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Anu Vahtra’s works investigate found spatial situations. Initiated by the architectural characteristics as well as historical and contextual background of a certain site, they often focus on issues of urban space but also tackle exhibition format and specifics of an exhibition space. Vahtra composes both physical and photographic space as if through the camera, bearing in mind distinct vantage points. What’s important is that the focus of attention is equally on what her work depicts and how it relates to and is displayed in a specific space.

Vahtra has participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally, and has had solo exhibitions in Amsterdam, Bochum, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, New York, Prague and Tallinn. She has been nominated for the Kristjan Raud Prize (2015) and the Sadolin Art Prize (2014); in 2015 she won the Köler Prize 2015 grand prix, and in 2017 received the Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Foundation for Fine and Applied Arts. In 2017 Vahtra was an artist in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Programme (ISCP) in New York, where she produced a new performance piece for the Performa 17 Biennial. In 2020 she participated in the residency programme at the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels. Vahtra currently works as the head of MA Contemporary Art program at the Estonian Academy of Arts.


This website is designed by Kaspar Sellin.

Solo exhibitions

along the wall, down the stairs, outside. Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn


good spaces left. cross-section archive, Athens


Towards the incongruities of space. Adhoc, Bochum


Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect. Anu Vahtra: Completion through removal. Curated by Jessamyn Fiore, Sergio Bessa, Anu Allas. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn


Interpreter’s Booth [Chapter 2]. With Martin Lukáč. Curated by Piotr Sikora. Chimera-Project Gallery, Budapest


Interpreter’s Booth [Chapter 1]. With Martin Lukáč. Curated by Piotr Sikora. Drdova Gallery, Prague


An exhibition as a post factum operation. Curated by Nico Anklam. Rietveld Pavilion, Amsterdam

A fact in space. After exhibitions. Hobusepea & Draakon galleries, Tallinn

17,9º. Installation at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) in 2012 and 2014, adapted for Art Brussels 2016 non-profit section. In collaboration with EKKM


Smugglers. Narracje Festival #7. Curated by Anna Smolak. Public space of Nowy Port, Gdansk

Chimera Art Award Exhibition. With Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair. Chimera-Project Gallery, Budapest


Untitled (a line has two sides aka any of the twenty-four triangles). Part of a series of projections in public space of Tallinn during Tallinn Month of Photography 2011. Curated by Epp Kubu


Homage to Gordon Matta-Clark. A4, Amsterdam

Selected group exhibitions & projects

Trance (Main exhibition of Tallinn Photomonth). Curated by Ilari Laamanen. Tallinn Art Hall Lasnamäe Pavilion, Tallinn

Registered Time – an exhibition of projections in public space. Curated by Maria Lalou & Skafte Aymo-Boot of cross-section archive, Athens


Penny in the Fountain. With Veronika Eberhardt, Martine Flor, Lieven Lahaye. VBKÖ, Vienna


Spatial Bias. Lesage, Brussels


Published by Lugemik. Printed Matter from 2010–2019. Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (ETDM), Tallinn


Four as One as Three. Gallery Kendra Jayne Patrick at 9 Herkimer Place, Brooklyn, New York


Unseen. Chimera-Project Gallery, Budapest

Shadows of Others. Curated by Suzanne Friedli & Andreas Furrer. Annex14, Zürich


Unframed. Galerie Raum mit Licht, Vienna

The Baltic Pavilion. 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. With Maarja Kask, Ralf Lõoke and Neeme Külm. Curated by Kārlis Bērziņš, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Johan Tali, Laila Zariņa, Jonas Žukauskas


From Explosion to Expanse. Estonian Contemporary Photography 1991–2015. Curated by Anneli Porri. Tartu Art Museum, Tartu

Köler Prize 2015 Nominees’ Exhibition. EKKM, Tallinn

MEEL. VAHTRA. FARKAS_idealist function. Curated by Maria Arusoo. CAC Vilnius


Grain, Wood, Flax, Turf. Brought together by Glenn Geerinck. Voorkamer, Lier

Feeling Queezy?! Curated by Rebeka Põldsam. EKKM, Tallinn

Archeological festival_a 2nd hand history and improbable obsessions. Curated by Maria Arusoo. Tartu Art Museum, Tartu

Side Effects II. Curated by Laura Kuusk & Pascale Riou. Ancien Musée-Bibliothèque Grenoble


Where You End, I Begin. Curated by Anneli Porri. Tartu Art House, Tartu

Romeo and Julia. Curated by Anneli Porri. Y-gallery, Tartu and 1. May Gallery, Tallinn


III Artishok Biennale. Curated by Liisa Kaljula, invited by Saara Hacklin. EKKM, Tallinn

The Science of Photography. Daegu Photo Biennale 2012. With Na Kim. Curated by Lee Young Joon. Daegu, South Korea


Time to Meet: The Second Act – A Festival on Photography Goes Live. Curated by Chris Clarke. De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam

Fire & Ignorance. A collaboration with Idan Hayosh, Anders Hana and Morten J. Olsen (MoHa!). CTM 11, Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin


Above the City. Curated by Kadri Klementi & Helis Heiter. Tallinn City Gallery, Tallinn


We Belong Together. Supernova, Riga

Fire & Ignorance. A collaboration with Idan Hayosh, Anders Hana and Morten J. Olsen (MoHa!). Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, and various other venues around Europe


EP–Residency 2008: Artblock Hoyerswerda. Hoyerswerda, Germany

Doings or Not. Curated by Margit Säde & Laura Kuusk. Vžigalica Gallery, Ljubljana


I. Curated by Margot Kask. Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn

Time To Meet II. Forum für Kunst und Architektur, Essen

Save the Last Dance. P/////AKT, Amsterdam


The 11th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards


Stilleben. Curated by Karolin Tampere & Åse Løvgren (Rakett). PROJEKT 0047, Berlin


WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels


Nordic-Baltic A-i-R in Tromsø, Norway. Invited by Leif Magne Tangen


CAC Vilnius (with Lugemik), Vilnius, Lithuania


Sørfinnset skole: the nord land. Sørfinnset, Gildeskal, Norway


STEIM, Amsterdam


EP-Residency 2008, Hoyerswerda, