Artrovert gallery exhibition schedule

July 9 – August 24, 2024


Starting July 9, the Artrovert Gallery presents Marleen Suvi‘s solo exhibition “No More Love Letters in Our Time,” which revives intimate youth memories on totemic canvases.

Adolescence is notoriously difficult. Difficult to go through, difficult to watch from the sidelines. It’s even difficult to explain why it’s so difficult (‘hormones raging’ is not much of an explanation). Equally difficult is depicting it in a way that doesn’t come across as cheesy or cloying. This kind of ethereal experience requires both a poetic sense of boundaries and a sincere heart, so the work doesn’t end up being nostalgic or melodramatic.

Thus, this exhibition is a kind of tightrope walk. “No More Love Letters in Our Time” draws on motifs from Polaroids taken at the end of the artist’s teenage years. Playful experiments with friends, a bathtub full of makeup, a pillow grabbed modestly to cover up — these images attempt to give a glimpse into moments when one thought they were all grown up, but in reality, were just learning how to be.

Enlargements of moments captured on small photo positives start to work on Suvi’s paintings as self-aware acts of remembering — Why photograph that person? Why pose like that? Who am I here? Who are you there? Suvi’s paintings pose questions about images captured on photo paper at moments of impulse, questions that were likely not considered at the time of taking the photo, yet which reveal the complexity of recalling youth. The questions asked by viewers of Suvi’s paintings were not asked by the models themselves. No one remembers the answers anymore. This is the problem of old love letters.

If they were real, all that remains is love.

Marleen Suvi (b. 1998) is a contemporary artist whose work delves into personal and collective memory. She holds a master’s degree in contemporary art (2023) and a bachelor’s degree in painting (2020) from the Estonian Academy of Arts. Suvi’s art explores the intricate relationship between body and soul, often through self-portraits that question the nature of self-reference, egoism, and sexual self-representation.

Suvi draws inspiration from personal photo archives, contrasting the security offered by family with the freedom and inevitable self-abandonment of independent life. Her paintings, based on photographic images, are executed in oil to amplify and distill personal experiences into universal emotions. This approach emphasizes the timeless depth and significance of captured moments, transforming them into broader human experiences.

Recent exhibitions of Marleen Suvi include “Forever in Bloom” (Vaal Gallery, 2024, curated by Kaisa Maasik) and “Tender Gestures of the Self” (EKA Gallery, 2024, curated by Kaisa Maasik). She has also been a recipient of the Helju Rossmann Schneider Scholarship.

“No More Love Letters in Our Time” is curated by Aleksander Metsamärt. The exhibition continues at the EKA Gallery with Marleen Suvi’s solo exhibition “We Never Lived in the House,” open from July 5 to August 4, Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00 – 18:00.

The exhibition remains open until August 24, 2024. For more information and purchase inquiries, contact Siim Raie (Artrovert Gallery) at 5076807 or galerii@artrovert.ee.

For more information and to purchase please contact Siim Raie (Artrovert gallery) – 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee.

June 21st – August 30th


The exhibition brings together works from Ello’s painting practice of the last few years, a time when the artist has been on an internal search and rethinking his personal creative methods: “I could no longer continue painting the old way and there was no sign of new breath. When I started painting, I felt tired, unable to carry out the ideas I had planned. The brush fell from my hand and my arm was not strong enough. Now I can only paint in a very introspective and spontaneous way. Trusting in the pure flow of creation has become the most important thing for me, it carries and brings joy to creation. I’ve moved back to the genuine joy of creation, the simplicity, of childhood.”

“The paintings in ‘Surface Currents’ are based on an inner natural movement. It’s a dance, following the impulse to exactly where the hand needs to press the brushstroke, where it flows most naturally, where there is an open space and room already waiting. Each trail of paint is a bringing forth of something that has been there all along, waiting to appear and manifest itself on canvas.

