sports Culture.

Sweat, smiles and stamina

TAHTO Center for Finnish Sports Culture, Helsinki | 22.9.2023–1.9.2024

What motivates us to exercise? Perhaps clearing mind, perhaps better shape. Many find inspiration in walking the dog or just having fun with friends. Physical activity has undeniable positive effects on mind and body, but too much exercise also carries risks. This exhibition delves into the causes and effects of physical activity from political decisions to heart rates.

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Photo: EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

Katarina Reuter: Black Crow Blues

EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo | 4.10.2023–28.1.2024

Katarina Reuter (b. 1964) creates images of nature, the surrounding area and the worlds of microorganisms with subtle and precise brush strokes. The landscapes and spaces depicted by the artist, who has an affinity for natural sciences, are layered and ambiguous. The works feeding the imagination contain both tranquility and something of the unknown.

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Photo: Morten Heden Aamot / The Gundersen Collection.

Peder Balke – The Spell of the Arctic

Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki | 21.9.2023–14.1.2024

The Norwegian artist Peder Balke (1804–1887) is one of the most exciting proponents of Romantic painting from Northern Europe. The monographic exhibition presents Peder Balke´s life and work to a Finnish audience for the first time. Stormy seascapes, moonlight, northern lights, glaciers and snow-capped mountain ranges are recurrent themes. The paintings conjure up a world that few people know, even today, and which is threatened by climate change.

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Photo: Frantsila / Miki Tokairin / Miisa Soini.

Dineo Seshee Raisibe Bopape

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki | 6.10.2023–25.2.2024

In her practice Dineo Seshee Raisibe Bopape often uses natural materials such as clay, soil, ash and plants, from which she creates site-specific installations. While preparing the exhibition, South African Bopape spent time on the Frantsila organic herbfarm in Hämeenkyrö, Finland, learning about healing herbal plants, local traditions and nature. All of this had a significant impact on the exhibition.

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Photo: Hilja Raviniemi: 1970 / The Finnish Museum of Photography.

Hilja Raviniemi: A Touch of Blue

The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki | 15.9.2023–7.1.2024

Hilja Raviniemi (1915–1973) dedicated her life to art photography at a time when it was still a niche phenomenon in Finland. The art photography scenes consisted of amateur photographers’ clubs’ regional and international exhibitions. Letters from international exhibitions addressed to “Mr. Hilja Raviniemi” show that photographers were assumed to be men. Hard work helped “Hili” rise to the top of the male-dominated world of amateur photographers’ clubs.

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Photo: The Finnish Glass Museum.

Marta Klonowska

The Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki | 7.10.2023–31.12.2023

The art of Polish Marta Klonowska surprises the viewer through its mastery. The sculptures made from shards and pieces of glass have drawn inspiration from old art works, such as the paintings of Albrecht Dürer and Fransisco de Goya. The Finnish Glass Museum will exhibit Klonowska’s sculptures, which represent the peak of craftsmanship and creativity, as well as high-level technical skill.

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Photo: Chappe.

Craft Rituals

Chappe, Raasepori | 27.10.2023–31.3.2024

The exhibition is a colourful multimedia artwork that leads visitors to an immersive fairytale world. It is a playful, holistic audiovisual experience for all ages. Chappe’s exhibition space is filled with large film projections that have 3D-animated elements and specially composed music as well as ritualistic handicraft installations and sculptures that create their own evocative universe.

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Tampere and Jyväskylä

Photo: Jussi Koivunen / Sara Hildén Art Museum.

Lee Bul

Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere | 23.9.2023–14.1.2024

Seoul-based Lee Bul (b. 1964) is one of South Korea’s most internationally acclaimed artists. Her exhibition at the Sara Hilden Art Museum is the first extensive showing of her work ever seen in Finland. It presents two decades of art featuring sculptures, installations and paintings.

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Photo: Museum Centre Vapriikki.

Fantastic Failure

Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere | 7.10.2023–5.1.2025

The exhibition offers a nostalgic yet thought-provoking glimpse into the transformative era of the Finnish gaming and technology industry. In 2003, Nokia was the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer. Driven by its success, the company wanted a share of the lucrative gaming industry and decided to challenge gaming giant Nintendo with its own gaming console that combined both a gaming device and a phone.

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Photo: Elina Brotherus.

Elina Brotherus: Space – Time – Movement

Jyväskylä Art Museum, Jyväskylä | 27.10.2023–4.2.2024

The retrospective exhibition by internationally renowned Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus showcases the artist’s work from the early series of the 1990s to her more recent works. Photographer's most extensive exhibition to date will be seen in Jyväskylä at the end of this year. The thematic Space–Time–Movement exhibition will be presented in three different exhibition spaces: Jyväskylä Art Museum, Aalto2 and Galleria Ratamo.

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Photo: Home alone collective

Home alone collective

WAM, Turku | 15.9.2023–3.12.2023

The Home alone collective consists of photographic artists Adele Hyry (b. 1994) and Emma Sarpaniemi (b. 1993). The artistic duo emphasises the importance of friendship and communication, a sincere approach and having fun. Portraits and photographs that the artists take of themselves at regular intervals play an important role, and brainstorming taking place during the photography session becomes part of the finished piece.

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Photo: Adel Abidin: Musical Manifest, 2022.

