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Home and Away. Raymond Pettibon: Living the American Dream. Marko Mäetamm: Feel at Home

Home and Away. Raymond Pettibon: Living the American Dream. Marko Mäetamm: Feel at Home

Time: 29.05.15–13.09.15  11:00–18:00
Location: Kumu exhibition spaces

5th floor, Gallery of Contemporary Art
Two contemporary art exhibitions dedicated to the topic of home are on view at the Kumu Art Museum. As of Friday, 29 May an exhibition called Home and Away. Raymond Pettibon: Living the American Dream. Marko Mäetamm: Feel at Home will be on view in the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Kumu Art Museum. This exhibition brings together two artists who live on opposite sides of the globe: Raymond Pettibon from California and Marko Mäetamm from Estonia.

According to the curator, Alistair Hicks, Pettibon (1957) is dedicating his exhibition to his uncle who lives in Estonia. He continues: “Raymond Pettibon has spent most of his life in America, so away from Estonia. Though there is a savage satirical bite to his vision of America and its relationship to the rest of the world, he became known for works that showed the American Dream. He was born in America as his mother escaped west. His uncle, Otto Peters fought for Estonia, and was sent east to a Russian Gulag for eleven years for his pains. Raymond Pettibon dedicates this show to his uncle.

The exhibition shows a divided world in a divided medium. Pettibon, like Marko Mäetamm who shows in the next door rooms, uses drawing and text. The show starts with typical images of the American dream, surfers out on the West Coast, trains that took the pioneers west and baseball players, but there is the angst behind too. Vavoom has a scream as loud as Munch’s. The show is punctuated with versions of this. Pettibon has made over a dozen works especially for his second visit to Estonia. They show the tensions in a world that still does not know how to live in a de-polarised world. The exhibition leads up to serried ranks of Stalin images that one cannot help but feel are in tribute to his uncle’s time in prison.”

The mother of the US artist Raymond Pettibon (born Raymond Ginn in 1957 in Tucson, Arizona) was Estonian. She left Estonia during World War II and established a family in the U.S., two members of which – Raymond Pettibon and Greg Ginn, the leader of the punk band Black Flag – became prominent in the U.S. cultural scene.

Raymond Pettibon’s works have been exhibited around the world and have been displayed at several of the most important U.S. art museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) and many others. His numerous appearances in Europe include participation in the Kassel XI Documenta in 2002. Pettibon’s works of art can be found in the following renowned collections: the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Raymond Pettibon will also participate in the opening of the Kumu exhibition on 28 May 2015.

Marko Mäetamm (1965) is one of Estonia’s most versatile and internationally active artists. He has represented Estonia twice at the Venice Biennale: in 2003 as part of the artist duo John Smith (with Kaido Ole) in the project Marko und Kaido, and in 2007 with the solo exhibition Loser’s Paradise. The recurrent theme in Mäetamm’s work is the change in the concept of home in the 21st century, which is expressed at people’s subconscious level in the form of a deep, repressed discontent.

The curator, Alistair Hicks, describes Mäetamm’s work as follows: “It is almost impossible not to identify with his characters and stories. They come from his home: they come from our home. Like a very adroit playwright, he has suspended belief so successfully that he makes his audience do much of the work in building up the characters. He gives us hints and helps us, but this is a performance, a collaboration between him and us. Like Pettibon, he refuses to rely solely on images or solely on text.

In that half-way no-man’s land, otherwise known as a hall, the artist employs a third presence. His art seems to flutter from his shoulder and lead us visitors into this strange building, where fiction is interchangeable with reality. The warning signs are clear for all those who have ever seen a horror film. The house gives us clues as to how it might fit together, but it doesn’t. It is like an M.C. Escher jigsaw puzzle. This is a haunted house. It is difficult for us tour-fodder to stay still. There is a door so, naturally, being brought up on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, we go through it. Before we even fully realise we are in the kitchen, we see the dead body.”

„Kodus ja võõrsil. Raymond Pettibon: Ameerika unelmas elades”

Home and Away. Raymond Pettibon: Living the American Dream

Curator: Alistair Hicks

Exhibition team: Eha Komissarov, Anu Liivak and Triin Tulgiste

Graphic designer: Kätlin Tischler

Sponsor: USA saatkond


„Kodus ja võõrsil. Marko Mäetamm: Tunne end nagu kodus”

Home and Away. Marko Mäetamm: Feel at Home

Curator: Alistair Hicks

Designer: Mari Kurismaa

Graphic designer: Kätlin Tischler

Sponsors: Eesti Kultuurkapital/Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Sadolin, Softrend, Gravex, Temnikova & Kasela Galerii and Tiiu Pedaja

We thank:

David Zwirner (New York / London), Sadie Coles HQ (London) and Regen Projects (Los Angeles)

Exhibition visuals available at:

Home and Away. Raymond Pettibon: Living the American Dream. Marko Mäetamm: Feel at Home will be open at the Kumu Art Museum until 13 September 2015.

For more information, contact:
Helene Tedre
Communication Manager
Art Museum of Estonia
Tel +372 602 6026; +372 5681 6706

Raymond Pettibon. No Title (Let us fling …). 2000. Courtesy of the artist, Sadie Coles HQ (London), David Zwirner (New York / London), Regen Projects (Los Angeles). © Raymond Pettibon
Marko Mäetamm. Big Trophy. 2012. Courtesy of the artist and the Temnikova & Kasela Gallery