This exhibition – these abstract and less abstract paintings speak to what resonates deep within us all and everything. Of the flow that permeates the middle. Of the essence of being, of the tumbling, the rhythm heard in the rustle of tree leaves and seen in the shaping of cloud patterns, the flight of swans overhead, wuh-vuh-vuh. This oscillation keeps rushing on, flying over the field in dust mists and swirling in dandelion leis. Rolls loose from the melting of the stone into the water. And penetrates me too, manifests and bursts out in me. It dances through my marrow and ripples the chill of recognition across my body. Moves smoothly at the periphery of perception and deep in rock layers. Like a surface current, it sways quietly, unrolling itself, twist by twist, but it reaches the core, moving through everything. It touches. So lightly that you might miss it!”

Eleriin Ello (1984) is a freelance painter living and working in Tallinn. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a BA in printmaking (2007) and an MA in painting (2010). During his Master’s studies he studied at the painting department of Univesidade do Porto, Portugal, in the autumn semester of 2009 as part of the Eramus programme. In 2012, Ello was awarded 3rd place in the Young Painter Prize and is the winner of the 2016 Sadolin Art Prize.

The exhibition “Surface currents” is a collaboration between Artrovert Gallery and Villa Dombrovka, with the support of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, thank you.

The exhibition is open during the opening hours of Villa Dombrovka.

For more information and to purchase please contact Siim Raie (Artrovert gallery) – 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee.

May 1st – 23rd of June 2024


When the Sun Rises” is a meditation on the relationship between the human being and nature, on noticing, the depth of presence and the search for spiritual balance. The exhibition is a continuation of the artist’s master thesis “Unfulfillment”, based on her experiences during an art residency in Costa Rica in early 2024. The creative work weaves together into a personal journey – a visual novella of experimental yet exploratory material.

Hõim will bring mainly oil paintings and installation sculpture to Artrovert Gallery’s new exhibition space, introduced by a video and sound piece created in collaboration with choreographer Raho Aadla. The artist comments: “Each exhibition is like a chapter in a body of work – a symbiosis of recent diverse ideas, experiences, discoveries, beliefs and what is important in the moment. The chapters settle in layers, but it’s not forever – the next chapter is already waiting.”

Heleliis Hõim (1987) is an interdisciplinary artist who holds a Master’s degree in contemporary art from the Estonian Academy of Arts and has studied in Latvia, Italy and the UK. He has made several collaborative projects and solo exhibitions and participated in international group exhibitions, most recently at NordArt 2024, one of Europe’s largest contemporary art festivals, in Germany. Hõimu’s oil paintings are characterised by a lively use of colour and dynamism, and she often incorporates elements of nature and organic forms into her works.

The exhibition “When the Sun Rises” opens at Artrovert Gallery on 30 April at 19:00 and will remain open until Midsummer.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Skizze Estonia and PermaFungi.

Artrovert Gallery, which exhibits and sells Estonian contemporary art, will be located at the new address Ristiku 10 in Tallinn from May 2024.

More information: Siim Raie, Artrovert, 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee

March 20th – April 20th 2024


On 20 March, the exhibition “Cosmic Collision. The Gates of Heaven” presents Kärt Summatavet’s drawings from two series completed in 2024.

The first of these, “Cosmic Collision”, is a series in which Summatavet has put down on paper themes of human mythology, sign systems, the universe and eternity, invisible connections, science and artificial neural networks, the elusive abstract rhythm and the nature of the universe. As I draw, new ideas, handwriting experiments and drawing techniques have emerged. Imagination has given way to all kinds of creative experiments. Different forms and shapes emerge in a similar way to musical interpretations – first the theme and purpose of the drawing, then contours, composition, sensuous geometric play, proportions and rhythms, colours and feeling. On the surface, mathematics, geometry, astronomy and mythology meet.

The ‘Gates of Heaven’ series is made up of drawings that explore the mythological worldview of different peoples and the hidden connections between the Universe. Gates of Heaven is born from the idea of depicting the spiritual openings through which, once entered, the journey of the inquisitive explorer and pilgrim into the unknown begins.

