Tallinn City Gallery: SUBSTRATUM

17.05.2012 – 10.06.2012


The exhibition is open in City Gallery from May 17 until June 10

Substratum” exhibits a selection from Tiina Tammetalu’s so-called Ground Series that she has been painting for the last twenty years. The artist herself has called the method of the series as painting archaeology i.e. an attempt to interpret painting – a human activity with its roots in Stone Age – with the means and materials of contemporary art.

Tammetalu’s Ground Series can be called as landscape art only partly. An Estonian art critic Eha Komissarov has said that Tammetalu interprets landscape from a standpoint where the description of landscape view is not as relevant as the personal intervention and participation in the invention of landscape as such. Tammetalu understands her activity as part of the eternal process of entropy —- ground is substrate, the source of life, a fertile material, but inconstant, deteriorating and dying at the same time. Everything made of it will gradually fall back to its original form.

Tammetalu also names her paintings reconstructions. With her work she delves into the deepest strata of painting and interprets its traditions in a new way. The works of the Ground Series are themselves a source of reexamination and analyses for the artist and with this intellectually recycleable. These works are inspiring and instigating for the artist and enable her to open up her painter’s gaze, to play with different ideas and tell personal stories.

Tammetalu has a classical education in painting but during the last twenty years that she has been making the Ground Series she has used the brush only for signing and dating the works. In her work she has used paint, but the soil pigments, pieces of ground, physical touch and painting with hand have been the main elements in developing her specific procedure.

On two Wednesday evenings (May 30 and June 6 at 8-10PM) Tiina Tammetalu and Marko Mägi are welcoming guests to a discussion on contemporary art at City Gallery.

The exhibition has been supported by Estonian Artists' Association and Estonian Cultural Endowment


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