Publications by Kumu 2014

IV B. Addenda to Soviet-era art history 1
The Tartu Circle and Ülo Sooster
2014 Tartu s6pruskond ja Ylo Sooster esikaas

Edited by Liisa Kaljula
Texts by Liisa Kaljula and Francisco Martínez
Designed by Tuuli Aule
128 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2014

ISSN 2382-8048
ISBN 978-9949-485-36-9

The book accompanies the exhibition of the same name at Kumu Art Museum (05.12.2014–29.03.2015) and is the first book from the “Addenda to Soviet-era art history” series. The “Addenda to Soviet-era art history” series is accompanied by exhibitions in the B-wing of the fourth storey of the Kumu Art Museum that offer insight into Soviet-era Estonian art. Among other things, the focus lies on specific topics and phenomena that have received relatively little coverage in art historiography and deserve new approaches. The book examines the creative connections between a circle of Tartu artists, comprised of the last graduates of the Pallas Art School, and Ülo Sooster (1924–1970), the legendary Estonian artist, who was active in the Moscow underground scene in the 1960s.

10 €

Nikolai Triik
triigi kaas mõõdus.indd

Written by Liis Pählapuu
Biography edited by Kaidi Vahar and Liis Pählapuu
Designed by Angelika Schneider
296 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2014

ISBN 978-9949-485-31-4

The Nikolai Triik exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum and accompanying book are a homage to the work of one of the most influential and multidimensional personalities in early 20th century Estonian art. As with many of his contemporaries, Triik’s studies started in the closest art metropolis to Estonia – St. Petersburg, Russia – whence he continued on, via Finland, to European capitals such as Paris and Berlin. At the height of his creative powers, Triik was an intellectual collaborator with the writers and other cultural figures connected to the Young Estonia group; his graphic works significantly shaped the visual identity of the publications put out by the movement. The Young Estonia group’s credo – “Let’s be Estonians but become Europeans!” – also resonated in Triik’s activity and art. Influenced by contacts with the diverse art scene of the first decades of the 20th century in Europe’s art centres, Triik cultivated a personal style that fused the rigorous drawing skills from his Russian academy training, awareness of the innovations of form at the beginning of the century and his close connection with Nordic natural landscapes. Triik was one of the most talented and distinctive portraitists in Estonian art history.

30 €

A Moveable Feast. Art Deco Fashion Design from Alexandre Vassiliev’s Collection

Edited by Triin Tulgiste, Marion Piirmets and Anu Liivak
Texts by Alexandre Vassiliev, Anu Ojavee and Triin Tulgiste
Designed by Kätlin Tischler
136 pp.
In Estonian, English and Russian, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2014

ISBN 978-9949-485-35-2

The book “A Moveable Feast. Art Deco Fashion Design from Alexandre Vassiliev’s Collection” accompanied the exhibition of the same name at Kumu Art Museum (11.10.2014–18.01.2015) provides an exciting glimpse back at the 1920s and uses fashion to bring us closer to the human dimension of a world-view that was radically altered in the whirlwind of World War I. Although the book focuses primarily on upper-class fashions and the changes brought about by the great wave of emigration from Russia after the Great October Socialist Revolution, the book also very expressively reveals the broader social and cultural shifts that characterised the era. The changing role of women in society is more clearly visible in fashion than in any other creative output.

Price 15 €

Richard Kaljo. Fine Prints in the Collections of the Art Museum of Estonia

Written by Elnara Taidre
Designed by Külli Kaats
156 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2014

ISBN 978-9949-485-34-5

The purpose of this book is to reacquaint the public with the fine prints of Richard Kaljo (1914–1978), one of Estonia’s outstanding masters of the wood engraving technique, and to introduce the works in the Art Museum of Estonia’s collections that provide a good survey of Kaljo’s varied oeuvre, its developments and interruptions. Kaljo was a member of the generation of Estonian artists for whom World War II was a great upheaval. Kaljo’s years at the Higher Art School Pallas in Tartu, which represented moderate modernism and from which he graduated in 1940, played a decisive role in the development of his artistic convictions. Like most of the Estonian artists who shared his fate, Kaljo’s work was erratic during the discordant war years and even more so during the first Soviet decade, on which the imposition of Socialist Realism left a brutal imprint. Greater stability and self-confidence did not arrive until the late 1950s, when the withdrawal of ideological pressure allowed the artist to again work in a more individual manner and develop topics that were closer to his heart.