Summatavet comments on his drawings, “I have been inspired by the gates of paradise of the Alhambra Palace and gardens, and by the ancient Estonian gate – the Viruväve Gate. An ancient singer, an architect, a poet and a designer of future artificial intelligence working in virtual reality all meet in front of the Gate of Heaven. The Gates of Heaven are inscribed in humanity’s spiritual heritage through various signs and stories. It is man’s destiny to strive there and beyond”. Two of the drawings in the exhibition are dedicated to Tõnu Kõrvitsa’s composition “The Voice of the Wings”.

During her preparatory courses at the University of Art, Kärt Summatavet decided that, in the spirit of Adamson-Eric, she would not become a one-discipline-artist, but a free experimenter. She decided to study metal art because its techniques, which require specialised knowledge, were the most difficult to master. His tutor, the jeweller Leili Kuldkepp, was a student of Günther Reindorff and a virtuoso draughtsman and drawing teacher. Together with Kaljo Põllu, they went on several ERKI Finno-Ugric expeditions and developed a deeper interest in Estonian mythology and archaic art. His graduation thesis in metal art was on Finno-Ugric mythological drawings and jewellery derived from them, which remained the theme of further personal exhibitions. As a teacher in Estonia and abroad, Summatavet has sought to pass on the skills of interpreting rather than copying the heritage of the past. In 2001, as an art doctoral student at Aalto University’s Department of Design, he began experimental experiments with computer-controlled tools to apply delicate freehand drawings to precious metal jewellery and industrial prototypes. Experimenting at the frontier of tradition and innovation. Drawing on paper was completely forgotten for a while, as the drawing was done directly on the jewellery with metalworking tools and a computer. In 2019, Summatavet received an invitation from the University of Tartu to take up the position of Professor of Liberal Arts 2019/2020.

The honourable task coincided with a pandemic, which created time to immerse myself at the drawing board and dedicate myself to drawing. The desire to outgrow the old handwriting gave birth to experiments in what the creative process teaches. The series were born: Mythology and Artificial Intelligence”, “Invitation of the Universe”, “Dark Matter”, “Confluence of the Universe”. These are all series from the artist’s own world, and have led to the realisation that the current conception of the mythological human is expanding to a much wider scope. The universe before man is neutral, pure, eternal, infinite, beautiful, harmonious, frighteningly vast, order and chaos at once.

Kärt Summatavet (PhD) is a metal artist and printmaker. She received her PhD from the Faculty of Design, Aalto University (2005). She is Professor of Liberal Arts 2019/2020 at the University of Tartu and works as a consultant at the Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu.

The exhibition will remain open until 20 April.

For more information contact, please contact Siim Raie, 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee.

February 6th – March 9th 2024


From 6 February the exhibition of paintings by Andrei Maksimyuk “Silhouette” will be open at Artrovert Gallery.
The concept of the silhouette originated in France in the second half of the 18th century, referring to a portrait technique in which facial contours are depicted in profile as a shadow. The name of the technique refers, in a joking way, to Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), the French finance minister of Louis XV’s time, who became a figure of fun because of his vigorous administrative policies, characterised by extreme austerity and even cutting the king’s expenses. His name came to stand for someone who spends little, eats little.
But contour painting is also closely linked to painting. Pliny the Elder, in the Book of Natural History (books 34 and 35, c. 77-79 AD), already writes about it: ‘We have no certain knowledge of the origin of the art of painting /…/ the Egyptians affirm that it was invented among them six thousand years before it reached Greece /…/ as for the Greeks, some say it was invented in Sicyon, others in Corinth, but all agree that it began with the drawing of lines around the human shadow’.

Butades, a Sicyonian ceramist, was the first to invent the art of shaping portraits in relief silhouette. He made this discovery through his daughter, who, deeply in love with a young man who was about to leave on a long journey, drew his facial profile on the wall in lamplight. Seeing this, his father modelled the outline of his face on a clay tablet, which was then fired with other ceramic objects.
Andrei Maksimjuk comments on his exhibition. I create the outlines of the figures, give them shape and form and finally fill them in with very thin layers of paint.” He continues: “I also like the concept of the silhouette itself, because I use extremely few colours in my work, both in terms of palette and quantity.”
The protagonist of the series of paintings in the exhibition is light, but it is a dark light. Many of the words used to describe the works refer to traditional astrological beliefs. The planet Saturn is associated in astrology with influences that produce melancholy, reflexivity and dreaminess. Saturn refers to something or someone who is prone to contemplation, is a bit gloomy and meditative.
Melancholy is not just any kind of sadness, as Victor Hugo wrote, but “melancholy is the happiness of being sad”. Sadness isn’t always bad – a sad, unassuming smile without any edge can be full of reflections, enriching like fruitful rain alternating with joyful sunshine.

