Kiasma’s new collection book is an introduction to contemporary art

How do you follow and collect something that is inherently evolving? What are the different ways we can look at contemporary art and the national art collection? Published in January 2022, The Many Forms of Contemporary Art – The Kiasma Collection Book is an introduction to the multi-faceted world of contemporary art and to the Finnish national art collection. It explores the phenomena of contemporary art, its past transformation, and the specific aspects of collecting it as seen through one of the foremost art collections in northern Europe.

The book approaches the Kiasma Collection and contemporary art from six different perspectives. Museum director Leevi Haapala examines the collection’s journey into becoming an international collection. Curator Satu Oksanen focuses on the materials of contemporary art, some of them ephemeral. Curator Saara Hacklin writes about the social aspects of contemporary art and themes that have engaged artists. Art historian and researcher Kaija Kaitavuori reflects on the role of the participant that has emerged alongside that of the art spectator. Curator Kati Kivinen approaches contemporary art from the perspective of sound and music. Researcher and art historian Riikka Niemelä focuses on the works that open up critical perspectives on the human body and its representation.

Kiasma has played a key role in collecting contemporary art in Finland for more than three decades. The Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in Helsinki in 1990 as part of the State Art Museum, which became the Finnish National Gallery in 2014. The Kiasma Collection is part of Finnish cultural heritage, a record of national and international art that reflects the present, with a focus on nearby regions. The collection includes 8,500 works by nearly 1,000 artists, with 60–100 new works added each year.

The Kiasma Collection Book is richly illustrated with images of artworks as well as installation views. Infographics showcase the focal points of the collection, the distribution of acquisitions over the decades, and how acquisition budgets have been deployed. The first ever overview of the Kiasma Collection, the book is published in both Finnish and English.

The writers are Museum Director Leevi Haapala (Kiasma), Curator Satu Oksanen (Kiasma), Curator Saara Hacklin (Kiasma), Researcher and Art Historian Kaija Kaitavuori, Chief Curator Kati Kivinen (Kiasma) and Researcher and Art Historian Riikka Niemelä. The layout and infographics are designed by graphic designer Timo Vartiainen (Kiasma). Images are coordinated by photographer Pirje Mykkänen (Kiasma). The book is edited by Saara Hacklin, Kati Kivinen and Satu Oksanen.

More info:
Chief Curator Kati Kivinen (Collections), +358 294 500 540

Communications officer Reetta Haarajoki, +358 50 4786 861

Press photos

Available in the Finnish National Gallery online store