Publications by Kumu 2013

Out of Sync. Looking Back at the History of Sound Art

2013 Helikunstist vaatega minevikkuEdited by Ragne Nukk and Kati Ilves
Texts by Ragne Nukk, Kati Ilves, Kiwa, Sven Vabar, Teodor Hultberg, Kaur Garshnek and Katrin Parbus
Designed by Kaarel Nõmmik, Priit Pärle and Janar Siniloo
128 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2013

ISBN 978-9949-485-24-6

This book is a companion to the exhibition “Out of Sync. Looking Back at the History of Sound Art” at the Kumu Art Museum (27.09.2013–12.01.2014). “Out of Sync” deals primarily with developments in Estonian sound art from the 1960s to the present day. Before the 1990s, we can speak only of practices related to sound, since the term “sound art” was not widely adopted until the 1990s. The history of Estonian sound art is sporadic in nature and lacks a consistent discourse. However, it can be examined against the general developments in sound art, based on the individual experiments and works that have survived. We can speak of contemporary Estonian sound art from the late 1990s and the beginning of Kiwa’s and Raul Keller’s activities. The book includes six articles: curator texts by Rahne Nukk and Kati Ilves on both the retrospective and contemporary parts of the exhibition; Kiwa’s survey of Soviet sound culture; an article by Teddy Hultberg, a Swedish professor of literature, on Ilmar Laaban’s text/sound poetry; Sven Vabar’s description of the historical background of radio culture through the prism of his childhood reminiscences; and Kaur Garshnek and Katrin Parbus’s article on the experimental spirit of technology.

Lepo Mikko

2013 Lepo MikkoEdited by Anu Liivak
Texts by Anu Liivak, Tamara Luuk and Tiina Ann Kirss
Designed by Tiit Jürna
296 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2013

ISBN 978-9949-485-23-9

The book accompanies the exhibition “Lepo Mikko (1911–1978)” at the Kumu Art Museum (22.11.2013–19.04.2014). Lepo Mikko was a leading figure in post-war modernism in Estonian art. In the works completed at the turn of the 1950s–1960s he captured and conveyed something essentially optimistic, which the whole society experienced with tremendous relief after the torment of the Stalinist terror. When he was studying at the Pallas Art School in the second half of the 1930s, he devoted much more time to form and composition than did his contemporary artists. His later geometric manner largely relied on the experience of Cubism and Constructivism and thus adopted features in the thaw era milieu innovation.

The book accompanying the exhibition is the first publication that deals in depth with Lepo Mikko’s life and activities. The various aspects of the artist’s work are examined: the exhibition curator Anu Liivak writes in detail about Mikko’s work, the art historian Tiina Ann Kirss examines the textual legacy of the painter, and the art historian Tamara Luuk examines Mikko’s role as a teacher.

The Sacred Modernity. Nikolai Kormashov’s Paintings from the 1960

2013 Nikolai KormashovEdited by Kädi Talvoja
Texts by Boris Bernstein and Kädi Talvoja
Designed by Jaanus Samma
224 pp.
In Estonian, Russian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2013

ISBN 978-9949-485-22-2

The book accompanies the exhibition of the same name at Kumu Art Museum (18.10.2013–09.02.2014). The exhibition and this book are both inspired by a wish to introduce the viewer to the especially dynamic and impressive first decade of Nikolai Kormashov’s long career as an artist. The exhibition examines the artist’s work during the decade, his searches for contemporary forms and the development of his individuality. The exhibition focuses on his “thematic” paintings – a Soviet genre that is related primarily to commissioned art. However for Kormashov, thematic paintings were not just commissioned art. And in the middle of the decade, the artist created his most powerful and distinctive works in this genre. In the book, a survey of this period is provided by Boris Bernstein, an internationally recognized art theoretician and critic who was very close to Kormashov for a long time, and Kädi Talvoja, who is a younger generation art historian and also the curator of the exhibition.