Andrei Maksimjuk (1976) is an Estonian painter, who has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with both a BA and MA degree, and has also received a MA degree from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Italy. In addition to his work as an artist, Maksimjuk has also been a teacher, restorer, exhibition organizer and designer.

The exhibition will be open until 9th of March 2024. For more information contact, please contact Siim Raie, 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee.

December 6th 2023 – January 6th 2024


From December 6, 2023 to January 6, 2024, the Artrovert Gallery will host the exhibition “I Wave”, an exhibition of photographs taken by photographer Liis Karu in the summer of 2022-2023.

Liis’ works are like a photopoetry of seascapes – a sensual and enigmatic pictorial poem. On the border between imagination and reality, it invites the viewer to experience waves of beauty and dream. Liisi’s photographic technique, sense of light and perspective interact with the waves of the sea to create images that reflect and at the same time soothe the heaviness of being. The dreaminess of the photographs gives hope and feeds the longing for beauty.

“I would compare my photos to poetry. Poetry is not a language – in poetry we use words and images that are more abstract and symbolic, and that mark a feeling. Words we use in everyday life take on a new, expanded meaning in poetry. I depict nature around me not in everyday language, but from a position of feeling that is interesting and specific to me. That’s why the finished photographs are more abstract and their focus is inward, on feelings,” Liis comments on her work.

About the series of photographs Liis says: “This wave came to me like a love affair. It came to me like a love that came to me. It came over me and overwhelmed me… it flowed and overwhelmed me… I was helpless to do anything but photograph the process. Going out to sea became an obsession and catching the right wave an addiction. On the one hand, it was very liberating – going out to sea on a summer’s night and letting the rhythms of the water and the light carry you. But it was also excruciating – to feel the constant craving for magic.”

Liis Karu’s photographic practice is not simply reflecting nature, documenting it. Above all, she photographs herself. The landscapes of her own soul. From the outside in and from the inside out. “If you could look inside a person, the landscape opens up. The environment around us is a reflection of that. Art is an expression of this inner world. I’m surfing. I look at the wave, it looks back at me and I make a picture of it. The wave in the photograph is always a bit different than I first saw it when I looked at it, but that’s what’s interesting. It unfolds when I take a picture, like a person unfolds with their landscape, and I can see more, understand better, come to terms with it, but also just be and enjoy it,” she says, adding. The sense of relief that follows is the reason I photograph in nature.”

Liis Karu (b. 1983) graduated from the Tartu Higher Art School Pallas in 2006 with a degree in photography. In addition to photography, Liis works as a freelance book artist and designer and collaborates with various publishers and writers. The exhibition “I wave” is Liis’s first solo exhibition.

The exhibition “I Wave” will be open until 6 January 2023. For more information contact Siim Raie, 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee.

2 November 2023 – 2 December 2023



Mall Nukke‘s “New Icons” are miniature paintings that look like Byzantine icons but are not. Nukke started painting them in 1998 and the new 12 icon-like paintings were completed in 2022 – 2023.

Nukke explains: “These paintings are my reflection and pictorial expression of an apocalyptic present day. The beginning of the 21st century could be described as Shakespeare’s idea that time is out of joint, and the last few years have been especially turbulent. The accumulated tensions, which are probably felt by most people, I have depicted in my ‘new old-fashioned’ paintings’.

The icon’s narrative and illustrative simple imagery provides an opportunity to make sense of seemingly complex processes. The paintings are only superficially similar to holy pictures. What distinguishes them from the original models is their technique, created in a symbiosis of oil painting and collage, with the gilding technique adding to the similarity. The serious subjects have been transformed into something humorous and narrative.

For, in difficult times, where do we draw strength if not from irony.

