Crystal Grid 4-6 (Tallinn-Bronx-Glasgow)

Crystal Grid 4-6 (Tallinn-Bronx-Glasgow)

Photocollage, C-print on aluminium composite, epoxy resin. Edition 2/4 + 2AP
47.5 × 47.5 cm

The series “Crystal Grid” by Paul Kuimet consists of twelve photo collages in total and combines photographs of tropical plants taken in the botanical gardens of Tallinn, Brussels, Glasgow, Brooklyn, Frankfurt and the Bronx. Kuimet uses the chemical magic of analogue photography to record the light conditions of greenhouses around the world. The artist has then cut the photos with a laser, following the structural pattern of the Crystal Palace’s central transept. The Crystal Palace was built at Hyde Park in London for the Great Exhibition in 1851, and it was designed by Joseph Paxton, known as a gardener. It was the largest glass building of his time. To achieve a glassy surface on the collages, Paul has coated them with epoxy resin. As a result of this delicate and labour-intensive process, these works contain many associations, ideas and references to history and technology. Similar to his recent essay-film “Material Aspects” (2020), Kuimet’s “Crystal Grid” relates to the history of modernist glass architecture from the Crystal Palace to the present day hinting at the metaphorical connections of glass architecture to global capitalism, social structures and modern life.

About the artist

Paul Kuimet (b. 1984) creates photographic installations and 16 mm films, the subject matter of which ranges from landscapes and architecture to objects and works of art. His works are characterised by their mediated technical vision, yet he also pays attention to the viewer’s body, it’s movement and presence in the exhibition space. His recent works focus on the connections of modern building materials (such as steel and glass) with the development of capitalism since the 19th century.

Paul Kuimet studied photography and liberal arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the University of Art and Design Helsinki. For a short time, he has studied video and film at the Baltic Film and Media School of Tallinn University and the University of East London. Paul Kuimet lives and works in Tallinn.

Kuimet’s recent presentations include the solo and duo exhibitions Endless Story (with Mihkel Ilus), Tallinn Art Hall (2020); Five Volumes, EKA Gallery, Tallinn (2020) & Narva Art Residency (2018); Space Coordinates (with Nina Schuiki), WNTRP, Berlin (2018); Perpendicular, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn (2016) and Late Afternoon, Tallinn City Gallery (2016) & Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels (2016). His work has been part of group exhibitions and screening programmes such as Trial and Error, Tramway, Glasgow (2018); Double Feature, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main (2018); Archeology of the Screen, Kumu Art Museum (2018) & BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (2017); Contemporary Art from Estonia, European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main (2018); Process Film Festival, Riga (2018); Tell me about the ones who sleep through storms: Films and Videos from the Baltics, TIFF programme Wavelengths, Toronto (2017); Image Drain, Tallinn Art Hall (2017) and The Baltic Pavilion. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2016). 

In 2020–2022, Paul Kuimet is one of the recipients of the artist’s salary, and in 2017 he got the annual award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment for Fine Arts and Applied Arts. In 2018, he participated in the residency programmes at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels and at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York City. 


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