Vantaa Art Museum Artsi shows a selection of previously unseen works by Laila Pullinen
An exhibition of Laila Pullinen’s work will be on show at the Vantaa Arts Museum Artsi from September 19th 2019 to January 12th 2020. The exhibition brings together previously unseen material from Nissbacka and the collections of the Laila Pullinen Foundation. The exhibition focuses on Pullinen's works in Vantaa: sculptures made with explosives, bronze sculptures, stone-bronze sculptures and Nissbacka itself – Pullinen’s sculpture park in eastern Vantaa.
After a record breaking exhibition of Chi Modu’s photographs, Artsi returns to its home base and presents one of the most renowned Vantaa-based artists, the sculptor and professor Laila Pullinen (1933-2015). The exhibition includes works previously unseen in museums, such as The Charioteer (1987), a bronze sculpture based on the axle of an agricultural machine.
“In many ways this is an important exhibition. It is the first museum exhibition since Pullinen's death, and the first museum review of Pullinen's production in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in 25 years”, says Anna Hjorth-Röntynen,
There are some highlights of Pullinen's career in Vantaa: the great blast relief the Sun in the Fells (1967) is located at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the large scale bronze sculpture The Spirit of Time, Prisoner of Matter (1976) in Lauri Lairala Square adjacent to Vantaa City Hall, and a stone-bronze sculpture, Harju / Herakles (2002), in the lobby of the City Hall.
"The works of Laila Pullinen, who has often been linked to Italy due to the early years of her career, can perhaps somewhat surprisingly be seen most comprehensively in Vantaa," says Jean Ramsay, the curator of the exhibition.
Since 1985, Pullinen's career-encompassing project, the Nissbacka Manor Sculpture Park, has been open to the public in Vantaa. The sculpture park is an amalgam of a historic site and modern art, of which Pullinen herself spoke as a gesamttskunstwerk, a complete work of art in itself.
“Through these independent wholes, the exhibition opens up perspectives on Pullinen's work and illustrates their internal connections and meanings. Through small scale models and drawings, the exhibition provides background information on work processes and materials used by the sculptor. In addition, the viewer is given the opportunity to make connections and see Pullinen's ideas move from large stone and bronze sculptures to large-scale, figurative drawings that Pullinen is less known for”, Ramsay says.
The exhibition has been curated by Jean Ramsay, Laila Pullinen’s son, the chairman of the board of the Laila Pullinen Foundation, and director of the Nissbacka Manor Sculpture Park. Since 2018, he has been working on a biographical work about Laila Pullinen with the aid of a grant from the Kone Foundation.
"The exhibition benefits from the insights and connections made by Ramsay during his rigorous research process," says Anna Hjorth-Röntynen, the Director of the Museum.
An exhibition publication, containing Ramsay's essay presenting the themes of the exhibition and previously unpublished photographs will be published in connection with this major exhibition.
Laila Pullinen – A Sculptor in Vantaa
Vantaa Art Museum Artsi, Myyrmäkitalo, Paalutori 3, 01600 Vantaa, Finland
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