Tiiu Randmann-Mihkla‘s light installation invites you to take part in a special experience created by the light, sound and the visitor inside. Randmann-Mihkla comments. I nourishes and covers. Here we raise our children and grow old. The sky is just as important, but perhaps we don’t pay as much attention to it. Yet it is the sky that we look up to when we try to remember something or seek answers to questions. When we are happy, it feels like the whole sky is shouting with us, and unhappy when plans fly against the sky. In beliefs, heaven is paradise and the home of the soul after the earthly journey is over. Heaven is full of colours, hope and angels.”
The pillow-like objects created by artist Tiiu Randmann-Mihkla fill the dim space with magical light, aided by the light falling on them. Accompanied by a sound piece by Antti Kammiste, they are like a journey to somewhere unknown. There is anxiety, sadness, peace and hope – feelings that are very personal, but common to us all.

Garden of Souls is a continuation of Tiiu Randmann-Mihkla and Antti Kammiste’s exhibition at the Haapsalu City Gallery in November 2021 and at the Telliskivi Creative City in January this year.

“When both artists approached the gallery with the idea for the exhibition, they seemed to fit right in with the November season of the soul – both artists are dealing with coping – coping with both physical and mental darkness, and so the sweetness and humour of Nukke’s ‘icons’ fit well with Randmann-Mihkla’s luminous light clouds and Kammiste’s soothing music,” said Siim Raie, founder of Artrovert gallery.

The exhibition and installation will remain open until 2 December 2023.

More information: Siim Raie, 5076807, galerii@artrovert.ee

28 October 2023 – 26 November 2023


Address Kalaranna 8/10, open Thursday to Sunday 13:00 – 18:00

Pille Ernesaks, Saskia Järve, Mari Steinberg, Mari-Liis Sõrg, Edgar Tedresaar, Kadri Toom will perform at the exhibition. Curator Siim Raie

In the case of contemporary painting, it is the subject matter and the concept – what happens on the surface of the painting as expressed by the colours – that traditionally attract most attention. At the heart of the “XL Canvas” exhibition is the canvas – the material on which the artist expresses their ideas, feelings and perceptions. The large canvas is impractical, these works are not designed for the walls of the average home, their height exceeds the height of most ceilings, there is no understated parlour chic about them, no desire to please guests. They are born only of the author’s desire to make something just so large. However, canvas is also practical, for without it there would be no painting – whether linen, cotton or hemp, canvas is a simple material from which to start and which makes great art possible.

The exhibition’s curator was greatly inspired by an Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Doge’s Palace during last year’s Venice Biennale, which took over the huge space and made you wonder how it was possible. A large canvas or painting already has an effect of its own, an affective effect, but at the same time, it is very easy for an artist to get lost in a large canvas, to get lost in the scale or to become wallpaper. The artists selected for the exhibition and their works are perfectly up to the task. Whether abstract or geometric, figurative or diffuse, these works make an impact.

Most of the works in this exhibition can be viewed not only from the front, but also, if desired, from all sides – they are completely open to the viewer. There are also canvases that are not even drawn on a support frame, they challenge the traditional. They present the power and independence of the canvas, the support for the colour, the vision of the artist.

Artrovert Gallery’s pop-up exhibition in the Kalaranna Quarter (Kalaranna 8/10, open Thursday to Sunday 13:00 – 18:00) is a temporary exhibition space adapted specifically for this exhibition and will remain open until the end of November.

Thank you: Moonraker OÜ and Puukeskus AS.

For more information, contact Siim Raie, 5076807, siim.raie@artrovert.ee.

The exhibition will remain open until 26th of November 2023.

September 22, 2023 – October 24, 2023


Saskia Järve’s painting exhibition “Celebration of Being” speaks of the uniqueness of life’s moments and depicts observations on the interconnections between the human soul, civilisation and nature.

