The Square of Dolls

Jass Kaselaan (Estonia), winner of the Köler Prize 2014

Solo exhibition

14 February – 22 March 2015

The Arsenāls Exhibition Hall / Creative Studio

The Latvian National Museum of Art

2nd floor, 1 Torņa Street, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia

Opening of the exhibition on 13 February 2015 at 17.00.

The solo exhibition The Square of Dolls by Estonian sculptor and 2014 Köler Prize winner, Jass Kaselaan, will be held in the Creative Studio of the Arsenāls Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (1 Torņa Street, 2nd floor). The exhibition will be open from 14 February until 22 March 2015.

Jass Kaselaan (b.1981) can be described as the flagship of a very strong and distinct generation of sculptors including about five artists that graduated from Tartu Art College in the second half of the 00s and continued their MA studies at Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. Their work is characterised by a narrative approach to themes that range from death, science fiction and paranoia to fairy tales, homophobia and the cold war.

It is rather characteristic for the entire new generation of Estonian sculptors that they don’t participate in group shows, but like to fill the whole space themselves. This has led critics to describe them as monumentalists who lack the ambition to create monuments. There is no other that this claim could be more true of than Kaselaan. Whatever size the gallery, it will be too small for him.

Kaselaan’s acclaimed work The Square of Dolls is a good example of monumentality squeezed into the gallery, as it consists of 16 huge doll heads cast in concrete accompanied by the series of photographs. The parallels with monumental art are triggered not only by the material and object to space ratio, but also by the fact that monuments are erected to tell and, more to the point, remind us of a story. In this case a story of dolls found next to a rubbish bin in the middle of a Soviet residential area, that itself is one of the last functioning monuments of an era.

The Köler Prize was established in 2011 and named after the 19th century Estonian painter Johann Köler (1826–1899). It was created to popularise Estonian contemporary art and to support powerful local artists and artist groups. Every year, five authors are nominated for their work over the last three years while invited international jury selects the winner. In 2014 an exhibition by the nominees was on show at the Contemporary Art Museum Estonia (Eesti Kaasaegse Kunsti Muuseum).

Both, the Köler Prize and the Purvitis Prize present the best artists currently active. So the decision, to present the fourth Köler Prize winner next to the nominees for the fourth Purvitis Prize, is no coincidence. Jass Kaselaan’s Square of Dolls provides an insight into the work of the talented artist indirectly showing the similarities and differences between the visual art prizes of two Baltic countries.

The exhibition is the result of collaboration between the Latvian National Museum of Art and the Tartu Artists’ Union. The project is supported financially by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Text by Indrek Grigor


Indrek Grigor, Gallery manager of the Tartu Artists’ Union, Tartu, Estonia


Šelda Puķīte, Head of the Creative Studio of the Arsenāls Exhibition Hall,

Latvian National Museum of Art

T: (+371) 67 357527, E: Selda.Pukite@lnmm.lv




#Lellu laukums

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The Creative Studio of the Arsenāls Exhibition Hall of the LNMA (1 Torņa Street, Riga, Latvia)


Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays    12.00–18.00, ticket office 12.00–17.45

Thursdays    12.00–20.00, ticket office 12.00–19.45

Saturdays, Sundays    12.00–17.00, ticket office 12.00–16.45

Closed on Mondays

The museum is closed on all public holidays: 1 January, Good Friday, Easter, Midsummer Eve and Day (23–24 June), Christmas (25–26 December), 31 December.


Adults:    EUR 1,42

Schoolchildren, students, senior citizens:    EUR 0,71

PRESS  IMAGES  (please request if need in a larger resolution)

1-3.    Jass Kaselaan. The Square of Dolls. 2014. Installation.

Property of the artist. Publicity photo

4-6.    Jass Kaselaan. The Square of Dolls. 2014. Digital print.

Property of the artist. Publicity photo

7.    Estonian artist Jass Kaselaan. 2014. Photo: Scanpix

Press release prepared by:    Natalie Suyunshalieva

Head of Press

The Latvian National Museum of Art

P: (+371) 67 357527

F: (+371) 67 357520

E: pr.service@lnmm.lv

I:  www.lnmm.lv

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lnmm_muzejs



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