Finnish artist Jani Leinonen received unexpected worldwide attention earlier this year as his sculpture, depicting a crucified McDonald sparked violent protests outside the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel on January 14th.
The sculpture, called “McJesus,” was included in an exhibition called Sacred Goods, that was meant to be a critique of society’s capitalistic culture. The sculpture had been up already since August 2018 and shown in other countries without any incidents. Violent clashes broke out between Christian protesters and the police, after a molotov cocktail was thrown at the museum and the protesters tried to storm their way in to remove the work.
The Sacred Goods exhibition, which focuses on contemporary artists’ responses to issues of religion and faith in consumer society, also featured other provocative works depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary as Ken and Barbie dolls.
The Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev demanded censorship of the sculpture and threatened to cut state funds for the museum, however the Israel’s justice ministry argued she has no such authority.
The museum told the Times of Israel that it condemned the violence that broke out in protest of the sculpture.
“A discourse about art, however complex it may be, must not spill over into violent territory and must be respected — even in charged situations,” the museum’s director Nissim Tal said.
Eventually, the Haifa Museum was forced to remove the sculpture before the end of the exhibition, whereas no other works considered provocative were removed.
This February Finnish artist Jani Leinonen turns the over 500 year old barn Stalla Madulain in Switzerland, into a breath-taking chapel of light and offers the viewers almost a transcendental experience.
The art pilgrims of the world have a new destination in Switzerland as Jani Leinonen’s Chapel of Remorse plugs into the same pious energies of art sanctums such as Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin in Blanton Museum, Olafur Eliasson’s Rainbow Panorama in Aarhus and Rothko Chapel in Houston.
Leinonen has harnessed the barn’s old features, the arched windows, the cathedral-like hight, and in collaboration with the worlds best glass blowers in Munich, converts the space into a dramatic yet serene spectacle of light. Given the stained glass technique’s association with religion Leinonen’s chapel does convey a sense of divinity, but the space feels no more like a house of god than it does a place of worship to the sun, nature or humanity.
The exhibition will run through 16th February –16th March 2019.
Stalla Madulain is a three-storey barn from 1488. The two cousins Gian Tumasch Appenzeller and ChasperSchmidlin, both rooted in the Engadine, discovered the building and restored it slightly. In the very original rooms, which they remained cold without heaters, they have been showing art since 2014 by artists from the region of Graubünden or those who have been inspired by the Stalla and the Engadine.
Jani Leinonen’s beggar sign installation Anything Helps is included in the exhibition Far From Home – the last exhibition in a trilogy based on the ARoS museum’s collection.
The trilogy is intended to present alternative ideas as to how a museum can showcase and talk about relevant themes from our times through text, format, orchestration, and juxtaposition of works. The first exhibition, Out of the Darkness, 2014, thematised the structure and power of the great narratives, addressing the global challenges facing humanity. The second exhibition, No Man is an Island – The Satanic Verses, 2016, used the forceful political, economic, and cultural changes which Europe underwent at the time as a backdrop. Whereas the first exhibition was structured around a global perspective, the next had a specific geographical focus. Far From Home moves in with you – to the core of people’s mental sphere. From the global world to the individual’s experience of feeling at home in this world.
The closing date for Far From Home has not yet been decided.
The exhibition is inspired from an idea by Erlend G. Høyersten and is curated in collaboration with Erik Nørager Pedersen and Jakob Vengberg Sevel, both curators at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
Zetterberg Gallery is pleased to announce that Aurora Reinhard is one of the five nominees for the Ars Fennica Award 2019, an award granted by the Henna and Pertti Niemistö Art Foundation (est. 1990).
The award is presented to a visual artist in recognition of distinctive artistic work of high merit and includes a monetary prize of 40,000 euros.
The candidates will have a group exhibition at Amos Rex, Helsinki from June 19–Sept 8, 2019 and the winner will be announced in September 2019.
The nominees have been selected by the Award Panel, comprising chair Leena Niemistö, MD, and members; Jussi Kivi, visual artist, Kai Kartio, director of Amos Rex, and Leevi Haapala, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. The winner will be selected by an international art expert appointed by the Panel. During the exhibition visitors can vote for their favourite artist.
The other candidates are: Petri Ala-Maunus (FI), Miriam Bäckström (SE), Ragnar Kjartansson (IS) and Egill Sæbjörnsson (IS).
Jani Leinonen is represented in the exhibition Upside Down at Kuopio Art Museum, presenting contemporary art from the Saastamoinen Foundation’s Collection dating from 2010 onwards.
The soon 50 years old Saastamoinen Foundation’s art collection has grown from a home collection of the Saastamoinen industrial family to one of Finland’s most important art collections with more than 2,600 works from both Finnish and international artists.
Upside Down is curated by the chairman of the Saastamoinen Foundation Arts Committee Päivi Karttunen and visual artist Anna Tuori. The exhibition has been implemented in cooperation with EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art and is open from September 21 until February 3, 2019.
Jani Leinonen is taking part in the exhibition The Comedy of Being – Art and Humour from Antiquity until Today at Kunsthaus Zug, Switzerland running through September 23, 2018 to January 6, 2019.
The Kunsthaus Zug is giving its visitors seven-league boots and sending them off through the history of humour in art. An in-house working group has spent the last six years collaborating with students and scholars to research the relationship between art and humour, going back to Ancient Greece, taking a detour through the Middle Ages to the Reformation, and on to the wealth of material on the topic composed in the last century up to the present day.
The Comedy of Being brings together over 300 works – loans from collections in Switzerland and Europe as well as the museum’s own holdings.
Aurora Reinhard’s solo exhibition High Rider continues from Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen to Salon Dahlmann, Berlin in a amplified version. In addition to the new works exhibited at Kunstverein Ruhr, the show will also be presenting works from the Miettinen Collection including Reinhard’s renowned Flowers-work.
The exhibition open from September 22–December 15, 2018.
Aurora Reinhard’s solo exhibition High Rider opens today, May 27th at Kunstverein Ruhr in Essen, Germany.
Reinhard has developed a number of new works for her Essen exhibition and has sought inspiration in pictures based on Western imagery. The exhibition runs through May 27–September 2, 2018 and is realized in collaboration with The Finnish Institute in Germany.
We are pleased to announce that Zetterberg Gallery will be opening its new gallery space at one of the prime locations in Helsinki.
The new premises will open at Ludviginkatu 3 – 5 A, where Zetterberg Gallery will present 4 – 6 exhibitions a year.
In addition to the downtown gallery, Zetterberg also runs a non-public space by appointment only.
The exhibition programme and inauguration of the downtown gallery starts with Jani Leinonen’s solo exhibition Do you want the truth or something beautiful? presenting a new work series by the artist for the first time in 2 years. The exhibition opens on March 9th 2018.
Jani Leinonen’s widely recognized beggar sign installation Anything Helps 2009 – 2015, consisting of 42 genuine beggar signs, has been acquired by Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark as part of their permanent collection. The work is included in the exhibition No Man Is an Island – The Satanic Verses, that started in September 2016 and is on display at ARoS until October 28th 2018.
Leinonen’s Anything Helps- installation has earlier been shown at the Finnish National Gallery Kiasma in 2015, and at the Venice Biennale, Nordic Pavilion in 2009 in a smaller setup curated by Elmgreen & Dragset.
ARoS is one of the largest art museums in Northern Europe, with a total of 20,700 square metres distributed on ten storeys. Each year, ARoS has about one million visitors, making it the most visited art museum in Scandinavia.