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Colour Colour! Toward a Clean Palette

Colour, colour! The Toward a Clean Palette exhibition tells about the varied interest in a new kind of use of colours in Finnish art at the start of the 20th century. The exhibition has works of the Finnish Septem artists’ group, as well as those of other key artists of the same period.

The many changes that took place frequently In European painting in the early 20th century were very influential, and interest was shown also in Finland in the new kind of colour expression and colour-related thinking. This culminated in painting in an interest in the colours of a so-called clean palette and to some extent in the first exhibitions of the Septem group starting in 1912.

Painting in the first decades of the 20th century was nevertheless diverse with a variety of expression. Although there was interest in the new colour theories and in the use of a brighter colour palette, there were other forms of expression as well. Some of the artists boldly tested using colours in a different way, and their art showed new types of goals, but at the same time, respect for the traditions of the art of painting remained central to them. The colour palette of the November Group was closer to some of the artists. The exhibition offers one kind of an overview of a diverse use of colours in Finnish art in the early 20th century.

The exhibition includes works by Magnus Enckell,, A.W. Finch, Pekka Halonen, Väinö Hämäläinen, Per Åke Laurén, William Lönnberg, Juho Mäkelä, Mikko Oinonen, Yrjö Ollila, Jalmari Ruokokoski, Tyko Sallinen, Sigrid Schauman, Ellen Thesleff, Verner Thomé and many other artists who worked in the first half of the 20th century. The works are part of the Tatjana and Pentti Wähäjärvi collection at the Riihimäki Art Museum.