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Kaido Ole „K&O”

ARS Project Space 29.09.–28.10.2023

Mo–Fr 12–18, Sa 12–16

On Thursday, 28 September 2023 at 6 pm, Kaido Ole’s solo exhibition K&O will open at the ARS Project Space (ARS Art Factory, 154 Pärnu Road, Tallinn). The artist will present six large-scale paintings created specifically for this purpose, as well as the brand new painting series Danse Macabre. With his characteristic wit and (self) irony combined with high aesthetic quality, Ole deals with various aspects of human existence and addresses art experts as well as everyone else. At the artist talk on 16 October at 6 pm, Eero Epner will help analyse the birth story of the new paintings and Kaido Ole’s work in general.

Kaido Ole: “In my paintings I am often simply myself, and it is the case this time too. Why? Because I am constantly with myself; I never leave my own person, even for a moment. So if there is anyone I truly know, it is first and foremost me. I am quite familiar with every single one of my proud, not-so-proud and even most embarrassing moments, thoughts and desires. We only know snippets about other people and often draw unambiguous conclusions or bold generalisations from these fragments that can turn out to be unfounded. I too tend to make them about others. Connections are easily formed between small fragments, almost by themselves. However, when you know a lot about someone or something, the pattern that links the kaleidoscope into a whole no longer emerges so effortlessly, and that is quite a pleasant and interesting thing indeed.”

According to art researcher Anneli Porri, the core of Ole’s practice is conceptual painting: “Despite the fact that his large-scale paintings are calculated to the smallest detail and seem almost machine-made, he is interested in painting as a craft and the setbacks that occur during painting. Ole’s theatrical and controversial scenarios always combine various visual techniques from geometric abstraction to pop art and neo-realism. Instead of topical issues in politics and society, Ole’s paintings speak about the power relations between people or between the artist and his work more generally; however, these positions of power are always ambivalent, absurd or even humorous.”

Kaido Ole: “I’m sixty years old now and have been active as an artist for a little over half of my life; I made my first appearance at an exhibition at the end of the 80s, and I have staged almost fifty solo exhibitions since then, among other things. Although I only ever wanted to become an artist, at the beginning I still wasn’t sure that I was cut out for it. Now I have no doubt about it: if anything, it is art and more specifically, painting, that I am able to do, and, if you don’t mind me saying so, I feel I do it relatively well.

I have noticed that very often the purpose of art is said to be to raise questions and provoke thought. With my art I look instead for answers because I am already pondering, perhaps even too much. I can already guess what the answer might be, but I wouldn’t be able to explain it here in just a few words. All the works in this exhibition, as well as the works in all my previous exhibitions, were made primarily to find an answer.”

Kaido Ole (1963) studied design and painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts (1982-1992) and first worked at the academy as a teacher and later as professor of the painting department (2003-2010). Since 2010 he has been a freelance artist. In 2003, he represented Estonia at the 50th Venice Art Biennale under the name John Smith together with Marko Mäetamm. Kaido Ole has received the Kristjan Raud Art Award (1998) and the Konrad Mägi Award (2012), the annual prize of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (1999 and 2005) and the Order of the White Star, 3rd class (2014), among other merits. His works can be found in the collections of the Art Museum of Estonia, Tartu Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Latvian National Museum of Art, European Parliament, ABLV Bank, Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum Angerlehner. The artist is represented by Temnikova & Kasela Gallery.

The graphic designer of the exhibition is Andres Tali.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Artists’ Association, City of Tallinn, Akzo Nobel and Punch Club.


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