Exhibitions 2009

Ars Fennica Award Exhibition
5th floor
Internationally renowned Finnish art award, the winner of which in the year 2009 will be announced in Kumu. The candidates for the Ars Fennica award are: Maria Duncker, Tea Mäkipää and Seppo Renvall from Finland, Katrīna Neiburga from Latvia, and Mark Raidpere from Estonia. An exhibition of contestants’ works will be held in the Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki from 3.10.–16.11.2008. The winner of the award is traditionally nominated by only one art expert, and this year the honour belongs to the internationally famous Hou Hanru, an American curator of Chinese origin. The winner of the award will be announced at the opening of the Kumu exhibition.

4th floor
Artists have created self-portraits with different objectives and messages in mind. The aim of this exhibition is not to map the genre of the self-portrait as a whole but to make the artists’ self-presentations speak through unexpected and occasionally cruel associations. Works displayed come from different eras and different media, from graphic art to film.

The Great Hall
“Floromania” is an exhibition devoted to flowers, to the love of flowers, and to interest in botany throughout the centuries. Above all, artists have been attracted to the beauty of flowers, and thus flowers have been painted as a part of still-lifes, and on products of applied art; flower motifs have been carved into stone and added as illustrations in scientific editions.

Quilting Sessions. Drawings by Paul McCarthy & Benjamin Weissman
5th floor
This joint project of the Zachęta national gallery in Warsaw, the city gallery of modern art in Trento, and the Kumu Art Museum presents drawings that arose out of cooperation between two representatives of the extremist trend in art – the most influential figure in contemporary art in the USA, Paul McCarthy, and an author of horror books, Benjamin Weissman – in the period of 1997–2008. The drawings were completed in the course of a conversation, by passing the drawings over the table to one another and perfecting them. Owing to improvisation and recurrence, such cooperation techniques provide us with access to the subconscious and to expressiveness.

State of Affairs
5th floor
In addition to the display of drawings by Paul McCarthy and Benjamin Weissman, in early summer the Kumu gallery of contemporary art will also exhibit the most interesting new projects and forgotten old projects from Estonian contemporary artists. This varied selection perfectly characterizes our present time, as well as the most remarkable positions in the Estonian contemporary art world.

It’s Getting Harder. Mindaugas Navakas
Kumu courtyard
Works of art by the most famous Lithuanian sculptor in the Kumu courtyard and the surroundings of the museum. Mindaugas Navakas has been one of the best known Baltic artists since the 1990s, and his large-scale sculptures have been shown in many exhibitions across Europe.

Activities of the Foksal Gallery in 1966–1989
4th floor
The Foksal Gallery was a gallery of Polish radical art and a meeting place of artists beginning in the 1960s. In a difficult artistic situation, the Foksal Gallery managed to act as a nursery for new experimental art, and several young artists who began their paths in the gallery later became internationally recognised artists. The exhibition gives an overview of the works of art of the period and introduces ideas that influenced sympathisers all over eastern Europe.

Eduard Wiiralt. Gift from the Estonian Committee
3rd floor
In Stockholm in 2005, the Estonian Committee presented the Art Museum of Estonia with an invaluable collection of works by Eduard Wiiralt (1898–1954) and the artist’s archives. The gift contains the artist’s works since 1927, but mostly from the post-World War II period. In regard to the early pieces of art, the most interesting part is copies reflecting different stages of completion of the work. The displayed works and biographical material give us a better idea of the graphic artist’s later oeuvre and working process.

Ülo Õun. Artist Interrupted
The Great Hall
An overview exhibition of the oeuvre of an original Estonian modernist sculptor, Ülo Õun (1940–1988), whose use of material (coloured gypsum) and uniqueness of conceptual thought are unrivalled in northern Europe. The exhibition was preceded by thorough restoration work by the museum’s specialists, which enables the oeuvre of the brilliant sculptor to be displayed in its entirety for the first time in history.