Adel Abidin: Musical Manifest

Turku Art Museum, Turku | 17.11.2023–7.1.2024

In Musical Manifest (2022), Adel Abidin turns the camera on himself in a series of absurd and ironic music videos. By singing songs rearranged from fragments of well-known pop lyrics, he makes fictional references to his past as an emigrant and illustrates what we hide or are afraid of making known.

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Photo: Turku Art Museum.

Fortunate Coincidences - Lars Göran Johnsson's Collection

Turku Art Museum, Turku | 15.9.2023–7.1.2024

Doctor of medicine and surgery Lars Göran Johnsson (b. 1930) fell in love with art as a child, and has been collecting art for decades. He has acquired hundreds of works, resulting in one of Finland’s most significant private collections. In 2016, Johnsson donated his collection of about 500 artworks to Turku Art Museum.

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Photo: Alexander Salvesen: Breath in - 6000K, 2019 / WAM.

Lux et Umbra

WAM, Turku | 6.10.2023–14.1.2024

The artworks in the engaging exhibition in autumn are made primarily from light and shadows. The exhibition includes interesting and surprising works from Finnish contemporary artists and groups. The exhibition includes works by Anna Hyrkkänen, Konvolv Collective, Antti Kulmala, Anni Laukka, Pasi Rauhala and Alexander Salvesen.

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Photo: Kim Saarinen / Kunst Museum of Modern Art.

Dimensionsn of a Line

Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa | 9.9.2023–14.4.2024

How do artists work with the line, where does its shape settle as a simple pencil and charcoal drawing or as a spatial installation. The variations of the line can be seen in the collective exhibition at the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art. Both Finnish and international contemporary artists – 18 artists and artist groups – present the line as part of their artistic work.  

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Photo: Vasa City Art Gallery.

Alexander Salvesen: In Visibilis V

Vaasa City Art Gallery, Vaasa | 26.8.2023–29.10.2023

In Visiblis V is the fifth exhibition of Alexander Salvesen’s series of works with the same title. In Visiblis is a multidisciplinary exhibition that combines neon light, drawing, painting, sculpture and video. In the exhibition the viewer dives into a world of contrasts, color, light and darkness.

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Photo: Tikanoja Art Museum.

Berndt Lindholm - Into the Landscape

Tikanoja Art Museum, Vaasa | 20.10.2023–21.4.2024

Berndt Lindholm is one of Finlands most prominent 19th-century landscape painters. The exhibition displays depictions of forests and rocky coastal landscapes. The vast exhibition extends on all three floors of the museum and contains approximately 60 paintings and drawings.

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Eastern Finland and Kymenlaakso

Photo: Kuopio Art Museum.

Pluriverse – Non-European Art

Kuopio Art Museum, Kuopio | 16.9.2023–26.11.2023

Pluriverse presents non-European art from Antti Mykkänen's collection. When a trip is cancelled and all you have is an empty suitcase, an art collection can be born.Mykkänen’s sailing trip in 2015 transformed into roaming in the galleries and art shops of South America. Since then, he has continued his meticulously planned art travel to more than 150 countries.

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Photo: Mikkeli Art Museum.

Überhund – The Fascinating Dogs of Art

Mikkeli Art Museum, Mikkeli | 13.10.2023–28.1.2024

Überhund – The Fascinating Dogs of Art showcases dogs and their different roles in visual arts over the past 150 years. Dogs appear frequently in art, but as ordinary, everyday figures, they may often escape our attention. The Überhund exhibition, thus, presents dogs as the central objects of the viewer’s gaze.

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Bild: Tapio Leisti / The Museum of Kymenlaakso.

Studio Leisti

The Museum of Kymenlaakso, Kotka | 3.10.2023–17.3.2024

Tapio Leistis nostalgic photographs transport the audience to the Kotka of the past, the sandboxes in backyards, the shore cliffs warmed by the sun, and the lively atmosphere of the harbour.

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Oulu and Lapland

Photo: Paul Miettinen.

Paths of Duodji

The Provincial Museum of Lapland, Rovaniemi | 28.10.2023–7.4.2024

In the exhibition, we travel alongside two Saami artisans to explore the Saami craft traditions and skills passed down through their families. We also delve into the formation of the artisans' own craft identities.

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Photo: Oulu Museum of Art.

Marjatta Hanhijoki: Aino and Reetu – Visibly So 3

Oulu Museum of Art, Oulu | 24.8.–26.11.2023

Marjatta Hanhijoki is a beloved Finnish watercolourist and printmaker. To her, making a picture starts from the observation. The exhibition is a comprehensive retrospective of the beloved artist's work. Recurring themes in Hanhijoki's work are colourful interiors and still lives, heartfelt human images and the playful world of children.

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Photo: The Aine Art Museum.

Melancholy Diorama and the Wonders of Collage

The Aine Art Museum, Tornio | 18.8.–12.11.2023

Artists Niina Lehtonen Braun, Mikko Kallio and Ilona Valkonen explore collage in different ways in the exhibition at the Aine Art Museum. In the three artists' joint exhibition, collage is understood both as a method in art and as a way of being and thinking in this world. The exhibition is based on the long-term collaboration and friendship between Lehtonen Braun, Kallio and Valkonen.

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