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Fortunate Coincidences – Lars Göran Johansson Collection

Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland, 15 September 2023 – 7 January 2024

Doctor of medicine and surgery Lars Göran Johnsson (b. 1930) fell in love with art as a child, and has been collecting art for decades. He has acquired hundreds of works, resulting in one of Finland’s most significant private collections. In 2016, Johnsson donated his collection of about 500 artworks to Turku Art Museum. The collection mainly consists of Finnish contemporary art but also includes some older works. He also acquired some international art during the years he spent abroad in the United States and France. What makes the collection so exceptional is that it continues to grow, now comprising over 700 works.
The word “serendipity” is primarily used in science but also has some relevance in other areas of life. When it comes to collecting art, the concept is very significant for Lars Göran Johnsson. It refers to the ability to make fortuitous, unexpected discoveries within a field where the discoverer has extensive knowledge. Regarding his acquisition criteria, Johnsson has stated, “The artwork must have something I’ve never seen before. Sometimes, a strong emotional reaction arises before reason has anything to say.” Art is all about love and passion for Johnsson. The driving force is a strong longing for beauty and a desire to learn something new every day. Gallery visits, conversations with artists and professionals in the art industry are an integral part of his everyday life, alongside these fortunate coincidences.
The artworks and themes were selected by carefully listening to the collector. The exhibition consists of artworks by Finnish contemporary artists, such as Paavo Halonen, Emma Helle, Tapani Kokko, Anne Koskinen, Teemu Mäenpää, Jussi Niva, Silja Rantanen, Raisa Raekallio & Misha del Val and Jyrki Riekki. Among the collection’s international acquisitions, there are works by Ivan Andersen, Jacob Dahlgren, Jens Fänge, Grey Grawford, Leonhard Lapin, Love Lundell and Olle Norås. The modernists Ole Kandelin, Vilho Lampi and Edgard Pillet bring some historical depth to the exhibition.
The exhibition producer is curator Mia Haltia. Lars Göran Johnsson’s extensive collection has previously been exhibited in Turku Art Museum in 2020, and some works are currently on display as part of the museum’s collection exhibition Handle with Care.

Further information: Turku Art Museum