Tove Jansson (1914-2001)
25 October 2017 – 28 January 2018
A unique insight into the painting, satire and graphic art of the creator of the Moomins.
Best known as the creator of the globally popular cartoon the Moomins, Finnish artist Tove Jansson was also a respected and accomplished painter in her home country. Spanning seascapes, satirical sketches and vast frescoes, her artistic purview was as broad in subject matter as it was in style.
Rarely seen outside of Finland, the work included in this capsule exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery examines the breadth of her practice. Arranged thematically, the exhibition looks at her surrealist paintings of the 1930s and the abstract works of the 60s, as well as her anti-war cartoons.
The inclusion of sketches Jansson began creating for the popular satirical magazine Garm when she was just 15 repositions her work as defiant and staunchly anti-war. These sketches also reveal the first resemblance of Moomintroll, who would later become the protagonist of Jansson's most famous work, created with the assistance of her partner, the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä.
This exhibition follows a similar model to previous exhibitions at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, much like Quentin Blake, looking at lesser-known artistic output by well-known illustrators.
Read Helen Sumpter’s feature on Tove Jansson in the autumn issue of Art Quarterly.