Helene Schjerfbeck


“Imagine the life of Frida Kahlo yoked to the eye of Edvard Munch, and you’ll begin to get the measure of this oeuvre.”
The Independent, 2003


This autumn Ordrupgaard presents a special exhibition with the great Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946).


The Finnish national icon is known for her sensitive landscapes, extremely simplified interiors and figures as well as several experimental and innovative still lifes. But above all, her evocative self-portraits are symbols of her sophisticated art – and render an indication of her unusual talent.


Finland’s Great Modernist

In spite of her being a national icon in Finland, Helene Schjerfbeck has to a large degree remained unknown to the public abroad. However, in the recent years a growing international interest in her deeply original art has led to exhibitions at international museums. The intention is to introduce a selection of her most significant work to a Danish audience and to show the essence of her original contribution to modernity. Presenting her as one of the major artists of the Nordic countries, the exhibition is part of the museum’s series of exhibitions on great, Nordic artists – featuring previous names such as Hammershøi, Willumsen, Balke and Munch.


Young, Finnish Art

They are not afraid to be outshined by Helene Schjerfbeck, the ten young Finnish-Swedish artists whose artworks are on display under the title Reflective Shadows. 10 Contemporary Artists from Finland during Ordrupgaard’s Helene Schjerfbeck exhibition. The ten artists are: Mahlin Alsved, Axel Antas, H. C. Berg, Maria Duncker, Saara Ekström, Lotta Ingman, Marjo Levlin, Nina Roos, Hans Rosenström and Kim Simonsson.


The artworks in exhibition are realized with a wide span of medias and materials, from oil paintings, watercolours, glass and plaster sculptures to video and installation art – artworks which have been specifically chosen to communicate with the museum’s Helene Schjerfbeck exhibition. Finland’s Institute of Culture together with curator Leevi Haapala from KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki look forward to showing the visitors of Ordrupgaard what is stirring right now in the land of a thousand lakes.


23 September 2011 - 12 February 2012

Previous exhibitions