Maanaised (Women from the Countryside)
“Maanaised” (“Women from the Countryside”) is an intriguing complement to the two figure sculpture group “Father and Son”, of which the author is Ülo Õun. Duos, happened to be a common motif among Tartu public sculptures, considering also Mati Karmin’s “Kissing Students” in the vicinity of “Women from the Countryside”.
The sculpture group made in the 1970s was exceptional because of its realistic style. It depicts two women, the older is sitting with a grounding calmness and the other, younger, gracefully standing by her side, arm emphatically holding draped over her shoulder. The generational distinction is expressed strongly in the clothing of the women – the younger is wearing trousers, light vest and platform shoes but the older a dress and an apron, leaving the feet uncovered.
Mounting the sculpture group “Women from the Countryside” signified Tartu Art Museum’s 25 years of activity in the “Leaning House”.
Mare Mikof (b 1941) is one of the most significant contemporary sculptors. Being influenced by hyperrealism and pop art, Mikof started her creative work in the seventies. Mikof has created numerous portraits, compositions and decorative sculptures during her extensive career over fourty years. In 1984, she was honoured with the Kristjan Raud prize, in 1988 Riga’s quadrennial’s grand prix. Mikof has also created many well-known public sculptures: sculpture group to signify 100 000 people in Tartu (1977) in the vicinity of the Kaarsild in Tartu, “Dusk” in front of the Viru Center, Tallinn (2005) and many more.
Installation (acrylic, aerosol on wall), dimensions variable
“Candifactory” is Kristi Kongi’s monumental painting installation developed specially for the future museum shop rooms in Tartu Art Museum. Painting directly onto the walls lets her enter into a vibrant dialogue with the space and its function – to be the museum’s calling card and first greeting to the visitor. In her works, Kongi is playful and experimental, also extremely picturesque. Sometimes even so much that the viewer’s brain experiences the tender and rare short circuit between nerves and colours. The three-dimensional painting installation is in constant motion for the viewer. The painting shifts when the viewer moves through or past it. The painting shifts when the light falling on it changes. Lights and viewing angles shift. Colour shifts according to the passage of time in the room. Space and colour are essential qualities for art which is why KONGI’s installation will be in the Tartu Art Museum’s room for a longer period. So there will be time to view this piece – time and time again.
Kristi Kongi (b 1985) is an artist living and working in Tallinn. She graduated from Tartu Art School Department of Painting and Estonian Academy of the Arts Master’s program in Fine Arts. Kongi’s works mainly deal with colours and their mutual relations; her pieces are often bright, joyous and playful, creating unexpected links. In 2013 Kongi won the Sadolin Prize for Contemporary Art.
Marker on wall, 130 × 350 CM
Dan Perjovschi’s drawing that has the sub-title of “Global-Local, Berlin-Basel” on the basis of the various issues in it, visualises in Tartu Art Museum’s lobby perhaps one of the most pressing dilemmas for an art institution operating in the relatively isolated periphery of a contemporary open world: should one turn in on oneself and be resigned to admiring one’s belly button or should one try to look farther and seek contact with the Other outside one’s tradition and culture?
The answer to this dilemma defines much of the institution’s face and position in the art scene and the choices give rise to lifestyle and mentality. The drawing’s other part, BERLIN-BASEL, pokes fun at the art world’s trends in the last decades and the art market logic that has come to dominate it, taunting primarily the Eastern European artists who attracted attention in the 1990s with socially sensitive works but whose careers have now led them to the expensive art fairs offering their wares to the upper class. Global-Local, Berlin-Basel will be displayed to the viewers until the end of the present director’s tenure.
Dan Perjovschi (b 1961) lives and works in Bucharest. He is an internationally renowned artist who works primarily with drawings, combining them also with installation, performance and video. The direct-to-wall pieces with simple form offer witty comment on the social reality, political and economic relations, art world paradoxes and local peculiarities. Perjovschi has had innumerable series of presentations at International exhibitions, public actions, biennials and festivals.