The Kuntsi Art Collection

The Kuntsi Art Collection

David Hockney's Artwork "Gregor in the Pool" (1978)
David Hockney: Gregor uima-altaassa (1978)
Leena Luostarinen's painting "Night leopard"
Leena Luostarinen: Yöleopardi (1981)

Pop art, kinetic art, informalism, surrealism, neo-expressionism, postmodernism. The art collection of the Kuntsi Foundation is a cross section of 20th- century art history, from international modernists to the Finnish artists of today. The collection consisting of more than 700 works includes paintings, drawings, graphics, sculptures, collages and photographs. The collection naturally reflects the preferences of art collector Simo Kuntsi (1913–1984). Later on, too, the foundation has striven to preserve the ethos of the collection’s creator.

The collection of Finnish contemporary art is the largest and the most important part of all Simo Kuntsi’s collections.  He purchased the first works of Finnish contemporary art in 1964 from a private exhibition by Kauko Lehtinen. In fact, Kuntsi kept buying Lehtinen’s production regularly during the 1960s and 1970s. This resulted in an ensemble of 40 works by Lehtinen, the largest collection of works by a single artist in Kuntsi’s possession. Other artists represented in the collection are Kimmo Kaivanto, Göran Augustson, Kuutti Lavonen, Pentti Lumikangas, Esa Riippa and Johanna Koistinen.

Since Simo Kuntsi became first interested in traditional Finnish art, the collection includes also works from the early 1900s. Artists of the older generation worth mentioning are Tuomas von Boehm, Ina Colliander, Ragnar Ekelund and Pekka Halonen as well as the Ostrobothnian artists Nandor Mikola, Eero Nelimarkka, Eemu Myntti and Einari Uusikylä.

International art, especially paintings and graphics, is well represented in the Kuntsi art collection. As early as the 1950s, Kuntsi was very interested in modern art he saw in Paris. In addition to French art, Kuntsi acquired works from Western Germany, in particular, but also from artists working elsewhere in Europe and America. Artists represented in the collection include Roland Oudot, André Brasilier, David Hockney, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Antonio Tápies and Fernando Botero.