"Kaspars Brambergs and Siiri Jüris. Contact" 03.11.–28.11.2020

For the third year, Tartu Artists’ Union is organising an exhibition of contemporary art in the Valga Museum gallery. This time, the inclusion of Kaspars Brambergs from Latvia and Siiri Jüris from Estonia is indirectly inspired by the 100th anniversary of the division of Valga and Valka between the two states. The title “Contact” is based on the latest oeuvre of these artists that seems to lure the audience into seeking physical contact with the works. However, at the same time the works also harbour something repelling.

Siiri Jüris (b 1992) has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Painting Department of the University of Tartu and is currently studying in the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Throughout her career, Jüris has mostly depicted people but has moved from a realist (but still distorted) approach towards abstractionism. Looking for a change in life, Jüris studied nursing which resulted in a transformation of her oeuvre. The paintings started showing poses and methods from caregiving manuals; their technique wanted to convey the physical sensibility of skin and to use the surface of the painting to arouse in the viewer similar uneasy emotions as seeing physical deficiencies does. The present series continues these pursuits of contact in a more gentle manner but the physicality of depiction is still present.

Kaspars Brambergs (b 1974) has studied painting in the Art Academy of Latvia and has for many years used various geological materials on his paintings. If his earlier works with their layered sgraffito-like texture could still be called paintings, then in the last years Brambergs has continuously stepped into the third dimension. This has increased the materiality of his oeuvre although the reason why the audience would like to touch them is their surface texture that has progressively become more physical throughout the years. His latest works are like enlargements of his first compositions seen under the microscope.

Previously, Tartu Artists’ Union and Valga Museum have collaborated on the exhibitions “Borderline” (2018, artists Eva Mustonen, Laura Põld, Anna-Maria Saar, Diana Tamane and Kadri Toom) and “Creation” (2019, artists Mirjam Hinn, Eero Ijavoinen and Enn Põldroos). All three exhibitions have been curated by Peeter Talvistu.