Estonian jewellery artist Kadri Mälk dies

Kadri Mälk.
Kadri Mälk. Source: EKA

Kadri Mälk, artist and jeweler, professor emeritus of the Estonian Academy of Arts (27.01.1958 - 1.01.2023), died on January 1, 2023, after a prolonged illness. We publish a full obituary dedicated to the artist.

Kadri Mälk attended the Tartu Art School from 1977 to 1981 before graduating from the Estonian State Art Institute in 1986. She began her career as a freelance artist and in 1989 she started teaching at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Initially Kadri worked under her mentor, Professor Leili Kuldkep. In 1996, Kadri Mälk was appointed Professor of Jewellery and Blacksmithing. Her most recent teaching position was at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts.

Kadri Mälk devoted her life to jewelry; it was her passion and occupation. Her first solo exhibition was held at the Art Hall Gallery in 1989 and she has since had numerous exhibitions in Estonia and around the world. Kadri Mälk had a deep affection for her students, with whom she traveled to the annual "Schmuck" fair in Munich, the premier European jewelry art event. In 1999, she founded the jewelry art group "ÕhuLoss." Of Kadri Malk's students, Tanel Veenre, Piret Hirv, Maria Valdma, Julia Künnap, Eve Margus, Kristiina Laurits, Villu Plink and others continue to contribute to Estonian jewellery art. Kadri Mälk established "Noor Ehe" foundation in 2008, which supports young professionals.

Kadri's jewelry art was deeply personal, touching all of the viewer's and wearer's senses, and she never questioned the magical effect of jewelry. She chose stones and metals with great care in her work because each had a personality and a power for her. When Marianne Kõrver titled a film about Kadri Mälk 'The Dark Sky of Imagination' in 2004, she captured the essence of her work.

Kadri's jewelry art was deeply personal, appealing to all of the viewer's and wearer's senses; she never questioned jewelry's magical effect. She chose stones and metals with great care in her art, believing that each has a distinct personality and power. Marianne Kõrver's film 'The Dark Sky of Imagination' (2004) captured well the essence of Kadri Mälk's art.

Kadri Mälk's works are in many private and public art collections: The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Smithsonian National Museum in New York, the Kunstgebwerbemuseum in Hamburg, and others. Of course, Kadri Mälk's largest jewellery collection is at home in the Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design. Kadri Mälk has also left behind a collection of the world's finest contemporary jewellery, collected with care and love over many years.

Kadri Mälk was keen to highlight her experience as a teacher as well as her profession. She worked as a writer, publicist and book editor for international publishers. Her most recent major publications are "Testimony," which is about her own work, and "Teacher," which is about Professor Leili Kuldkep.

Kadri Mälk is a recipient of the Order of the White Star of the Republic of Estonia, V Class, the Order of Merit of the Portuguese Republic, the State Prize of the Province of Bavaria, the Cultural Prize of the Republic of Estonia and the Kristjan Raud Prize. Her numerous international awards include the Grand Prix at the European Triennial of Contemporary Jewellery in Belgium, the Ted Noten Gold Prize in Amsterdam, the Ars Ornata Heart Prize in Cologne and others. Kadri Mälk was awarded the "Live and Shine" grant from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, as well as the Artist's Prize of the Republic of Estonia.

Kadri Mälk, who lived life to the fullest, was present until the very end. She'd just gotten back from a lecture in Lisbon...

Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA)
Estonian Artists' Association
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design Estonian Ministry of Culture

Editor: Kristina Kersa

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