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Kris Lemsalu 'DONATELLA. Spiral of Life', Tartu Art Museum, Tartu

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selected works

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installation views

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Kris Lemsalu solo exhibition DONATELLA. Spiral of Life at the Tartu Kunstimuuseum from16 March till 21 of July 2024.

DONATELLA. Spiral of Life by Kris Lemsalu is the first solo exhibition in Tartu by one of the brightest international stars of Estonian art.

In addition to Lemsalu’s interpretation of one of Tartu’s landmarks, the fountain frozen in an eternal kiss, the exhibition will premiere Lemsalu’s biopic Old Piano, produced in collaboration with Johanna Ulfsaka selection of new drawings and some familiar installations.

Known for the striking costumes she herself and her works’ wear, Kris Lemsalu combines porcelain, fur, wool, textiles, silicone, found objects, sounds and other materials in her works with original humour to create surrealistic scenes that are both dizzyingly symbolic and playful.

Kris Lemsalu (b. 1985) lives and works in New York and Tallinn. She studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts, the Royal Danish Academy of Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Lemsalu was the artist of the Estonian pavilion at the 58th Venice Art Biennale (2019) shortly before which she received recognition in Estonia with the exhibition Beauty and the Beast, which she organised with the classic painter Tiit Pääsuke (curated by Tamara Luuk, Tallinn Art Hall). Lemsalu’s last major exhibition in Estonia was a collaboration with Kyp Malone at the Kai Art Center in Tallinn, Love Song Sing Along (Once Again With Feeling!) in 2020.


Curator: Indrek Grigor
Graphic design: Tuuli Aule
Coordinator: Kristlyn Liier
Translation: Peeter Talvistu
Language editing: Eva Lepik & Richard Adang

'DONATELLA. Spiral of Life' takes place within the framework of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main program. It is part of a larger series of exhibitions dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the surrealist manifesto, which also includes 'Initiative from Below. Estonian Caricature is the 1980s' and 'The Glow of Eternity', an exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Estonian surrealist painter Ilmar Malin. Along with the exhibitions at the Tartu Art Museum, the exhibition 'Surrealism 100. Prague, Tartu and other stories …' is on display at the Estonian National Museum from 4 April.

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