The northern side of the Kiasma building
|Former name||Museum of Contemporary Art (Finnish: Nykytaiteen museo)|
|Established||1990 (Museum of Contemporary Art)|
1998 (opening of Kiasma building)
|Owner||Finnish National Gallery|
Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located on Mannerheimintie in Helsinki, Finland. Its name kiasma, Finnish for chiasma, alludes to the basic conceptual idea of its architect, Steven Holl. Kiasma is part of the Finnish National Gallery, and it is responsible for the gallery's contemporary art collection. Its central goal is to showcase contemporary art and to strengthen its status.
An architectural design competition to design a building for the contemporary arts museum was held in 1992. The competition was open to architects from the Nordic and Baltic countries, in addition to which four architects or studios from elsewhere were invited to participate, though they were obliged to submit their proposals anonymously: Steven Holl from the US, Alvaro Siza from Portugal, Coop Himmelblau from Austria, and Kazuo Shinohara from Japan. The competition results were announced in 1993, and the winning proposal, titled Chiasma by Steven Holl, was selected from the 516 submitted entries. The design of the building, Finnishized as "Kiasma", underwent slight modification during the design process, but nevertheless was regarded as controversial; for instance its close proximity to the equestrian statue of Finnish President Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. Construction work began in 1996, and the museum opened in May 1998.
The museum attracted 160,000–180,000 visitors per year in 2011–2013.
The collections include works by around 8,000 artists, including Ahonen, Reetta, Aiha, Martti, Aken, Jan van Andersson, Anders Gustaf, Antonio Rotta, Baron, Bernard, Baumgartner, Stig, Cornelis Bega, Nicolas Berchem, Honoré Daumier, Karel Dujardin, Nunzio Gulino, Torger Enckell, Aarne Jämsä, Ismo Kajander, Raimo Kanerva, and Risto Laakkonen.