Harry Kivijärvi (1931–2010) is remembered as one of the most important sculptors of his generation, whose modernist themes that he carved into stone formed part of the international success of Finnish sculpture in the 1960–70ies. Time of Stone, in parallel with Kivijärvi’s works, shows international modernism of the artist’s own time as well as contemporary stone sculpturing.
Six contemporary artists bring forth those unlimited contents and forms that stone can take in skilful hands. The artists are Maria Duncker, Timo Hannunen, Aaron Heino, Anne Koskinen, Laura Könönen and Ville Mäkikoskela.
When we talk about stone, a time span of hundreds or even thousands of years feels like nothing at all. The oldest materials of the exhibition Time of Stone, granite, gabbro and diorite, can be 1 800–1 900 million years old. The exhibition tells the common history of mankind and stone which starts much later. The oldest stone object shown at the exhibition was made in Egypt more than 2 000 years ago and the newest ones in 21st century Finland.
“Under the stone’s surface, there’s also the beauty it hides within itself. This beauty people already learned to reveal thousands of years ago”, Harry Kivijärvi has said. He felt a great interest in the ancient art of stone sculpture and found his own expression in modernism. Kivijärvi represented Finland at many international exhibitions, for example at the Venice Biennale in 1966 and 1972.
The art collection of Harry Kivijärvi around which he established a foundation was donated to the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation in 2011. The collection has been complemented by acquiring the Egyptian objects collected by the artist, as well as early works by him. These are now shown for the first time at the Serlachius Museums.