Kris Lemsalu (b. 1985) is an artist based in Berlin and Tallinn. She has studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, Danmarks Designskole in Copenhagen, and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
Having studied ceramics at the Art Academy in Estonia, Lemsalu often experiments with traditional techniques to create her multilayered works. Animal body parts or delicate sculptures of clothing objects made of porcelain are mixed with found natural materials – fur, leather, wool – to create staged installations. These can be a self-sufficient sci-fi-like narratives, or alternatively act as a stage for Lemsalu’s own performances; sometimes the sculptures become part of her costumes. Although the themes are often chilling, dark or distant, and the overall finish is rough, Lemsalu’s works appear fragile and luxurious at the same time, highlighting the cynical aspect of art’s desirability, as much as providing an antidote to that cynicism by means of humour and irony.
Lemsalu has shown widely both in Estonia and abroad. Her recent and upcoming solo and duo exhibitions include: Upcoming solo exhibition at Secession, Vienna (2018); Upcoming solo exhibition at Komplot, Brussels (2018); Upcoming solo exhibition, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2018); "The Wild Ones", Koppe Astner, Glasgow (2017–2018); CONDO collaborative exhibition, Kris Lemsalu with Koppe Astner, hosted by Southard Reid, London (2017); "Afternoon Tear Drinker", curated by Hemma Schmutz, Kunstraum Lakeside, Klagenfurt (2016); "Beauty and the Beast", (together with Tiit Pääsuke), curated by Tamara Luuk, Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn (2016); “Blood Knot Step By Step”, Bunshitu Gallery, Tokyo (2015); “Fine With Afterlife”, Ferdinand Bauman Gallery, Prague (2015); “Lord Got To Keep On Groovin”, Temnikova & Kasela gallery, Tallinn (2013); “Top Sinner”, Pro Choice, Vienna (2012); “Evian Desert”, Tanja Wagner gallery, Berlin (2012); and “Being Together” (together with Edith Karlson), Temnikova & Kasela gallery, Tallinn (2012).
Selection of Kris Lemsalu's recent and upcoming group exhibitions and performances: "Going going", together with Kyp Malone, Performa 17 Biennial, curated by Esa Nickle and Maaike Gouwenberg, New York (2017); Performance at DRAF performance night, London (2017); "The Hierophant", curated by Aaron Moulton, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2017); "Metamorphosis", curated by Zdenek Felix, KAI 10 / Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf; Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; and Galerie SVIT, Prague (2017); "Aftermieter", curated by Veit Loers, Haus Mödrath – Räume für Kunst, Kerpen (2017); "Les Urbaines – 20th edition", curated by Elise Lammer, Les Urbaines, Lausanne (2016); "Winter Is Coming (Homage to the Future)", curated by Maria Arusoo, Georg Kargl gallery, Vienna (2016); Performance together with Gelatin, Manifesta 11, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich (2016); "On Disappearing & For Vanishing", curated by Sten Ojavee, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu (2016); "Jumanji", Soft Focus Institute, Ghent (2016); "The Ultimate Vessel", gallery Koppe Astner, Glasgow (2015); "Sequences", real time art festival, Reykjavik (2015); “I’m A Painting” curated by Merike Estna and Kati Ilves, KUMU art museum, Tallinn (2014); “Urschleim”, Fauna, Copenhagen (2013); “is my territory.” curated by Monica Bonvicini, Christine König Galerie, Vienna (2013); and “Jeden Tag Gelatin”, 21er Haus, Vienna (2013).