„Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar”


On Thursday, December 4 at 5 p.m. the exhibition „Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar” will be opened in Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier. Opening will be followed by a conversation with the artist.

Tartu Art Museum has tried to offer art lovers real treats at the time of our birthday. During the last years after we opened the small Art Atelier this has taken the form of a project called “Museum Selection” whereby we offer a young artist who has shown real promise the possibility of their first museum exhibition. Previously we have selected Anna Hõbemäe and Alar Tuul who both brought warmth to the winter colds with their colourful collections that were made specially for the exhibition and showed their individuality in the best possible way.

This year the museum selection is Edgar Tedresaar who graduated from Tartu Art College in 2010 and completed his master’s studies at the University of Tartu Painting Department this June. Previously Tedresaar caught the eye with his surreal compositions that seemed to reference details from Chagall which led Tartu Art House gallery manager Indrek Grigor to name him as one of the most promising graduates of the Art College. Over the last years Tedresaar has turned towards more abstract paintings made of painted textiles that are then sewed together – one of the reasons for this new approach is surely the course on deconstruction of painting taught by Jaan Elken.

The resulting paintings contain something from Lucio Fontana and Antoni Tàpies and their relation to arte povera cannot be denied. For Tedresaar himself they represent landscapes and portraits that search for ways to exit the boundaries of painting while still maintaining the painterly aspects and the manual approach. At the present exhibition the green-grey palette of Tedresaar’s previous works has become richer and the construction of the paintings’ surface has become even more sculptural.

Supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment.

The exhibition “Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar” will stay open until January 4.


Come and visit!


Peeter Talvistu

Exhibition coordinator

56507782, 7441920

Exhibition of the works of Malle Leis “Yellow Summer”
Malle Leis. Girls. 1972. Tartu Art Museum

Malle Leis. Girls. 1972. Tartu Art Museum


Curator: Tiiu Talvistu

The exhibition of the works of Malle Leis “Yellow Summer”, which opens on Thursday, 27th of November at 5 p.m at Raekoja plats 18, is Tartu Art Museum’s greatest event of the year.

Malle Leis, the grand old lady of Estonian art, appeared on the Estonian art landscape in the 1960s. Leis renounced the pictorial space of illusory air and light characteristic of the earlier Estonian art and built a personal art space using clear local tones and flat surfaces characteristic of pop art.

Leis started her art studies in 1958 at the Art School of Tartu and graduated in 1968 from the Estonian (State) Art Institute as a scenery artist. As a member of the creative association ANK ’64 organized upon the initiative of Tõnis Vint Leis belonged to the generation of artists characterized by an idealistic and searching spirit. The works of Leis from the 1960s use abstractionism and collage, both very characteristic of the period; there are also recognizable objects from real life – flowers, ants, butterflies, and rainbows.

At the beginning of the 1970s people appeared in the paintings of Leis. In these characters of frozen attitude and closed appearance later critics have found existential anxiety characteristic of the time. However, one of the most popular paintings of Malle Leis  “Red Horses” still feeding the myth of Leis as an eternal flower child has also been painted at the time.

In 1978 “Portrait of Actress Kersti Kreismann” was painted, followed by portraits of other known artists and cultural figures: Irja Kändler, Mari Saat, Boris Bernstein, Evi Pihlak, Raul Meel, and others.

But it was big colourful flowers taken out of their context that became the brand of the artist. Flowers and plants have always been present in the work of Malle Leis in oil paintings, watercolours, or silkscreen paintings; they lead their own very vital life, in places even more vital than people.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book illustrated richly with the works of Malle Leis and containing articles by Katrin Kivimaa and Bojana Pejić, a letter interview with Malle Leis from Tiiu Talvistu,  and excerpts from Villu Jõgeva’s the Story of  Silkscreen printing, etc.  The book has been compiled by Tiiu Talvistu, translated into English by Kersti Unt, edited by Richard Adang and Kristi Metste and designed by Tiit Jürna.

The educational programme of the exhibition introduces Estonian pop art to the older schoolchildren and offers workshops of creating flowery pictures for younger schoolchildren. More information or

The works presented at the exhibition come from the art museums of Estonia, Tartu, and Viinistu, from Narva Museum; from private collections and Malle Leis. The exhibition has been designed by Tiit Jürna. We are grateful to the Estonian Cultural Endowment for support.


More information:

Tiiu Talvistu

Curator of Collections


Exhibition “Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014″



Artists: Natalie Mei, Rauno Thomas Moss, Maris Männik, Kiwa, Kaido Ole, Aleksander Sprohgis, Roman-Sten Tõnissoo

Curator: Marika Agu

You are invited to the exhibition opening of “Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014″, on 7th of November at 5 o’clock pm in Tartu Art Museum. It’s the second exhibition by the archival project “Tartu 88″. It examines Tartu’s graffiti writers and street artists, thanks to whom Tartu has risen to mythical fame as the capital of Estonian street art. The suggestion to call these artists typical individuals stemmed from the way local culture is shaped following examples from abroad, combining foreign behavioural principles and exemplars with personal ambitions and soul-searchings.

At the same time, the exhibition makes references to the dandy and the flâneur, who are the archetypes of the graffiti writer and the street artist. Seemingly operating somewhere at the fringes of freedom and indefinability, with their presence and ostensibility, they try to dislocate the general working principles and social paradigm of a city. In order to use a city, to utilise its functions, a person does not necessarily have to live there – the city is like a stage, on which an individual can play different roles and express his or her desires anonymously.

