Publications by Kumu 2018

Michel Sittow. Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe

Authors John Oliver Hand and Greta Koppel, with Till-Holger Borchert, Anu Mänd, Ariane van Suchtelen, and Matthias Weniger
144 pp.
In English, illustrated
Published by the Yale University Press in association with National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Art Museum of Estonia, 2018
ISBN 978-0-300-23286-8
https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300232868/michel-sittow

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This exhibition catalogue is the first in English devoted to Michel Sittow (ca 1469–1525), an artist from Estonia who trained in the tradition of early Netherlandish painting. This catalogue was published for the exhibition Michel Sittow. Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe, open 28.01.–13.05.2018 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and 08.06.–16.09.2018 at the Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn.

Sittow worked for many high-profile patrons, including Isabella of Castile in Spain, and specialized in beautiful small devotional works and portraits; the portraits, in particular, are artistically sophisticated paintings that have been characterized as among the finest of their time.  Featuring approximately twenty works attributed to Sittow, as well as paintings by his contemporaries, including Hans Memling and Juan de Flandes, this book provides an important opportunity to learn about Sittow’s oeuvre and to appreciate it within the cultural context of his homeland as well as the broader milieu of early northern Renaissance art.

The book is edited by the exhibition curators, John Oliver Hand (National Gallery of Art, Washington) and Greta Koppel (Art Museum of Estonia).

In addition to the curatorial articles, it complies works from the renowned international experts:
Till-Holger Borchert is director, Musea Brugge, Belgium
Anu Mänd is head of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Art History, Tallinn University
Ariane van Suchtelen is curator, Mauritshuis, Netherlands
Matthias Weniger is curator of pre-1550 paintings and sculptures at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich.

History in Images – Image in History. National and Transnational Past in Estonian Art

Written by Linda Kaljundi and Tiina-Mall Kreem
Peer-reviewed by Krista Kodres
Edited by Toomas Hiio
Designed by Andres Tali
368 pp.
In Estonian, summary in English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-75-8

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The book accompanies the exhibition History in Images – Image in History (16.03.–05.08.2018) at the Kumu Art Museum. In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, the exhibition and the book examine the role of artists in influencing historical memory and identity.

Our imagination of history is largely based on pictures. However, images of history tend to tell us more about the time of their creation than about the distant past they depict. This book examines Estonian images of history from the 16th century until the present day, discussing how visual culture has helped to shape the understanding of the most significant events and

people, the places and symbols of the land’s history. It also touches upon representations of mythology and heritage, as Estonian history has often been entangled with folk poetry and culture.

Katja Novitskova. If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes. Stage 2

Edited by Kati Ilves
Texts by Kati Ilves, Venus Lau and Jaak Tomberg
Designed by Ott Metusala
144 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-78-9

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The book accompanies the exhibition Katja Novitskova. If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes. Stage 2 (23.02.–10.06.2018). The exhibition in Kumu is Novitskova’s first solo show in Estonia and it is based on the Estonian Pavilion presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. The exhibition takes the visitor into the world of living machines, patterns imprisoned in synthetic materials, and two-dimensional sculptures of genetically modified life forms, with the daring typical to the dystopian realm.

This book is richly illustrated with exhibition views of the show in Kumu, and contains a selection of essays originally written for the book published in conjunction with the Venice Biennale, by the curator of the exhibition Kati Ilves, the literary theorist Jaak Tomberg and the curator and writer Venus Lau.

Originally from Tallinn, Katja Novitskova first became an artist in Berlin and Amsterdam. She is not only the most outstanding artist linked to the Post-Internet movement in Estonia, but also one of the key artists at its origins worldwide. Novitskova has earned a lot of international acclaim: she has had personal exhibitions in New York (2016) and Shanghai (2017), her works have been included in group exhibitions at the MoMA in New York (2015) and at the Lyon and Berlin Biennials (2015 and 2016). In 2017, the Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid recognised Novitskova by presenting her the Young Cultural Figure Award.

Andres Tolts. Landscape with Still Life

Edited by Anu Allas
Texts by Anu Allas, Liisa Kaljula, Eha Komissarov and Eero Epner
Designed by Tuuli Aule
336 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-76-5

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The book Andres Tolts. Landscape with Still Life accompanies the exhibition by the same name at the Kumu Art Museum (24.11.2017–01.04.2018). Both the exhibition and the book are part of the distinguished series about the classics of Estonian art, in which Kumu looks at the 20th-century Estonian artists whose oeuvre is iconic for Estonian art history. The museum’s series on classics has thus far included Tõnis Vint, Raul Meel, Jüri Okas and Leonhard Lapin. Andres Tolts (1949–2014) undoubtedly belongs to the same generation of conceptual innovators of Estonian art, reinterpreting painting from the design perspective, and being an apologist of post-modernism in Estonian art.

The three articles in this book deal with different aspects and stages in Tolts’s oeuvre. Liisa Kaljula examines Tolts’s early work in the context of “sots art”. Sots Art is a trend which emerged in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and ironically reused visual elements and images from the Soviet environment, thus creating a novel language for communication with the surroundings. Eha Komissarov analyses Tolts’s relationship with contemporary design trends and his activity as the editor of the magazine Kunst ja Kodu [Art and Home], and looks at the artist in the context of the postmodernist paradigm, which is shaped by small narratives, collapsed hierarchies and conceptual manoeuvrings. Eero Epner writes about Tolts’s interest in visual images and symbolic systems and his relationships with art and cultural history. The articles are supplemented by previously unpublished extracts from Tolts’s archives, which illustrate the formation of the young artist’s ideas and interests, as well as the peculiarities of the context that shaped him. The book is richly illustrated with reproductions of Andres Tolts’s works and archival photographs.

Leonhard Lapin. Void and Space

Edited by Sirje Helme
Texts by Sirje Helme, Mari Laanemets, Anu Allas, Leonhard Lapin and Asko Künnap
Designed by Tuuli Aule
328 pp.
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-73-4

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This book accompanies a large-scale retrospective of Leonhard Lapin’s work in the Kumu Art Museum (09.02.–13.05.2018). The exhibition and the book entitled Leonhard Lapin. Void and Space continues the Estonian Art Classics series. With this series of large-scale solo shows and distinguished-looking books in cloth binding, the Kumu Art Museum pays homage to iconic Estonian artists of the second half of the 20th century whose works have had a profound infl uence on the development of Estonian art.

The Estonian Art Classics series by the Art Museum of Estonia presents the works of the artists Tõnis Vint, Raul Meel, Jüri Okas and Andres Tolts. Leonhard Lapin, a multitalented creative person, who has been active as an architect, graphic artist, painter, illustrator, sculptor, performance artist, author, editor and teacher is a part of the same generation and the same circle of friends as the artists mentioned above. Lapin’s artistic career of fi fty years is characterised by dynamism: he was one of the proponents of Estonian Pop art and the leading representative of the Neo-avant-garde, as well as embracing the complexity and contradiction of Postmodernist art. He was fascinated by the diversity and richness of life and every expression of creativity. Leonhard Lapin, who is Professor Emeritus of the Estonian Academy of Arts, has been a Visiting Professor at the Helsinki University of Technology, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the University of Tartu; he was a long-time editor of the architectural magazine Ehituskunst, and he had a literary alter ego, the cult poet Albert Trapeezh.