2014 marks 100 years since Kaljo’s birth, and 50 years since his last large solo exhibition. In addition to his fine prints, Kaljo was a greatly respected and internationally recognised master of book-plate art. He also made an important contribution to Estonian book illustration. For both of these genres, as well as for his fine prints, the artist preferred using a wood engraving technique, of which he was one of the outstanding Estonian masters of his era.

Price 12 €

Dear I’m a Painting / Always Yours Blue Lagoon

Edited by Kati Ilves and Merike Estna
Texts by Gavin Wade, Merike Estna and Kati Ilves
Biographies edited by the artists
Designed by Indrek Sirkel
284 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2014

ISBN 978-9949-485-32-1

The book “I’m a Painting / Always Yours Blue Lagoon” accompanied the exhibition project “Merike Estna and I’m a Painting” at the Kumu Art Museum (27.06.–02.11.2014, Contemporary Art Gallery). The project, which spatially combined two exhibitions – Merike Estna’s solo exhibition “Blue Lagoon” and the international painting exhibition “I’m a Painting” – continues the format experimentation as a book. This is not a traditional exhibition catalogue or collection of essays; the book can be treated as an independent work. A large part of the book is devoted to photo documentation (Anu Vahtra): the black-and-white section provides a survey of the exhibition’s installation, and the colour photos portray the works exhibited in the “Blue Lagoon” and “I’m a Painting” expositions, and provide views of the space. There is also a series of photos of the exhibition opening, Merike Estna’s wearable paintings and scans of Simon Daniel Tegnander’s works.

The texts for the book were written by Gavin Wade, a British gallerist and contemporary painting apologist, the artist Merike Estna and the curator Kati Ilves. Gavin Wade’s poetic essay establishes a relationship to the work of the “I’m a Painting” artists. Merike Estna analyses the connection between the exhibitions in a fictional context. Kati Ilves’s text is a curator’s text that clarifies the exhibition project by explaining its aspirations as they relate to content, as well as space and form.

Price 16 €

Raul Meel. Dialogues with Infinity

2014 Raul Meel esikaas 72dpiEdited by Eha Komissarov, Ragne Nukk and Raivo Kelomees
Texts by Eha Komissarov, Raivo Kelomees, Erkki Luuk and Virve Sarapik
Designed by Tuuli Aule
304 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2014

ISBN 978-9949-485-28-4

The book accompanying the exhibition “Raul Meel. Dialogues with Infinity” at the Kumu Art Museum (09.05.–12.10.2014) provides the first comprehensive survey of the oeuvre of Raul Meel, an avant-garde classic.

Raul Meel is one of the most significant representatives of conceptual art and concrete poetry in Eastern Europe, and he is known as Estonia’s most renowned autodidact and outsider. In the West, Meel’s experimental work was recognised with many awards as early as the 1970s, and the artist received invitations to many distinguished exhibitions. In the 80s and 90s, Meel’s talent and large-scale work also started to be recognised at home. Raul Meel has participated in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad and has received many important awards.

The authors of the articles examine Raul Meel’s various creative outputs, and a large section with reproductions and biographical photos provides a thorough survey of the artist’s work. The art historian Eha Komissarov, who is the exhibition’s co-curator, has written the first extensive overview of Raul Meel’s work, and has created a dialogue between it and Western art trends. The other co-curator, Raivo Kelomees, who is an artist and critic, as well as a professor of new media, deals with Meel’s most famous work, “Under the Sky”. The art historian and semiotician Virve Sarapik writes about the typewriter drawings called “Proper Names”, and the writer, artist and linguist Erkki Luuk presents an experimental text in dialogue with Meel’s text-based work.

Price 16 €