Kris Lemsalu

Sculpture of a piano player

Multidisciplinary artist Kris Lemsalu’s practice is a continual evolution of ideas, forms, anecdotes and personal histories, expressed through sculpture and performance, in which the division between life and art is blurred. She creates complex sculptures, installations, and performances that fuse the animal kingdom with humankind, nature with the artificial, beauty with repulsion, lightness with gravity, life with death. She revives traditional techniques and methods to combine animal bodies and porcelain objects with found materials such as furs, leather, seashells, wool, or paper in theatrical installations that whisk us off into a world of the fantastic imagination.

Kris Lemsalu (b. 1985 in Tallinn, Estonia) lives and works in Tallinn and New York. She studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia; Danmarks Designskole, Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria. Lemsalu represented Estonia in the 58th Venice Biennial in 2019. In 2020 she was awarded the Grand Prize from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: Peace @ 295 Church Street, Margot Samel, New York, NY (2022); Angels Gone Pissing, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn, EE (2022); Love Stories, Meyer Kainer, Vienna, AT (2022) A Snail’s Tale with Kyp Malone, High Line Art, New York, US (2021); Hunt Kastner, Prague, CZ (2021); Going Going with Kyp Malone, Den Frie, Copenhagen, DK (2020); Love Song Sing-Along with Kyp Malone, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE (2020); Love Song Sing Along (Once Again With Feeling!), with Kyp Malone, Kai Art Center, Tallinn, Estonia (2020); Keys Open Doors, Secession, Vienna, AT (2018); 4LIFE, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London, UK (2018); The Wild Ones, Koppe Astner, Glasgow, UK (2017–2018). Selected group exhibitions include: Earth Spells, Witches of the Anthropocene, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, London, UK (2023); THE PARTY. Between representation and turmoil, MAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, AT (2022) Growing Out? Growing Up? Contemporary Art Collecting in the Baltics, Zuzeum Art Centre, Riga, LV (2022);We’ll Be Right Back, You Just Keep Playing!, Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, EE (2022); Jean-Marie Appriou, Amy Feldman, Louisa Gagliardi, Kris Lemsalu, Conny Maier, Sofia Mitsola, Tobias Pils, Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, CH (2022); The Well of Wisdom, Meetfactory, Prague, CZ (2022)Airing Dirty Laundry with Kyp Malone, 7th Athens Biennale: Eclipse, Athens, GR (2021); Diversity United. Contemporary European Art, Moscow – Berlin – Paris, Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur, Bonn, DE (2021); Human After All, Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, NL (2020); Up to and Including Limits, Muzeum Susch, Zürich, CH (2019); Metamorphosis. Art in Europe Now, Fondation Cartier, Paris, FR (2019); There and Back Again, curated by Kati Kivinen and Saara Hacklin, Kiasma, Helsinki, FI (2018);Steps to Aeration, curated by Sarah McCrory, Tanya Leighton, Berlin, DE (2018); and The Hierophant, curated by Aaron Moulton;Metamorphosis, curated by Zdenek Felix and presented at KAI 10 / Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf, DE.