Christie’s, a British auction house, has picked “Through the Black Gorge of Your Eyes”, an exhibition at Tallinn’s Kumu art museum that highlights the pioneering work of a small group of women who made significant contributions to Estonia’s printmaking scene during the country’s late-Soviet period, as one of the twelve art shows in Europe to seek out in the remainder of 2023.
“This exhibition highlights the pioneering work of a small group of women who made significant contributions to Estonia’s printmaking scene during the country’s late-Soviet period, between the second half of the 1960s and the 1980s,” the auction house said in the article published on its website.
“These artists – still almost entirely unknown outside Eastern Europe – began exploring themes of womanhood, motherhood, mindfulness, folklore and the environment, using etching, lithography, dry point and aquatint.”
“Take Aili Vint’s Variations D VII, for example, which celebrates the power of the female body; or consider the work of Concordia Klar, whose poetry provides the show with its title – in her challenging depiction of Adam and Eve, the couple strip off their skin and flesh to reveal the skeletons underneath,” Christie’s noted.
The twelve art shows across Europe selected by Christie’s include exhibitions at the top European art museums, such as “Naples in Paris: The Louvre Hosts the Museo di Capodimonte” at the Louvre in Paris; “Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now” at the Guggenheim in Bilbao; “Michelangelo and Beyond” at the Albertina in Vienna; “Turning Heads: Bruegel, Rubens and Rembrandt” at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp; “Anish Kapoor: Untrue Unreal” at the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence; and “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto” at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
The rich legacy of women graphic artists
Kumu’s “Through the Black Gorge of Your Eyes” exhibition that opened on 16 June, brings together works by Concordia Klar (1938–2004), Silvi Liiva (1941), Marju Mutsu (1941–1980), Naima Neidre (1943), Kaisa Puustak (1945), Marje Taska (1955), Vive Tolli (1928–2020), Aili Vint (1941), Mare Vint (1942–2020) and Marje Üksine (1945) from the 1960s to 1980s.
“Their art serves as a keyhole through which the peculiarities of Soviet graphic art are revealed. Yet, these works and the topics they deal with also position themselves smoothly in today’s art scene,” Kumu’s curators said of the exhibition.
“Perhaps the rich legacy of women graphic artists, in which we find such themes as attentiveness towards one’s surroundings, various facets of being a woman, appreciation and visualisation of care and intimacy, friendship and other social and human issues, will offer clues and fulcra necessary to survive the current times and to envisage alternatives,” they added.
Christie’s is an auction house founded in 1766 by James Christie in London. Renowned for its live and online auctions of fine art and antique, the company also offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art financing and selling international real estate.
The aim of the Kumu Art Museum, opened in 2006, is to preserve and interpret Estonian art from the 18th century to the present day.
“Through the Black Gorge of Your Eyes” exhibition will be open until 5 November 2023.