It may seem arbitrary to examine the metropolis-bred flâneur and the Tartu graffiti writer and street artists in a common context, considering they come from different bases. Nevertheless, the latter are kindred spirits of the flâneur, who redefine the urban space in conjunction with the surrounding physical environment. Here today, there tomorrow, they are awaited with their masks.


The exhibition is accompanied with a publication in Estonian and English, which includes the explanation of the exhibition’s concept, overview of the development of graffiti and street art in Tartu and the descriptions of the works exhibited. Among other things, an essay about flâneuse by Francisco Martínez, and an article of graffiti as communicatiion-centred cultural phenomenon by Piret Voolaid.

Exhibition design: Margus Tamm, Taavi Villak

Language editor: Kadri Tüür

Translator: Priit Silm, Angela Adamson

Installation: Arvi Kuld, Kristjan Nagla

Thanks: Angela Adamson, Kristjan Bachmann, Barthol Lo Mejor, Edy, Fast K, Aleksander Heifets, Agnes Joala, Reigo Kuivjõgi, Kristen Kulberg, Kadri Lind, Erkki Luuk, Edward von Lõngus, Francisco Martínez, Märt Miljan, Medley, Uku Pira, Ruudu Rahumaru, Sirla, Kristjan Suits, Käty Tarkpea, Piret Voolaid.

Supporters: Eesti Kultuurkapital, Tartu Kultuurkapital, Hasartmängumaksu Nõukogu, ABLV Bank, Raba Pruulikoda, A. Le Coq, Slaid OÜ, Kaasaegse Kunsti Eesti Keskus, Tartu Elektriteater, Taiga OÜ.

Illustration of the press release: Urmas Nemvalts’ caricature published in Postimees, 1999.


Marika Agu


Special discount!

Tartu Art Museum is now on Instagram ! To selebrate, the following offer will hold untill the end of November:



Pilvi Takala’s solo show “Attires and Attitudes”

On Thursday, 4 September at 5 pm Pilvi Takala`s solo show “Attires and Attitudes” will open at Tartu Art Museum, Estonia.

For Tartu Art Museum, showing contemporary art by the most important artists from our neighbouring countries, alongside our own collection of Estonian contemporary art  has developed into a tradition. This year we have chosen Pilvi Takala from Finland, one of the most distinctive and productive artists amongst the younger generation active and in the international art scene today.

Pilvi Takala’s primary creative method is performative interventions into everyday rituals among different communities and through them experimental research into public space and prevailing social attitudes. She does not produce conceptual objects nor does she objectify concepts, her artistic practice is practice in its most direct sense – it is consistent, continuous and based on carefully planned activities. It is often simultaneously an action and a state of being that is presented in art spaces through edited and post-produced documentation. Each of her new works pushes the limits of her practice further, testing different strategies, and solving more and more complex situations. Pilvi often positions herself in the midst of experiments. Sometimes a seemingly trivial gesture leads to a conflict situation or confrontation, sometimes it gives an exciting inside view into a community’s attitudes and behavioural patterns. The artist’s intervening gestures are generally carefully staged-managed events, documentation of which we experience in the exhibition.

Pilvi Takala (born1981 in Helsinki, lives and works in Helsinki and Istanbul) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (2006), and was a resident at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2009-2010). She has participated in the international art scene since 2004, with solo shows at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2013), Kunsthalle Erfurt (2012), SKOR, Amsterdam (2010), and Kiasma, Helsinki (2009) among others. Her works have been presented in numerous art institutions around the world, including MoMA PS1, New York (2013), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), 53. October Salon, Belgrade (2012), 4th Bucharest Biennial (2010), 5th Berlin Biennial (2008) and 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005). She was the 2013 winner of the Emdash Award, Frieze London.

This exhibition at Tartu Art Museum is Pilvi Takala’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in the context of an art museum and it is a great honour and pleasure for us to host her and to produce this exhibition.

The exhibition “Attires and Attitudes” is accompanied by a publication that contains an interview with Pilvi Takala about her practices of art and life. 32 pages, in English and Estonian.

Tartu Art Museum is grateful to Pilvi Takala and her family for this collaboration.

Exhibition team:

Director of Tartu Art Museum: Rael Artel

Exhibition curator, booklet editor: Rael Artel

Exhibition and booklet designer: Epp Õlekõrs

Installation team: Hanna-Liis Kont (coordinator); Arvi Kuld, Kristjan Nagla, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo (technicians), Angela Adamson (volunteer)

Special thanks: Vanessa Carlos, Naomi Pearce, Will Rees, Carlos/Ishikawa, London

Supporters:  Estonian Cultural Endowment, Frame Visual Art Finland

Welcome to the museum!

We open on September 3. (11 am, I and II floor) and on September 4. (5 pm, ground floor).

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening of “Archeological Festival – a 2nd hand history and improbable obsessions” on Thursday, 19th June at 5 o’clock pm at Tartu Art Museum.

Afterparty in the museum courtyard from 7 o’clock pm (Vallikraavi 14, Tartu)

Exhibition “Archeological Festival_ A 2nd hand history and improbable obsessions” is dealing with the notion of memory and history and revisiting histories. We are working with the relationship between place and memory, decay and time and the effect spatial displacement has on personal identity.

Artists: Kaisa Eiche&Urmo Mets, Elmgreen&Dragset, Dénes Farkas, Cyprien Gaillard, David Ferrando Giraut, Paul Kuimet, Maria Minerva, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, Triin Tamm, Simon Van Til , Salla Tykkä, Anu Vahtra, Mare Vint.
Curator: Maria Arusoo