The works in the exhibition have a longer prequel, which concerns the large garden beneath the window of the artist’s rented apartment – an oasis in the middle of the city, the potential of which she failed to notice for almost a decade. It had been possible to live a fairly anonymous life in a medium-sized wooden house, knowing almost no one, but when suddenly no one was looking after the garden, it was a matter of chance that, together with a neighbour, the decision had to be taken to take care of it. After the first “mowing” of the lawn with scissors, for want of a better tool, it was clear that there was more to it than just physical work. It was an encounter with something alive.

Without knowing how to care for the plants at first, however, the world of gardening slowly began to unfold, becoming more and more special. It was as if the life force of nature was spilling over into everything else.

Describing the series of paintings she created for the exhibition, Järve says: “When I was creating the works, I was fascinated by the invisible at first sight – hopes, longings, the unknown and the unpredictability that surrounds life. All of us are unknowable, incomparable beings with something unique and sacred.”

Saskia Järve was born in 1979 in Pärnu, lives and works in Tallinn. In 2009 she graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Master’s degree in painting.

As a mostly figurative painter, she deals with everyday life events, focusing on the complexity and psychology of human nature. His work mixes images of personal life with pop culture imagery and popular folklore, appearing at once familiar and alienating. Since 2005, he has exhibited his work in Estonia, England, Italy, Germany, Finland, Canada, Russia, Lithuania and Latvia.

The exhibition will be open until 28 October 2023.

August 24, 2023 – September 21, 2023


Artist Regina-Mareta Soonseina’s exhibition “Imprint” showcases newly created graphic works using linocut technique, along with their printing plates. In her new series, Regina-Mareta continues to manipulate figurative forms and organic matter with delicate lines, this time in a smaller format than usual. Imprints of body language are printed onto two primary shapes – circles and squares, in black and white, positive and negative – thus mimicking the circulation of matter.

May 28th 2023  – August 2023


The exhibition “Creative Realities,” curated by Siim Raie, a master’s student in art history at EKA and the creator of Artrovert Gallery, explores the possibility of truth and reality and their potential expressions. The participating artists in the exhibition include Mia Felić, Gerda Hansen, Davijani, Anna-Liisa Kree, Syed Sachal Rizvi, Eri Rääsk, Mari Steinberg, Lara Žagar, and Mirjam Varik.

The concepts of truth and what is real are everyday contemplations. Wars are fought over different interpretations of reality, and nearly everyone preaches their own ideological truth. In the whirlwind of inflated questions, art is the only true answer. Art doesn’t have to be (and has never been) real, but it has the ability to show us what is possible, what is realistic without being actual.

Nine contemporary art master’s students from EKA have created their own creative realities – dream landscapes, visions, fantasies, altars, refuges, memories, dreams, and repetitions of dreams. Often, these mental images are more real than reality itself, at least to their creators. The exhibition allows us to approach some inner worlds, joys, and concerns, while also giving us the opportunity to observe where the artist places themselves within these and where the viewer stands.

The exhibition features photography, painting, drawing, and installation artworks. “Depicting the three-dimensional world and even more so, the depiction of conceptual spaces as flat surfaces has always been an interesting and challenging task in art for me. The authors and artworks were chosen precisely because of their mastery in portraying reality on a two-dimensional plane,” said curator Siim Raie.

The exhibition “Creative Realities” will remain open throughout the summer and can be visited on Fridays and Saturdays at Villa Dombrovka

May 9th 2023  – June 22nd 2023


Artist Kiwa’s exhibition “The Robot’s Path is Shifting” consists of a hundred digitally created images that captivate the viewer. With this exhibition, Kiwa continues their artistic journey that does not adhere to fixed genres and techniques. It is something they have never done before.

Kiwa comments on their artworks as follows: “The idea behind the series is a state of immaturity and creative imagination. It’s a world that is not stagnant, where metamorphosis and fairy tales are possible. Transformation is, on one hand, a psychedelic experience, and on the other hand, a Taoist constant change or progression. States of experiencing an alternative reality.”

The substantive connection to the book of the same name published in 2004 lies in the concept of “shift”:

  • To make a structure self-aware, for a machine or a perceptive subject to reach its metalevel, illogical and non-presumptive movement is necessary.
  • To change something, to move beyond self-as-machine, one needs to alter their thinking, algorithm, and predetermined working mode.
  • To bring about a revolution, a shift in consciousness is required.
  • To bite through the language in which internal communication takes place, a metalevel is needed.
  • To become aware, deconstruction and the reversal of value hierarchies are necessary.
  • To see the politicization of signifiers, deconstruction is required.

