Retrospective Toomas Kalve exhibition to open at Museum of Photography

An image from the retrospective exhibition of the work of Toomas Kalve.
An image from the retrospective exhibition of the work of Toomas Kalve. Source: Press materials

On Thursday February 9, the Museum of Photography in Tallinn will open a three-floor retrospective exhibition displaying the work of Estonian photographer Toomas Kalve spanning a period of 45 years.

Kalve's retrospective exhibition covers the entire oeuvre of the Tartu-born artist and photography teacher, from his experiments as a schoolboy to his most important series'. These include "The Life of Dead Birds", "Back in Paris", "Views of the Supercity", "Tartu Botanical Garden and Toom magi", "Nature in Color," and others.

"In Kalve's images, there is always one thing that evokes a certain feeling: often it is the light, but sometimes a detail, is supported in such a way that when we see it, our sense of security in this world collapses. The image is out on its own and doesn't remind us of anything," said artist Peeter Laurits.

Kalve acknowledged, that the birth of an image is something inexplicable, internal and spontaneous. "He explains the state from which creation begins as an instinctive feeling. He doesn't analyse his works using typical words like narrative or discourse, which (are used) to unravel the concepts of contemporary art projects. These are simply not his domain, because the aesthetics of light and shadow, with all the photographic means of expression that pass between them, make the viewer feel and react. Each one in a different way,"  said Laurits.

Toomas Kalve's work is characterized by the use of the plate camera from the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, invoking a form of retro nostalgia with the tome of his photographs.

Kalve has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad and was a founding member of the photography groups "Forever Yours" (1990) and "The Tartu Open Studio" (1996) . He has also been president of the Tartu Photography Club since 1988.

The retrospective exhibition is curated by Annika Haas and is part of this year's theme of analogue photography at the museum.

More information about exhibitions at the Museum of Photography can be found here.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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