29.11 – 29.12.2018 at Haus Gallery

This year, the grand old lady of Estonian graphics, Vive Tolli, celebrated her 90th jubilee. Haus Gallery is inviting everyone to participate in the compendious exhibition with gratitude and appreciation in the last month of the year: “Alati Teie, Vive Tolli”.

Vive Tolli has had a dedicated attitude towards her talent as the ultimate present, which has helped her to create presents for all of us – amazing, enchanting works of art which absorb you through life and times.

This beautiful exhibition includes moments from the creations of Vive Tolli from the 60s until the second half of the 90s. These are works, from which many have become timeless, elegant and touching legends.

As an eye-catching graphic artist and teacher, the stylised and nuance-rich creations of Vive Tolli and technical skills in graphic art have influenced the development of the entirety of Estonia’s graphic arts. Her creations have spoken to people since the 1950s in a language of symbols that transcends the boundary of time. Technically perfect sheets are, on the one hand, incredibly artistic, and on the other hand, use meaningful motifs from folk art. Above all, she has delved into the interpretation of folklore and mythology; her ‘handwriting’ includes the distinctive stylisation and utilisation of ethnographic notes and patterns.

Graphics – this is a somewhat masculine area of art which demands technical accuracy in the making of printed circuit boards and amazing master skills – Vive Tolli is utterly feminine and poetic in the results of her creations. Whether the theme is weekdays and daily life, beaches full of rowans, shingle beaches, or dreamy life above and below the water or skies.


Vive Tolli (1928) began studying ceramics at the Tallinn State Institute of Applied Arts in 1947, later studying graphic art at the Estonian State Art Institute. She has worked as a freelance artist, book illustrator and teacher. She is an honorary member of the Finnish Kalevala Society Foundation. She is a recipient of the Kristjan Raud Art Award (1978), the Jaan Jensen Award (1985), the Wiiralt Award (1998), and recipient of the Republic of Estonia 75th anniversary medal of commendation (1993). This century she has been presented with the Order of the White Star, 3rd class (2001) and an award from the Estonian National Culture Foundation (2008).

In parallel to the creations of Vive Tolli, it is currently possible to view an exhibition curated by Mai Levin within the framework of the jubilee year in the National Library of Estonia in the room of rare books, where there is a selection of book illustrations and bookplates.

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