Merike Estna 'Soil will not contain our love' (2022). Courtesy of Merike Estna studio and Temnikova & Kasela Gallery. Photo: Stanislav Stepaško

Merike Estna's 'Soil will not contain our love' opens at Kai

Merike Estna‘s solo exhibition Soil will not contain our love will be on view from August 19 to November 27, 2022. The exhibition has been conceived as a mini-retrospective of the artist’s work, showing her new series as well as several pieces that will be shown in Estonia for the first time. The latter include Estna’s large-scale painting The Ocean of Endangered Times, created for the 2019 Moderna Museet Malmö exhibition, and the hand-woven, large-scale rug The House of the Tragic Poet, commissioned for a solo exhibition at Bosse & Baum Gallery in London in 2021, among several others.


For Kai the artist has created a multilayered environment of personal archaeology that  includes installations made from textile, beeswax, wood, glass, and ceramics, as well as paintings and sound. Merike Estna is known as a bold experimenter with the medium of painting who is masterfully creating stages and spaces for an audience to inhabit. This Kai exhibition stands out for its experimental use of materials – Estna has experimented with embroidery as well as burning both on textile and on wood, for example. Combining time-consuming and traditional techniques with materials and themes of contemporary art, Soil will not contain our love is inspired by traditional Estonian folklore and craft, creating a mesmerizing ambience.


Merike Estna is one of the most important contemporary artists in Estonia whose ongoing exploration of painting as a creative work and mode of expression is based on both a critical and conceptual approach and a deep respect for her craft. Over the last 7 years, the artist’s focus has been on international projects, as evidenced by solo exhibitions at Bosse & Baum Gallery (London), Karen Huber Gallery (Mexico City), Art in General satellite program for the Performa Biennial (New York), Kunstraum (London), kim? Art Centre (Riga), Kiasma (Helsinki) and Moderna Museet Malmö (Malmö). This large-scale solo exhibition at Kai Art Center is the artist’s first major institutional solo project in Estonia since her solo exhibition at Kumu in 2014.


Kai Art Center is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12pm to 6pm. Ticket prices are 8€/5€, and on Wednesdays admission is at the discounted price of 5€ for all. Kai Art Center’s Annual Pass can be bought here for 25€.