On 26 November the exhibition POPkunst Forever!, which gives an overview of the initial years of Pop Art in Estonia, will open in the Great Hall of Kumu. The works of art and other informative material displayed at the exhibition have been gathered from both the collections of the museum and private collections since 1966.

In December 1969 an exhibition was organised in the Pegasus Café in Tallinn, a gathering place for young intellectuals, with a poster designed by Leonhard Lapin that pictured a Campbell’s soup can à la Warhol. The name of the exhibition – SOUP 69 – and the initiators of the exhibition, Leonhard Lapin, Ando Keskküla and Andres Tolts, became the symbol and the synonym of Pop Art for several years. The end of the phenomenon cannot easily be determined. In 1972–1973, when the students ravished by the ideas of Pop Art became independent artists, the collective rebellion grew weaker and more stress was put on individual pursuits, but at that time pop images started to have an effect on the works of older artists, and spread to the more applied spheres of art – the design of printed works (books, magazines and posters) and the theatre, and by 1974 it had also touched the animated cartoon. Pop Art was here to stay.

In the sixties, the world also changed on this side of the Iron Curtain. Pop Art jumbled the understanding of high and low culture: copying and kitsch, folk glamour and subcultures, fashion and trends, rock music and youth parties; the youth life style as a whole became an equal part of the cultural terrain. Culture was irrevocably changed.

The exhibition has been divided into four parts: the new visual world first emerged in the florid gouache paintings of the ANK 64 generation. This part is called Cheerful Pop. The second large subdivision, Union-Pop, exhibits the works of two groups: the Visarid (founded in 1967) and SOUP 69. The third subdivision – Urban Utopia – is an important part of our Pop Art. This deals with the utopian ideas of the generation, the longing for a dynamic modern environment. The exhibition is completed by a series of paintings by Kiwa prepared for the exhibition – felt tip paintings under the name Avant-Pop.

The curator of the exhibition is Sirje Helme, and the exhibition was designed by Andres Tolts.

In February 2010 the exhibition catalogue will be published.

The exhibition is open until 11 April 2010.

Press release from the Kumu Art Museum,
24 November 2009

Further information:
Ragne Nukk
Kumu project manager, assistant of the exhibition
Phone (+372) 602 6057, (+372) 5342 0681



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