Exhibitions2020Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics

Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics

17 Jun - 19 Sep 20

Ateneum Finnish National Gallery

The exhibition Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics, shown on the third floor of the Ateneum Art Museum, explored how international contemporary artists had been inspired by the classics of European art. The exhibition presented art, by the most interesting of contemporary artists, that had drawn inspiration from iconic masterpieces. The works range from revering old masters to questioning art history’s white-male-centric past.

Featured in the exhibition was Gavin Turk’s Death of Marat (1998), a waxwork of the artist as Jean Paul Marat on his death bed, based on the 1793 painting of the same name by Jacques-Louis David. This was displayed alongside works by Marina Abramović, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Nancy Fouts, Jeff Koons, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Heikki Marila, Jarmo Mäkilä, Aurora Reinhard, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Koen Vanmechelen. New works were created especially for the exhibition by Mark Karasick, Ola Kolehmainen, Joseph Kosuth and Sara Masüger. The diverse exhibition included paintings, sculptures, installations and video works.

This exhibition, originally on show at the National Museum in Stockholm in spring 2020, was curated by Susanna Pettersson and James Putnam. At the Ateneum Art Museum, the exhibition was curated by the museum director, Marja Sakari, and the chief curator, Sointu Fritze.