Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation to support IHME Helsinki in 2023–25

Abakanowiczin piirustuksia Arboreal Architecture hanketta varten. Kuvat: Artur Starewicz / East News.

Pro Arte Foundation Finland is pleased to announce that the Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation is to be IHME Helsinki’s culminating major funder for 2023–25. The two funders previously announced for this period are Kone Foundation and the Saastamoinen Foundation, both based in Finland. The Abakanowicz Foundation honours the legacy of the renowned Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930–2017). Over a 60-year career, she created powerful sculptures and public works rooted in the collective trauma of World War II and in a broader concern for the state of humankind and nature.

The Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation supports projects that are about Magdalena Abakanowicz’s art or that also extend her ideas and interests into the future. In naming IHME as a beneficiary, the Foundation’s Artistic Director Mary Jane Jacob said:

“We are very impressed with IHME Helsinki’s ambitious cooperation with artists and communities on environmental issues. In 1990 Magdalena Abakanowicz began on a project called Arboreal Architecture. Ultimately unrealized, her commitment to ecological sustainability remained a passion for the remainder of her life. Thus, we are honoured to support IHME’s efforts and the work of artists who are committed today to the planet.”

Marja Ramm-Schmidt, Chair of the Board of Pro Arte Foundation Finland, believes this support from a foundation based outside of Finland will amplify IHME’s international role:

“The news of a sponsor abroad marks a really significant opening for us in the international arena. We have collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists and major foreign art institutions since starting our work, and it is wonderful that our financial collaboration is now international, too.”

Executive Director, curator Paula Toppila welcomes the decision:

“This recognition means a lot to us. We are proud that IHME’s pioneering role in ecological sustainability has been noted beyond Finland’s borders. This gift is a major recognition of IHME’s shift to a more ecologically sustainable art-institutional practice and to promoting ecosocial learning through art. It gives us a good starting point for continuing our diverse international cooperation and for producing socially relevant art at a time when it is essential that we continue working resolutely for a more ecologically sustainable future. IHME Helsinki recognizes the importance of life-sustaining systems and makes them visible through art: when we take care of our environment, we take care of ourselves and the lives of future generations, in Finland and around the world, in the places to which our carbon footprint extends.”

A retrospective exhibition of Abakanowicz’s work will be shown at Tate Modern, London, from November 17, 2022 to May 21, 2023, before going on to the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway.

Our work is made possible in 2020–22 by the support of our founding body Pro Arte Foundation Finland, along with Kone Foundation and the Saastamoinen Foundation.