The UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation was founded in 2006. At that time UPM donated nearly 700 works of art into the care of the foundation. The task of the foundation is to raise awareness of the culturally and art historically valuable works in its possession, and to preserve the cultural heritage associated with the Finnish forest industry.
The collection is governed and expanded in order to provide people and the society with information, joy and experiences. This year the foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary with the exhibition Fascination with Collecting Art and Networks in Art. It was opened on 23 March at Villa Gyllenberg on the small island of Kuusisaari in Helsinki.
The collection of UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation has been built fragmentarily through the decades as art-loving executives have made new investments or corporate acquisitions have brought
new art into the house. The collection is not coherent in a traditional manner but it is the social networks behind the works of art that is of particular interest to Dr Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Executive Director of the Foundation and curator of the anniversary exhibition.
The name of the 10th anniversary exhibition, Fascination with Collecting Art and Networks in Art, refers to two things: on one hand the fascination in collecting art, and on the other hand the interesting social networks between the artists, the art mecenates and the art world in general.
“The exhibition gives new information and brings forward a new point of view to our collection. We are displaying the favourite works of our executives, some historically significant works and works related to the history of the forest industry. Also, I handpicked the crème de la crème from the Augsburg Collection for the exhibition,” Wiljanen says.
The exhibition includes 64 works of art from 40 artists: paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs. Chronologically, it extends from the 1700s until the 2000s. The exhibition focuses on contemporary European art from the foundation’s collection in Augsburg represented by A.R. Penck, David Hockney, Markus Lüpertz, Sigmar Polke and Strawalde, among others.
These works of art are combined with Finnish art including Elin Danielson’s Girl with cats in a summer landscape (1892) and a part of Hugo Simberg’s etching series (1899-1900). There are also works by Ahti Lavonen, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Eero Järnefelt, Helene Schjerfbeck, H. Ahtela, and Yngve Bäck.
The exhibition also features a miniature bronze version of Matti Haupt’s sculpture Maiden of the forest. The large version of this sculpture is located downstairs at the Group Head Office of UPM, The Biofore House.
“An art exhibition can be an empowering and motivating experience. It can offer new ideas and lead to new information. The experience can offer holistic harmonisation – both mental and physical wellbeing”.
Main picture: Elin Danielson: Girl and cats in a summer landscape (1892), oil on canvas. UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation Collection. Photo: Matias Uusikylä.