The exhibition promises and delivers all of this.

“While many artists today engage with posthumanism, the intersection of humans and technology, Kiwa deals with posthumanoidism – what the alien becomes in the future. The collection of artworks is powerfully moving and creates an automatic shift in the viewer’s facial expression and, I believe, in their thoughts as well,” commented Siim Raie, the founder of Artrovert Gallery.

Kiwa (born 1975) is an Estonian artist, composer, curator, and literate, as well as the founder of the ;paranoia publishing house. They studied sculpture at the Tartu Art School and the Estonian Academy of Arts. The Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia describes Kiwa as a resistant machine that shifts motifs and quotes. By combining anarchic and pop principles, the artist’s expressive tools range from sculpture to painting, performance to video, and sound to text.

Since 2014, Kiwa has been leading the ;paranoia publishing house, which publishes books that no other publishing house wants to publish for political, economic, aesthetic, and other reasons.

Kiwa has curated numerous exhibitions since 1999. They have given lectures at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2006–2018), led the sound art platform “metabor” (2001–2004), and worked on the ethnographic documentary project “Soviet Hippies.” Kiwa’s works can be found in the collections of the Art Museum of Estonia, the Tartu Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Estonia, as well as in private collections in Estonia, Europe, and the United States. They were a recipient of an artist’s salary from 2017 to 2019.

April 6th – April 25th 2023


The exhibition by Mihkel Ilus speaks of longing for spring and the desire to remove the cover from a car or motorcycle, press the clutch and step on the gas, and speed away into the distance.

In his painting series, the artist draws a parallel between art and cars, highlighting the similar universal truths and the pursuit of an ideal in both worlds. As an example, he mentions his studio neighbor Märt, who molds his old Saab like a sculptor shaping a sculpture: “He can sand the entire car and putty it again just to bring out a one-centimeter protrusion from a pothole.”

The roots of the series go back to Haapsalu in 2016, where Ilus presented a painting created in collaboration with Liisa Kaljula for the exhibition “Grand Painting Work.” At that time, the painting was inspired by Kaarel Kurismaa’s works. The same artwork moved from studio to studio with the artist, gradually shifting its purpose over time, transforming from an art piece into an air rifle target. Years passed until Ilus’s friend Mura suggested exhibiting his works in a vintage car shop, and the abstract work created for the half-arc served as the starting point for the series.

In the exhibition, Mihkel Ilus breaks the myth of being a painter of predominantly white color, using rich color palettes in his works. The series bursts with colors, evoking the same sensory awakening as the first blooming crocuses after a long winter. The artist has used car paint in his paintings, including Ferrari red, Moskvich brown, and BMW silver. As he jokingly added, “These works are like failed painting jobs; every time I try to do bodywork, it turns out like landscape painting.”

Mihkel Ilus (b. 1987) is an Estonian painter and installation artist who incorporates performing arts and explores the relationship between the white cube and the black box in his works. His art is characterized by a constant desire to create and break rules and manipulate the medium. Behind the seemingly simple execution lies a thoughtful and thorough concept. He often works with construction materials such as plasterboard, wood, and various shades of white as his palette. Mihkel Ilus holds a bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Tartu and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Estonian Academy of Arts. He has been a guest lecturer, master, and lecturer at the academy since 2011.

Last autumn, he presented an immersive performance installation titled “T2” at the Kanuti Gildi SAAL in collaboration with Marten Esko. His recent solo exhibitions include those at the Tartu Art House (2019), Hobusepea Gallery (2018), and Hardanger Art Center in Norway (2018).

February 16th – March 25th 2023.


Eero Alev (1983) has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a bachelor’s degree in painting and a master’s degree in contemporary art. Currently, he is a drawing and painting lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts and works as a freelance artist. Strong in traditional figurative representation methods, his style is realistic and characterized by a unique approach to subject matter. The main themes of his works are space and the human figure, often focusing on children, with particular attention to atmosphere.

