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Collection highlights

Press Materials 2016

November 25, 2016-March 12, 2017, Kumu Art Museum 
The dream-like atmosphere of the works by this Belgian surrealist, who had a significant impact on 20th-century art, combines deeply personal motifs with quotations from art history. The exhibition is a cooperative project with the Musée d’Ixelles.

November 18, 2016 - August 27, 2017, Kumu Art Museum 
From the first song festival through the Singing Revolution and beyond, music has played a fundamental role in Estonian history, culture and identity. But if every bird has its own song, as the Estonian saying goes, what of the artist? What is the role of the painter in a society of “singing people”? This exhibition explores such questions, revealing how music and sound –from the ancient strumming of Vanemuine’s golden kannel and chants of regilaulud to the modern clatter of cafés and the abstraction of the Jazz Age – have transformed modern visual culture in Estonia.

Exhibition curator: Bart Pushaw

October 21, 2016 - February 11, 2017, Kumu Art Museum 
Vladimir Tarasov is a Russian musician and sound artist who lives in Lithuania. His works are experiments with sound in jazz, as well as art. A number of his best known installations are on display, including “Water Music”.

September 17, 2016 - February 19, 2017, Kumu Art Museum :
Between the Archive and Architecture is a display of works by Neeme Külm, Krista Mölder and Taavi Talve. All three artists focus on space, on the various ways of experiencing it and the possibilities of approaching it. In this context, space can be a particular architectural environment or an unfathomable “non-place” which usually remains outside the focal point of attention. Space can unravel for the viewer along the time axis, or it can stretch out geographically; it may be fiction or reality. The reference to archives and architecture reflects the actual venue of the display: the Kumu Art Museum with its institutional profile, functioning mechanisms and spatial logic.

Exhibition curator: Kati Ilves

September 16, 2016 - March 11, 2017, Kumu Art Museum 
The early series by Raul Rajangu “Soviet Midnight” (1981–1982) borrows motifs from Soviet state albums, brochures of advertisements and family photos. Mixing Lenin, the Soviet tradition of decorating fir-trees for New Year’s Eve and the Volga (a Soviet make of car), the artist studies the innumerable paradoxes of the latter period of Soviet life.

Kumu Art Museum, 4th floor, A-wing

Conflicts and Adaptations represents one possible approach to the Estonian art of the second half of the 20th century. Despite the rather clear-cut political framework, Soviet Estonian art is made up of various, often diametrically opposed trends and phenomena. The culture of the era was shaped by conflicts with and adaptations to the new political order established after World War II, as well as changes that took place in Soviet society.

The exhibition follows the relationship between art/artists and the surrounding environment: at times intense and painful, and at other times more peaceful, from attempting to rise above the environment to establishing contact with it. The new permanent display certainly does not cover everything that happened in Estonian art during half a century, but it attempts to show as many sides of it as possible. Each exhibition hall can be viewed as both a separate display and as part of a bigger (although inevitably incomplete) whole.

In order to recall, introduce and explicate the Soviet era and its peculiarities, an archival passageway runs through the whole exposition, with photos, films and texts hopefully facilitating a better understanding of the art and culture of the time. In addition, some works created in the 1990s and 2000s which look back on the Soviet era have been displayed at the beginning and at the end of the exposition. They prove that there are multiple ways of remembering history and art history, and that our understanding of the past is always shaped by our current point of view.

Curator: Anu Allas
Exhibition team: Maarin Ektermann, Liisa Kaljula, Eha Komissarov and Elnara Taidre
Exhibition designers: Raul Kalvo, Helen Oja and Tõnis Saadoja
Graphic designer: Tuuli Aule

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