The solo exhibition Stick It On Your Wall by MIHKEL ILUS will open at Hobusepea gallery at 6pm on Wednesday, 5 July 2017.
At the hands of a new generation of painters, painting has found a new direction towards authenticity and the field of playfulness by breaking itself away from the canvas in spatial games, shamelessly asking questions about the existence of painting.
Undoubtedly, one of the most notable artists working with these ideas is Mihkel Ilus as has already been seen since his solo show Robusto four years ago. This exhibition forms both a conclusion to his experiments of the last four years and an interlude to a new chapter, painting that has almost completely liberated itself from the dictates of the brush, paint and canvas.
The exhibition is topographically divided between the conscious structural experiments on the ground floor and works that are still playing with the personal and intimate nature of easel painting, alluding to the subconscious, on the basement level. While the visible and meaningful part of traditional easel painting – the standard “oil on canvas” – has always been a flat, usually rectangular surface placed on the wall, and the invisible-meaningless structure that is mostly hidden is the stretcher frame, made not by painters but by woodwork technicians, in this exhibition the tradition has clearly been subverted, the wedge suddenly becomes more important than the canvas. As a commentary on all these liberal games, the artist plays in the exhibition by taking various derivatives of painting into the space – a text-based work in oils is stamped onto the wall ironically stating “Stick it onto your wall”. Nevertheless, it is not irony that dominates the show, but the drive for authenticity, resonating with the former ambition of abstract art, a playful attempt to prod the flesh and bones of painting. In any case, it is a way out of the zombie formalism haunting painting today.
Hanno Soans, art critic and curator
Mihkel Ilus (b 1987) is a visual artist working in the expanded field of painting. He often works with large scale installations with a focus on the painterly approach. A significant part of his practice involves blending contemporary exhibiting culture and the performing arts. Ilus studied painting at the University of Tartu and Estonian Academy of Arts. He has been part of numerous group shows and co-curated exhibitions of young artists at Tallinn Art Hall and elsewhere, as well as co-producing and taking part in many performing arts projects. So far Ilus has had two solo exhibitions. He has been awarded several prizes in Estonia. Mihkel Ilus is based in Tallinn.
The exhibition is open until July 31, 2017.
Thanks: Estonian Artists’ Association, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Meinar Mäesalu, Asso Riisalu, Sander Veermäe, Igor Hobotov, Allan Appelberg, Johannes Säre, Maija Rudovska, Hannes Aasamets, Hanno Soans, Henri Hütt, Karin Kahre, Elna Ilus, Maarja Tõnisson.
The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Estonian Ministry of Culture.
2016 - TTK University of Applied Sciences, constrcution engineering
2010 - 2015 Estonian Academy of Arts, Master at Fine Arts
2006 - 2010 University of Tartu, Department of Philosophy, Bachelor of Fine Arts
2017 Uncanny valley, artist at Jaanika Arum's play , Von Krahli Theatre, Tallinn, August
2017 Caprices, directed show together with Henri Hütt, Design and Architecture Gallery,
Tallinn, Estonia, November
2018 Caprices, residency together with Henri Hütt, performing arts programme at Kiasma,
Helsinki, Finland, March
Group shows / co-operations
2017 Caprices 2, performance together with Henri Hütt, production by Kanuti Gildi SAAL ,
2016 (In)visible Dreams and Streams, group show, curated by Maija Rudovska, CAC Vilnius,
2016 Nomadic Images, XVI International Vilnius Painting Triennial, Museum of Applied Art and
Design, Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 Great Painter, group show, curated by Liisa Kaljula, Evald Okas Museum, Haapsalu
2016 Dead End, together with Marten Esko, Tallinn Art Hall Gallery
2015 Outlet Workspace, MA show at TASE15 group show, Tallinn
2014 Can’t Go On, Must Go On, group show, co-curatated with Elin Kard, Tallinn Art Hall
2014 Appearing Point, together with Hannes Aasamets, Rundum artist run space, Tallinn
2014 /HHH/, installation at a group show SUND, Tallinn Art Hall
2013 HAUTE Shit, performance together with Maarja Tõnisson, festival ART IST KUKU NU UT,
2012 24 Preludes for Silence, together with Märt-Matis Lill, XII Autumn Festival of the Estonian
Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn
2011 Caprices, performance together with Henri Hütt, production by Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn
2011 There’s No Japan, performance, curated by Jaan Toomik, festival Seanahk, Haapsalu
2013 Robusto, The Estonian Artists' Association's gallery Draakon, Tallinn
2013 Instead of a Firtree, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn
Acknowledgements and prizes
2015 Estonian Academy of Arts, prize for MA show
2015 Amandus Adamson silver star
2012 Eduard Wiiralt young artist's stipend
2009 Lembit Rändi stipend