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Female Figures – The Kultaranta Sculpture Exhibition

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The Summer Residence of the President of Finland, Kultaranta, Naantali, Finland, 13 June – 2 September 2018

The theme of the summer exhibition of 2018 at Kultaranta is the female figure, the perhaps most traditional of all subjects in sculpture. A figurine in mammoth ivory representing a female torso discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Southwest Germany is presently regarded as the oldest known sculpture representing a human being. It is assumed to have been a pendant symbolising fertility and is estimated to be at least 35,000 years old. In Finnish art, the history of female figures does not extend this far back in time. The oldest known human figure, a clay icon from Jokiniemi in Vantaa, is estimated to be at least 5,000 years old, but it is only in the later prehistoric rock paintings at Astuvansalmi that a few depicted figures can be identified as women and men. C. E. Sjöstrand (1828–1906), however, is considered as the the actual founding figure of Finnish Sculpture.
The exhibition features Finnish work of sculpture depicting women from first decades of the 20th century to the present day. The works portray girls, young maidens and grown women alike. They illustrate the different perspectives from which these subjects have been approached over the decades. The exhibits include sculpture portraits and works depicting women and children, mythological being from the Kalevala epic and other characters of fantasy. The artists of the exhibition are Eemil Halonen, Veikko Haukkavaara, Kerttu Horila, Viktor Jansson, Anne Koskinen, Sisko Petäjä, Essi Renvall, Arvo Siikamäki, Kim Simonsson, Heikki Varja and Emil Wikström. The exhibition is organised by the Alfred Kordelin Foundation in association with the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland. The curator of the exhibition is Tapani Pennanen MA.
The Kultaranta residence was commissioned by Alfred Kordelin (1868–1917), one of the most significant Finnish-speakin businessmen of the early 20th century. Since 1920, the foundation bearing his name has continuously supported Finnish culture by awarding grants and prizes.
Further information in Finnish