The exhibition explores the world through the eyes of a child and the gaze that observes the child. A child can become so engrossed in play that they forget everything else around them. Observing a child in this way brings back memories of one’s own childhood, an experience that is behind us and cannot be relived. Observing one’s own child is the best alternative to reliving those experiences, evoking emotions that cannot be found elsewhere and awakening dormant layers that have long been forgotten.

Eero Alev’s recently completed series of six paintings speak of the unattainable longing for childhood, as well as the admiring and fearful gaze of a parent witnessing the growth of a little person. The exhibition “Then Suddenly I See You” is based on photos taken in the past two years, captured in the backyard of Tabasalu, at friends’ homes in Haapsalu, and on a trip to Hiiumaa. Photography provides an opportunity to preserve those moments. Painting, however, adds another dimension for the artist – the opportunity to spend more time in those moments and analyze their own thoughts, feelings, desires, and fears.

The painting series is a conceptual continuation of Eero’s 2022 master’s thesis at the Estonian Academy of Arts, titled “Encounter on a Plane,” where spontaneous, sketch-like characters inspired by children’s drawings appeared alongside classical figures. On the plane, two worlds met – the conscious, trained, and structured approach of an adult and the childlike, naive, and clumsy brushwork. Like in the master’s thesis, the colors in the exhibition “Then Suddenly I See You” have been toned down towards monochromaticism, although not fully achieving a single color.

Eero Alev has participated in several group exhibitions, including the significant ones at the Estonian Art Museum in 2019, curated by Eha Komissarov, “Open Collections. The Artist Speaks,” the duo exhibition “Pretense” with Brenda Purtsak at the Estonian Academy of Arts Gallery in 2020, and the recent exhibition “Guest” at the Hobusepea Gallery in the summer of 2022, together with Marleen Suvi and Brenda Purtsak.

January 6th – February 11th 2023.


Ingmar Roomets’ exhibition “Shadow” presents 11 works from the past two years.

Ingmar Roomets (born 1995) is a young artist with a distinctive naive perspective and a powerful expressive style. In 2019, Roomets began studying at the Painting Department of Tartu Art College Pallase. In the same year, he joined the Umbra Studio in Tartu’s old town and started exhibiting his works. Since 2022, Roomets has also been a member of the Tartu Artists’ Union.

Roomets commented on the upcoming exhibition and its theme: “Shadow is neither good nor bad; it is neutral and awakened by events in life. Certain people and relationships can trigger our Shadow. Then a part of us is activated, of which we may not have been aware before. The works in the exhibition may initially appear dark and repellent. They reflect fears, pain, and experiences that can unexpectedly strike us, and it can be difficult to confront their concentrated rawness. However, by not judging the works but instead experiencing them neutrally and calmly, the viewer can begin a process of purification and liberation. All the works in this exhibition are created with the aim of transforming all that outdated negativity that no longer sustains us and serves us into something new and supportive.”

September 8th – November 26th 2022. Opening exhibition of the new gallery location.


Artrovert Gallery’s opening exhibition features artist Olev Kuma’s (born 1990) show titled “Transfer.”

Kuma’s series “Transfer,” created as his final project at the Estonian Academy of Arts, consists of extremely slow images contrasting the everyday rush. These paintings are abstract from edge to edge, gradually revealing themselves and creating bridges to the subconscious realm of experience.

The works in the exhibition are veiled between the material and the dreamlike, inspiring a connection with a deeper inner world untouched by the mundane. Formally minimalist, even monochromatic rectangles from a distance, these meditative pieces allow meaning to arise only in harmony with the input brought by the observer. Thus, they speak uniquely to each individual who pauses in front of the painting, creating a personal and distinct stage for their thoughts and emotions. Meaning emerges when the content of the artwork meets the content of the viewer.

Olev’s works are meditative and calming, offering a well-suited balance for anxious times.

Artrovert Gallery focuses on contemporary art. The gallery has been hosting exhibitions in its premises since the autumn of 2022. Additional information: galerii@artrovert.ee, +372 507 6807​