The Kumu Art Museum opens Tommy Cash and Rick Owens’s collaborative exhibition

Art Museum of Estonia
Kumu Art Museum
Press release
April 26, 2019


The Kumu Art Museum opens Tommy Cash and Rick Owens’s collaborative exhibition

As of Thursday, May 2, 2019, the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia welcomes you to Tommy Cash and Rick Owens’s collaborative exhibition The Pure and the Damned, curated by Kati Ilves. The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, May 3.

The exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn displays both the individual works of Tommy Cash and Rick Owens, as well as their jointly executed artworks for the show. Although different in practice and background, Cash’s and Owens’s interests overlap considerably: Cash’s visuals feature a great deal of aestheticised uncanniness, whereas Owens’s practice carries a kindred approach to the balance between functional design and the pure manifestation of form. This exhibition aims to emphasise their artistic positions, which, although originating from different realms of culture, boldly shape the larger picture of the visual arts today.

The Tallinn-born Tommy Cash (1991) sources his images from various themes: his curiosity about pop culture blends well with a distorted body image and supports his non-binary approach. The visual language that runs through the body of Cash’s works is rich and colourful, and the exhibition tends to follow this aesthetic, applying it to both the newly produced art works and the spatial set up, also manifested through sound and lighting.

The American fashion designer Rick Owens’s (1961) multifaceted works unfold through a coherent selection of garments, objects and furniture. The display covers a large period of his practice, allowing runway video documentation to support the garments. Contrary to the colourful exposition of Tommy Cash’s works, a shadow world emerges. Here the presentation is executed in a grey scale: a massive monochrome display with only a few colours characterises the soul of this zone.

The constellation of the exhibited materials – sculptures, garments on mannequins, objects, videos and sound – progresses into a realm of its own. The exhibition, consisting of multiple zones with different atmospheres, operates as a total spatial installation, where opposite poles of the same mind are questioned. This realm of Tommy Cash and Rick Owens works like a concentrate: it’s an amplified version of usually subtle hints and whispers.

The exhibition will remain open until September 15, 2019.

Curator: Kati Ilves
Exhibition design: Mihkel Ilus, Tõnu Narro and Anna Tumaini
Exhibition production: Tõnu Narro, Elisa Johanna Känd and Anna-Philippa Wolf
Graphic design: Tuuli Aule

Participating artists and other collaborations: Faig Ahmed, 3DWorld, Scott Laufer, Maison Margiela, James Kerr / Scorpion Dagger and Pintsel

We thank: Anni Mets, Jarmo Nuutre, Bruno Lillemets, Kadri Vahar, Helen Saluveer, Kadi-Ell Tähiste, Maria-Kristiina Soomre

Partners and supporters
Viru Keskus, Nordic Hotel Forum, Hotel Telegraaf, Balen and Peenjoogivabrik Nudist

The press album of the exhibition can be viewed at

Related events
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of programmes:
Tour of the exhibition in Russian on May 4 at 14.00
Curator’s tour by Kati Ilves on May 16 at 18.00
On May 31, the exhibition will feature in our tour and workshop series 60+, for senior citizens
Art Walk, an English-language drop-in tour on June 30 at 15.00
Exhibition finissage will take place from 13.00 to 17.00 on September 14 (workshops, tours and talks)

About the venue
Kumu is the main site of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. The museum, opened in 2006, received the European Museum of the Year Award in 2008. Kumu encompasses two floors of permanent displays, of Estonian art from the 18th century to the 1940s and of Estonian art from 1940 to the 1990s, and spaces for temporary exhibition. During the period when The Pure and the Damned is on display, our exhibition programme will include presentations of the works of the renowned (an)architect Gordon Matta-Clark (in co-operation with the Bronx Museum of the Arts), of Gustav Klucis, a major name in Russian avant-garde in the 1920s–30s, and Sots Art and Fashion: Conceptual Clothes from Eastern Europe, presenting works by the designers Marit Ilison, Nina Donis, Sonja Litichevskaya, Nina Neretina et al.

The Kumu exhibition programme for 2019 can be found here.

On Thursday, May 2 at 12.00, an exclusive press review of the exhibition will be held in the 5th floor exhibition space of the Kumu Art Museum, led by the curator Kati Ilves and the director of the Kumu Art Museum, Kadi Polli. There will be an opportunity to photograph and film the exhibition, but flash photography and additional lighting may not be used to photograph or film the works. We ask journalists wishing to participate in the press review to pre-register here:

Additional information

Kati Ilves
Kumu Art Museum
Tel +372 5697 9909

Liia Rebane, PhD
Head of Communications
Art Museum of Estonia
Tel +372 602 6026; +372 5681 6706