In this exhibition, international contemporary artists will offer takes on some of the most famous and beloved works of European art. The starting point is the emergence of Europe’s most famous art museums in the 19th century, for example, in London, Paris, Berlin, Munich and Dresden. How have the museums and their choices contributed to works of art from previous centuries, such as the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Sistine Madonna at the Old Masters Gallery in Dresden, or The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum, reaching an iconic status?
The exhibition raises questions about museum architecture, taste in art, collecting, and presenting art in museums. The iconic works are included in the exhibition, for example, in the form of sketches, replicas, archive materials and plaster casts.
Works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt and other masters continue to inspire contemporary artists to this day: many of the works in Iconic Works will be completed specifically for the exhibition. The featured artists include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Mark Karasick, Ola Kolehmainen, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Koen Vanmechelen, Wolfe von Lenckiewicz, Heikki Marila, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Gavin Turk.
The exhibition will be curated by the museum director Susanna Pettersson and the London-based art historian James Putnam.
The exhibition will first be on show at Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, February – May 2020, and continue straight to Ateneum, Helsinki for June – September 2020.