Adrien Holy: Ravintolassa, 1939 © HAM / Kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Air de Paris

Air de Paris is like a promenade in the footsteps of gallerist Leonard Bäcksbacka (1892–1963) in Paris. Today a significant part of the art collection he created belongs to the Leonard and Katarina Bäcksbacka Collection at HAM. Bäcksbacka founded the Taidesalonki gallery in Helsinki in 1915, which remains in operation to this day. The gallery provided him with a ringside seat to the art world in Helsinki and the rest of Europe.

Paris signified for Bäcksbacka a lifestyle filled with modern parties and jazz. There he came to know many artist whose paintings he later presented in his gallery.

When you emerge from the metro, turn right: you will find yourself in 1930s Paris.

The exhibition is curated by art historian Laura Gutman.

Adrien Holy: In a Restaurant, 1939 © HAM / Photo: Yehia Eweis
Get started Exhibition at hamhelsinki.fi
Adrien Holy: Ravintolassa, 1939 © HAM / Kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Air de Paris

Air de Paris is like a promenade in the footsteps of gallerist Leonard Bäcksbacka (1892–1963) in Paris. Today a significant part of the art collection he created belongs to the Leonard and Katarina Bäcksbacka Collection at HAM. Bäcksbacka founded the Taidesalonki gallery in Helsinki in 1915, which remains in operation to this day. The gallery provided him with a ringside seat to the art world in Helsinki and the rest of Europe.

Paris signified for Bäcksbacka a lifestyle filled with modern parties and jazz. There he came to know many artist whose paintings he later presented in his gallery.

When you emerge from the metro, turn right: you will find yourself in 1930s Paris.

The exhibition is curated by art historian Laura Gutman.

Adrien Holy: In a Restaurant, 1939 © HAM / Photo: Yehia Eweis
Get started Exhibition at hamhelsinki.fi
2 Torsten Wasastjerna: Luxembourgin puistosta, 1890 © HAM / kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Parks

For Finnish artists, painting Parisian parks was a way to measure themselves against Edelfelt.

3 Yngve Bäck: Ateljeen sisusta, 1938 © HAM / kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Boarding House

Leonard Bäcksbacka always stayed in the same boarding house in Paris.

4 Emilienne Planson Pariisissa © Kansallisgalleria / Kuvataiteen keskusarkisto

Emilienne

Leonard Bäcksbacka corresponded actively with his friends living in France.

5 Maurice Brianchon: Lunta Pariisissa, 1946 © Yksityiskokoelma / Kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Streets

Painters enjoyed the colourful posters in the streets, the rhythm of the city, its speed and sounds.

6 Adrien Holy: Ravintolassa, 1939 © HAM / Kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Cafés

Women could sit down in a café without being frowned upon.

7 Hjalmar Hagelstam: Moumoune peilin ääressä, 1938 © HAM / Kuva: Yehia Eweis

The artist’s studio

Visits to artist studios must have been heady, with a Bohemian atmosphere peculiar to Paris.

8 Unto Kaipainen: Varieteetytöt, 1945 © Vaasan taideyhdistyksen kokoelma / Kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Circus

Leonard Bäcksbacka enjoyed the popular pastimes of music halls and the circus.