Exhibition of the year: the work of Lepo Mikko, a great figure of post-war Modernism

Art Museum of Estonia
Kumu Art Museum

Press release no. 107
21 November 2013

Starting on Friday, 22 November, the paintings of Lepo Mikko (1911–1978), a distinguished representative of Estonian post-war Modernism, will be on exhibit in the large hall of the Kumu Museum. After a 30-year pause, it is possible to introduce the artist’s work in all its diversity. The exhibition is supported by a comprehensive book introducing the artist’s life and work.

The creative heyday of the graduates of the Pallas School, who were toughened by post-war instability and Stalinist art policies, was the period of Khrushchev’s Thaw. Lepo Mikko was able to capture and communicate the substantial optimism in Soviet Estonian society that characterised the period between the late 1950s and the second half of the 1960s. The exhibition introduces both the artist’s monumental paintings that deal with social themes and also small format works, the execution of which is perhaps even more interesting. It is difficult to find anything comparable in Estonian art.

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 Art Museum of Estonia wishes to thank the following for their cooperation: Lepo Mikko’s heirs, the Tartu Art Museum, Mart Lepp, Enn Kunila and the other owners of works on loan for this exhibition, the Film Archives of the National Archives of Estonia, Eesti Digikeskus and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, which is sponsoring the exhibition.

Exhibition curator: Anu Liivak
Exhibition designers: Juta Lember and Tiit Pääsuke
Graphic designer of the exhibition and catalogue: Tiit Jürna

The exhibition visuals are available in the Art Museum of Estonia’s Digital Collection.

The exhibition Lepo Mikko (1911–1978) will be open at the Kumu Art Museum until 19 April 2014.

For more information:
Evelina Vedom
Communications Specialist
Tel: 602 6059, 56 846 845
E-mail: evelina.vedom@ekm.ee
Communications and Marketing Department
Art Museum of Estonia
Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1
10127 Tallinn