Contemporary art

The photo and video collection of Tartu Art Museum was founded in 1999. One of the earliest works is the documentation of the 1972 performance Mouth that can be considered the first officially sanctioned work of performance art in Estonia. Performance is also represented by Raoul Kurvitz, Tanel Saar, Margus Tiitsmaa and Janno Bergmann.

Some of the most important works of video art from the 1990s can also be found in the collection: Measurings by Raivo Kelomees, Forward-Rewind by Ene-Liis Semper andLoser by Kai Kaljo which is probably the most exhibited work by an Estonian artist outside of Estonia. From the recent years a respectable collection of young female artists has formed: Flo Kasearu, Tanja Muravskaja, Marge Monko, Anna-Stina Treumund, etc.

In addition to the aforementioned artists, photography is represented by De Studio, Peeter Laurits, Arne Maasik, Herkki Erich Merila, Mark Raidpere, Liina Siib, Andres Tali, etc.

Besides photoraphy and video, the collections also hold works made with other materials (Johnson & Johnson, Kiwa, Jevgeni Zolotko, Toomas Thetloff, Visible Solutions) and works with more complex technological requirements (Ando Keskküla, Liina Siib).

Probably the most scandalous work in Tartu Art Museum is Jaan Toomik’s (in)famous installation 16 May – 2 July 1992. Toomik also has the greatest number of works in the new mediums collection.

Sadly the museum has limited space for exhibitions and we currently do not have a permanent exhibition, so not all of the collection highlights are on show at all times. However, we try to curate a varied programme of changing exhibitions so that there is always something classical on show, as well as picks from contemporary Estonian art.

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