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„Admission Not For Everyone on Wednesday“ by Lisette Lepik & Brenda Purtsak

Brenda Purtsak and Lisette Lepik will open their exhibition Admission Not For Everyone on Wednesday, April 17, at 18.00 in Hobusepea gallery. The curator is Kerly Ritval. The exhibition will remain open until May 13, 2024.

“/---/ But wait, at last I succeeded in catching several words on end. They were:


Herman Hesse Steppenwolf

The exhibition Admission Not For Everyone binds together Lisette Lepik’s and Brenda Purtsak's work centred on human bodies. While Lepik, in her work, examines the body of a woman, as well as sexuality and relationships, Purtsak primarily focuses on the biological nature of the human body, interweaved with everlasting questions of birth and death. The work of the artists channels a symbiosis of x and y, twisted together, just like DNA. The symbiosis of bodily matter and the mind and the inseparability of matter and psyche are to be investigated.

In this exhibition, both artists direct their gaze within, sourcing both psychological and physiological matter to inspire their work. Lepik looks back at the men who have been a part of her life. In the exhibition, the men reincarnate in the paintings as psychological portraits. After facing her memories and experiences through the lens of painting, Lepik steps up in the gallery as a self-assertive and self-aware woman. 

On the other hand, Purtsak found herself in physical pain throughout the preparation process for the exhibition. How did this pain enter her body, or how does anything gain access to our bodies? Purtsak’s new works kindle a connection with the essence of pain and the dreams of escape from pain. 

The curator Kerly Ritval interprets the artists' work through Herman Hesse's novel Steppenwolf. According to the curator, 20 years after the publication of the work, the writer expressed regret that it had been misunderstood. In the novel, even while life’s trials and tribulations unfold before the reader, an intense experience of healing shines through. The works of Lepik and Purtsak, motivated by pain and forging a path to freedom through pain, point to a similar experience. 

“/---/ Then, when I had given up and gone back to the alley, a few colored letters weredropped here and there, reflected on the asphalt in front of me. I read:


Herman Hesse Steppenwolf

Lisette Lepik (1999) graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts Faculty of Fine Arts with a degree in painting (BA 2022) and has also studied installation art at the Icelandic Academy of Arts (2019). Since 2023, she has worked as a lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts. The woman's body can be seen as a central motif of Lepik’s work. The more recent works analyse relationships and sexuality with their inherent pleasures and traumas. To emphasise the physicality of her work, the paintings often spill off the canvas into space and onto different materials. Hence, the viewer has the chance to physically experience the paintings.

Brenda Purtsak (1994) graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a master's degree in contemporary art (2022) and painting (2020). The biological body is placed at the core of her practice, bordering between abstraction and the body. She contemplates topics such as love, death, and everything in between. Her main medium is painting on different materials, in addition to glass, sgraffito, and text. Purtsak has participated in various exhibitions: Pretence (2020) in the EKA gallery (curator Holger Loodus, co-artist Eero Alev), A Visitor (2022) in the Hobusepea gallery (co-artists Marleen Suvi, Eero Alev) and "Urge" (2024) in the Monumental Gallery of Tartu Art House (curator Kerly Ritval, co-artist Lisette Lepik). At the end of 2023, a large-scale personal exhibition "Birth" was held in the Project Room of the ARS Art Factory (curator Aleksander Metsamärt). Purtsak has participated in various exhibitions abroad, and her paintings and stained glass windows were exhibited in the premises of the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in The Hague (curated by Aleksander Metsamärt) for several years.

Curator and art critic Kerly Ritval (1996) graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a bachelor’s degree in art history and visual culture and a master's degree in curatorial studies. Ritval's research and curatorial interests include contemporary art, public space, and architecture, as well as contemporary dance. A common denominator is an interest in the body and how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Ritval has expanded her professional experience at the Artrovert gallery, Kondas Center, Fotografiska in Tallinn, and the Estonian Architecture Museum. She has broadened her horizons through internships at the Performa Biennale in New York, the Listval Gallery in Reykjavik, and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia & Põhjala Brewery. Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko AS. Additional information: Hobusepea Gallery Tel: +372 56 451 591      +372 52 85 324      +372 6 276 777 E-mail: Hobusepea 2, Tallinn 10133 Wed‒Mon 12.00‒18.00


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