Architect with Pencil and Brush



20.02. – 06.04.2014

In the digital age a hand-made architectural drawing is a medium perishing into history. Drawing and painting is still unavoidably part of architectural education, but in practice contemporary architects are mainly using these skills to make mainly quick sketches – diagrams in modern terms, as these are already shaping the form of the buildings –, but the later stages of the project are implemented already only digitally. Almost obsolete is the importance of architectural drawing in making presentation drawings. The exhibition “Architect with Pencil and Brush” is a small appreciation of the elegant and highly artistic works that Estonian architects have created during the 20th century, thus enabling to bring forth classics as well as recent acquisitions from the museum’s collections.

The works exhibited can be divided into two groups. On the first gallery we find the classical architectural drawing, where mainly as beautiful perspectives done in pencil, ink or with coloured washes also the surrounding environment, cityscape or nature, people and cars are included in the picture space along the architectural object (masters of Estonian architecture such as Alar Kotli, Valve Pormeister, Nikolai Kusmin, Uno Tölpus etc.). The second part of the exhibition comprises of art made by architects and works bordering on both, art and architecture. The last direction was vigorously represented by the so-called Tallinn School architects (Toomas Rein, Leonhard Lapin, Vilen Künnapu, Avo-Himm Looveer et al.) in the 1970s and 1980s, who used different presentation techniques to conceptualise architecture and valued highly drawing as part of an architect’s skill-set. The connection to the current situation is created by the architects Villem Tomiste and Paco Ulman, who created works especially for this exhibition.

The exhibition is mainly based on the collections of the architecture museum, but gratefully it has been possible to complement the selection with works from the personal archives of architects Peep Jänes and Veljo Kaasik and the collection of civil engineer Henn Karits, who has been for decades collecting the works of his companions, the Tallinn School architects. For the first time are exhibited the works from the archive of architect Mart Port, proponent of modern architecture during the Soviet-era, which recently came to be part of the museum’s collections.


Curator: Mait Väljas
Graphic design: Koit Randmäe
Thanks to: Peep Jänes, Veljo Kaasik, Kristin Looveer, Henn Karits, Anne Lass
Supporter: Cultural Endowment of Estonia