30 March 2016


Soviet Art Exhibition from the Arfyev Collection


In the west part of Helsinki there is one of few places in the world assembling culture, art, customs and nature. This place is the Didrichsen Museum, designed by the architect Viljo Revell completed in 1957.  

The Didrichsen is located on Kuusisaari island, easily reachable by bus in  30 minutes from Helsinki.

Vladimir Myagkov - Weavers © Andrea Lombardini

Vladimir Myagkov – Weavers © Andrea Lombardini

I said customs, because the museum is inside a private home by the seaside, and effectively shows a little of Finnish way of living. This building, originally was home of Marie-Loise and Gunnar Didrichsen and their four children.  In fact, parts of the original house are still there, like the lounge and library.

Weve visited the museum during the Soviet Art exhibition from the collection of the Moscow collector Mikhail Arefyev.  Most of the paintings have as theme the socialist realism from the 1960s and 1970s, while few others from the avant-garde period, as well Late and Post-Soviet works.

The paintings depict completely the change in socialist realism during the post Stalin period. If first the artworks had a ideological and propagandist intent, during the ‘60sand ‘70s, painters such as Vjatseslav Zemerikin, wanted to represent something more compassionate, real and everyday life.  The techniques of the artworks are inspired by the Mexican Muralism and the plein air painting.

All the paints gave me a sense of relaxation, without falling into laziness.  Probably because most of the paintings represent strong characters, resting from their job or still looking happy or satisfied about what they are doing.

My favorite paintings of the Soviet Art exhibition were standing on the same place that I found my favorite in the previous Munch exhibition.

Mihail Arefjevin yksityiskokoelma

Mihail Arefjevin yksityiskokoelma

Some artworks truly express the feelings of the people, and makes the visitors personify in one of the characters,  as in the paint of Sergey Yakobchukallocation of work in Kolkhoze in the 1960s.

A really beautiful paint belongs to Vyacheslav Zhemerikin On the way to the forest clearing worksite, in which are represented women in jeans ready to start their work, who transmit a sense of new strength of the woman.

It was really curious to find a painting of Sergey Yakobchuk, showing two woman from the Sami’s people.

Sergey Yakobchuk - Sami women  © Andrea Lombardini

Sergey Yakobchuk – Sami women © Andrea Lombardini


The patron of this exhibition is the president Tarja Halonen while Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union, honored the exhibition with a personal message, enhancing the value of art for a better friendship and connection between nations.

The thing I love most of this place, which is pretty rare too, is that you can benefit of the fascinating surroundings, even if the museum is closed. In fact, the Didrichsen Art Museum is enriched by a unique public sculpture park, which is open free of charge 24/7.

Dont miss sitting on the small dock admiring the beautiful landscape by the sea. Especially after the exhibition, it is something that really recharges your body and rests your mind

For more infos visit : Didrichsen Museum

                                     Arfyev Collection