Skip to main content

Mihkel Ilus. How Else Can I Put It

Curator: Siim Preiman

The solo exhibition How Else Can I Put It by Mihkel Ilus will be open from 13 April at Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen. Ilus searches for new ways of creating paintings from canvas, oil paint and wood at an exhibition organised in collaboration between Tallinn Art Hall and Hordaland Kunstsenter. The exhibition is curated by Siim Preiman.


How Else Can I Put It develops a monochromatic visual language using the colour of wood and white, the basic elements continuing to be oil paint, canvas and wood, which began at Ilus’ exhibition Stick It In Your Wall at Hobusepea Gallery in the summer of 2017. Although it may seem that Ilus’ work, which boldly incorporates the materials of a tradition with a long history, looks increasingly unlike painting, the artist himself places his practice firmly in the extended field of painting.

“In some ways, it is much more interesting to observe Ilus as an personality than as a painter,” comments the Art Hall curator Tamara Luuk, referring to the fact that independent of the chosen medium, a criticism of the format, a questioning attitude or a sincere desire for innovation is always present in the artist’s projects. Although Ilus’ work is easy to read as a defiance of traditions, his art is more like a sensitive development of them.


“Despite the fact that we won’t find any conventional paintings at this exhibition, the materials at the exhibition are chosen with the care characteristic of a painter,” says the curator of the exhibition, Siim Preiman describing the artist’s working process. “When we were buying canvas together a few weeks ago, it had to be linen. As a layman can’t tell the difference between linen and the cheaper cotton by rubbing them between the fingers, I asked, whether anyone would be able to tell, if he’s cutting them into strips anyway. “I will,” Ilus simply answered.”


Mihkel Ilus (1987) is a visual artist living and working in Tallinn, who works in the extended field of painting. He often tackles large scale installations, approaching them with the logic of a painter. Having studied painting at Tartu University and the Estonian Academy of Arts, a substantial part of his practice involves combining exhibition culture with performance art. Among his recent solo exhibitions are: Caprices: Pre-amp (with Henri Hütt) at the Architecture and Design Gallery (2017), Stick It In You Wall at Hobusepea Gallery (2017) and Dead end (with Marten Esko) at the Art Hall Gallery (2016).


Thanks to: Estonian Cultural Endowment, Ministry of Culture, Tallinn Department of Culture, Sadolin.


Hordaland kunstsenter was established in 1976 as the first artist-run art centre in Norway and is today part of the national association: Contemporary Art Centres in Norway. With the aim to develop and promote the production and mediation of contemporary art, Hordaland Kunstsenter provides an active exhibition programme, a bookshop, an artist in residency and art in public space programme.

Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday from 12 noon – 6 pm.

Facebook Event