Moomins are loved the world over. And what’s not to be fond of? But what many don’t realise is that the creator of these round, friendly, hippo-like creatures had many other tricks up her sleeve.
Tove Jansson was both an illustrator and a painter, and this retrospective at the Dulwich Picture Gallery pays homage to the artist’s extraordinary breadth and talent. The exhibition features many of her surrealist, abstract and landscape paintings, as well as still-life and self-portraits, many of which have never been since outside of Jansson’s native Finland. Her illustrations are equally as stunning. At the age of just 15, Jansson was producing political satire caricatures for Garm magazine, with her anti-war, anti-fascist sentiments inspiring many to take action through art.
Of course there will be Moomins here, but they don’t steal the show.