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Merike Estna and I’m a Painting

Merike Estna and I’m a Painting

Time: 27.06.14–02.11.14  11:00–18:00
Location: Kumu exhibition spaces

5th floor, Gallery of Contemporary Art

Starting on Friday, 27 June, the Kumu Gallery of Contemporary Art opens for the project Merike Estna and I’m a Painting, which is comprised of two closely connected exhibitions: Merike Estna’s personal exhibition The Blue Lagoon and the international painting exhibition I’m a Painting, involving fifteen artists from across the world.

“The two projects melt into a spatial whole at this exhibition, thus exemplifying the installative direction in contemporary painting, in which the concept of the art of painting has moved away from what we are accustomed to associating it with. Priority is given to processes, states and architectural integrity,” explains one of the curators, Kati Ilves.

Merike Estna‘s personal exhibition Blue Lagoon shows the audience Estna’s creative attempts at treating painting as a visual and spatial experience and how to approach something that has an apparently fixed viewpoint from different angles. This could mean cutting the canvas into strips and installing the pieces in the display space, or it could be the application of painting methods to cakes, books, cocktails, clothing and other objects. Estna’s works are massive, but at the same time they contain an undertone of lightness and joy. Her paintings lack a specific narrative; however, they still hint at fragments of story-telling.

The exhibition I’m a Painting brings together a number of technically varied works of art, including videos, objects and performances, which continue in the same vein as the concept of the painting. In a video by the Japanese-born artist Ei Arakawa, paintings are participants in a performance piece; Kristi Kongi‘s colourful lasers become unified stripes with painted walls and the floor; Taavi Tulev‘s sound composition provides Merike Estna’s installation with a new dimension. Several of the works are made to fit the specific exhibition space: Nicolas Party and James Ferris use the white wall of the gallery as a work surface. Samara Scott‘s painted mosaic carpet and Frank Ammerlaan‘s metal wall have been created with the space in mind. Kris Lemsalu unites ceramics with painting and performance; Katinka Pilscheur‘s paintings, which introduce a note of pop culture through the use of Yves Saint Laurent nail polish, clash with Simon Daniel Tegnander‘s plant-dyed paper. Dan Rees‘ painted Mies van der Rohe Barcelona tables, Kerstin Brätsch‘s “suntanning” paintings on a light box, and Annie Hémond Hotte‘s works particularly emphasise spatiality, as does the environment in Jon Rafman‘s video. The link between the two exhibitions is a painting in the lobby (part of the work Dream Island), a joint project by Merike Estna and Juste Kostikovaite, which unites the two halves to form a whole.

On Thursday, 4 September, a publication to accompany the exhibition will be presented at Kumu. The book contains numerous photos which document the works of art that were made or adapted specifically for the Kumu Gallery of Contemporary Art, as well as the spatial solutions and fascinating installation process.

Merike Estna’s solo exhibition

Blue Lagoon

Curator: Kati Ilves

International painting exhibition

I’m a Painting

Curators: Kati Ilves and Merike Estna

Exhibition design: Aet Ader and Mari Hunt (B210)

Graphic design: Indrek Sirkel

With the support of: the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Sadolin

We thank:

Galerie koal, Berlin; Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin; Gavin Brown Enterprise, New York; Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York; Tanya Leighton, Berlin

Wyvern Bindery (Kaori Maki, Claudia Moniz, Julian Pendebeury and Dorthe Pedersen), Small Projects Tromsø, Paradise Lodge and Peer Sessions

Chris Watson, Eha Komissarov, Aime and Priit Estna, Margus Estna, Olga Temnikova, Kaido Ole, Alistair Hicks, Ane Cecilie Valasjo, Tanya Busse, Jet Pascua, Emma Hunt, Chinmoyi Patel, Nibha Sikander, Pille Jürisoo, Kate Pickering, Charlotte Warne Thomas, Gavin Wade, Ayse Umur, Krista Rambak Krull, Aigar Vals, Kati Kongi, Epp Vulla and Marje Jakobson.

The exhibition Merike Estna and I’m a Painting will remain open at the Kumu Art Museum until 2 November 2014.

Additional information:
Kati Ilves
Curator
tel +372 5697 9909
kati.ilves@ekm.ee