Sara Hildén Art Museum’s spring exhibition of key artists from the Foundation’s international collection

The exhibition The Red Birds of the Green Tree - Works from the Sara Hildén Foundation Collection, which opens on 17 February 2024, presents key artists and works from the Foundation's foreign collection from the early 20th century to the present day: paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints.

The international collection of the Sara Hildén Foundation 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.

”Among the first works in the Foundation’s international art collection is the painting Sommitelma (1961) by French artist Serge Poliakoff, while the most recent is the aluminium sculpture Demon Dream I by American artist Thomas Houseago, completed last June. Both will be on display in the spring exhibition,” says Maria Laine, head of collection.

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

”Thanks to the international collection, the museum has the opportunity to explore the most important art movements of the 20th century, and new acquisitions give Tampere the chance to see some of the top names in international contemporary art,” says Anna Hjorth-Röntynen, the museum’s director.

The collection offers an interesting overview of current international art from each period. The exhibition includes an extensive selection of modernist classics, including Pierre Bonnard, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Alberto Giacometti, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Germaine Richier and Yves Tanguy. Expressive and geometric abstract art from the 1950s and 1960s by artists such as Josef Albers, Jean Dubuffet, 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 Art Museum is the permanent home of the Sara Hildén Foundation Collection. The collection is a living entity, which is updated every year with new important and contemporary works of art. Today it is one of the largest and most important collections of modern and contemporary art in Finland.

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