Matts Leiderstam
Seen from here
1 Oct 2010 – 16 Jan 2011
Seen from Here in the Turku Art Museum is the first museum exhibition in Finland by the Swedish artist Matts Leiderstam (b. 1956). Leiderstam’s artistic work is a fascinating blend of art practice, art history and art research. His primary interest is in old portraits and landscape paintings and their meanings and possible subtexts. Leiderstam builds a bridge from the past to the present by juxtaposing original works, by painting copies of them and employing knowledge from the conservation of artworks. Leiderstam lives and works in Malmö and Stockholm. He became the first Doctor of Fine Arts in Sweden in 2006.

Seen from Here consists of earlier works made in 1998–2008 as well as Neanderthal Landscape (2008–2010), a new, extensive installation created specifically for the exhibition in the Turku Art Museum. The theme of the installation is the Düsseldorf School and the interrelations between the artists within its circle.

Neanderthal Landscape is divided between four spaces in the Turku Art Museum. It consists of two projections, original sketches by the Swedish artist Gustaf Rydberg (1835–1933) as well as tables, designed by Matts Leiderstam, where he has assembled art books and his own drawings, texts and photographs from the Neanderthal valley. One of the tables in the installation is dedicated to the Finnish artist Alexandra Frosterus-Såltin (1837–1916) and to two portraits painted by her that are today in the collection of the Turku Art Museum.

Two inventions were made in the early 19th century that were crucial to visual art: photography and outdoor painting. Landscape paintings had traditionally been painted in the studio, but now artists moved outdoors to the subject they wanted to paint. The Düsseldorf Academy of Art is generally regarded as the cradle of modern landscape painting, and its was there that Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807–1863) introduced instruction in plein air painting in 1834. The beautiful valley of Neanderthal and the details of its landscapes were inscribed in numerous sketches as well as oil paintings. An entire generation of artists from around Europe, Scandinavia included, gravitated to Düsseldorf to develop their craft and learn outdoor painting. The first Finnish artist to travel to Düsseldorf was Werner Holmberg (1830–1860), and his example was followed by many others. The interest in nature within the Düsseldorf School served as the initial impetus for the development of landscape painting in Scandinavia.

Matts Leiderstam – Seen from Here is a continuation of the exhibition curated by Christoph Benjamin Schulz in Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in spring 2010. The exhibition in the Turku Art Museum is curated by Mia Haltia together with the artist. From Turku the exhibition will go on tour to Vaasa, where it will be presented in the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art from 4 February to 3 April 2011. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication produced by Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (in German and English), and an exhibition guide produced by Turku Art Museum (in Finnish and Swedish) giving background information on the works on exhibit.

Thursday, 30 September 2010, starting at 2pm, Matts Leiderstam will give a talk in English about his artistic practice in the Kuvateatteri of the Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54–60), Turku. Admission is free and the meeting is open to the public.
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019