Nikolai Kormashov (1929–2012) was one of the leading figures of the “Sixties generation” in Estonian painting. In the 1950s, many students from other parts of the Soviet Union studied at the State Art Institute of the Estonian S.S.R. One of the few to remain here after graduation, Kormashov was almost the only one who truly became rooted in Estonia and developed his art in the local art scene.

Afterlives of Gardens 2

2013-aedade-jarelelu-2Edited by Eha Komissarov
Texts by Eve Arpo, Anni Kagovere, Eha Komissarov, Katrin Koov, Laura Kuusk, Urmas Oja, Ain Padrik, Kadri Semm, Liina Siib, Margit Säde, Sander Tint, Timo Toots and Grete Veskiväli
Designed by Angelika Schneider
200 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2013

ISBN 978-9949-485-20-8

The exhibition “Afterlives of Gardens” (10.05.–08.09.2013) is an ambitious project, which encompasses the third floor, the classics floor, of Kumu Art Museum’s B-wing, and the Gallery of Contemporary Art on the fifth floor, as well as the museum’s courtyard. The exhibition presents gardens and parks through the works of artists from early periods of Estonian art history, but also through the newer idiom of contemporary art. The exhibition is accompanied by two books “Afterlives of Gardens 1” and “Afterlives of Gardens 2”.

The point of departure for “Afterlives of Gardens 2” is the break from the landscape painting tradition in 1960s and 1970s art, when the aesthetic functions of garden and landscape became complemented by new activities and social consciousness. Today, in the 21st century, we have witnessed an unprecedented rise in the popularity of gardens, which began with a change in lifestyles and quest for living closer to nature and brought gardens into the sphere of the everyday activities of modern-day people.

Afterlives of Gardens 1

2013 aedade jarelelu 1Edited by Liis Pählapuu
Texts by Liis Pählapuu and Tõnu Õnnepalu
Designed by Angelika Schneider
112 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2013

ISBN 978-9949-485-18-5

The exhibition “Afterlives of Gardens” (10.05.–08.09.2013) is an ambitious project, which encompasses the third floor, the classics floor, of Kumu Art Museum’s B-wing, and the Gallery of Contemporary Art on the fifth floor, as well as the museum’s courtyard. The exhibition presents gardens and parks through the works of artists from early periods of Estonian art history, but also through the newer idiom of contemporary art. The exhibition is accompanied by two books “Afterlives of Gardens 1” and “Afterlives of Gardens 2”.

The exhibition “Afterlives of Gardens 1” on the third floor of the museum, which deals with a period including the 19th and early 20th centuries and was curated by Liis Pählapuu, reveals the mutual relationships between art, beauty, traditions and nature. At the same time, the contrast between the influences of Baltic-German culture and the period of Estonian independence in fine art is highlighted.

Kurvitz (book and DVD)

2013 kurvitzBook
Edited by Kati Ilves
Texts by Kati Ilves, Hasso Krull and Ingrid Ruudi
Designed by Tuuli Aule
72 pp.
In Estonian and English
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2013

Documentary
Screenplay: Kati Ilves
Director of photography: Mati Schönberg
Duration 58′
© Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum 2013

ISBN 978-9949-485-17-8 (book and DVD)

The book and documentary accompany Raoul Kurvitz’s solo exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum (18.01.–21.04.2013). The book is based on the understanding that Kurvitz’s artistic career, with its various stages, themes and production volumes, requires more interpretation and analysis than is possible in a short introductory wall text in the exhibition hall. Kurvitz became active as an artist in the mid-1980s and his almost 25-year career has resulted in unconventional creative activity and an artistic image that deserves dissection.

The book is also accompanied by a DVD, which contains Kurvitz’s personal story: the artist speaks about his creative activities and his life story, casting a glance at various collaborative projects and partners, and dissecting his creative achievements. The exhibition’s construction process is also recorded in the film (in the case of Kurvitz’s work, there are always a lot of questions about the technical execution), as are views of the exhibition, i.e. the completed works.