Red Birds on Green Tree

Works from the Sara Hildén Foundation’s International Collection

The exhibition The Red Birds of the Green Tree – Works from the Sara Hildén Foundation International Collection presents key artists and works from the Foundation’s foreign collection from the early 20th century to the present day: paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints.

The Sara Hildén Foundation’s collection of foreign art includes a number of internationally important works, the earliest dating from the early 20th century and the latest from 2023, and includes classics such as Fernand Léger‘s painting Colourful Flower (1937), Henry Moore‘s sculpture Reclining Mother and Child (1960-1961) and Francis Bacon‘s painting Two Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1968). There are also more recent works such as Kiki Smith‘s drawing Red Birds of the Green Tree (2006) and Thomas Houseago‘s aluminium sculpture Demon Dream I (2023). Some of the more recent works in the collection are being shown for the first time in the exhibition.

The collection offers an interesting overview of contemporary international art from all periods. A comprehensive selection of modern classics is on display, including Pierre Bonnard, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Alberto Giacometti, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Germaine Richier, Yves Tanguy and many others. Expressive and geometric abstract art from the 1950s and 1960s by artists such as Josef Albers, Lucio Fontana, Serge Poliakoff, Alberto Magnelli, Pierre Soulages, Antoni Tàpies, Victor Vasarely, Zao Wou-Ki and others. Art of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Pop Art and Photorealism, including Francis Bacon, Claudio Bravo, Chuck Close, Edward Kienholz, Robert Rauchenberg, Arman. Art from the 1980s and 1990s includes Enzo Cucchi, Mario Merz, A.R. Penck, Sean Scully, Frank Stella, Claude Viallat, etc. Art from the 21st century includes Berlinde De Bruyckere, Marcel Dzama, Andreas Eriksson, Ellen Gallagher, Thomas Houseago, Robert Longo, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Wilhelm Sasnal, Kiki Smith, Erwin Wurm, etc.

The Sara Hildén Foundation’s art collection began in 1962, when Sara Hildén donated works she owned to the foundation that bears her name. Since the foundation’s inception, international fine art has been one of the main focuses of the collection. Today, the Sara Hildén Foundation’s collection of foreign art comprises more than 500 works by almost 230 artists.

The Sara Hildén Art Museum is the permanent home of the Sara Hildén Foundation’s collection. The collection is a living entity that is updated annually with new and important works of art of current interest. Today it is one of the largest and most important collections of modern and contemporary art in Finland.

An ink drawing made on several sheets of cobweb paper, superimposed on each other. The subject is a naked woman's body, with skin resembling the bark of a tree and green leaves growing on it. Above the woman are five red birds.
Jussi Koivunen.

Kiki Smith, Red Birds on Green Tree, 2006. Ink and silver leaf on cobweb paper. Sara Hildénin Foundation.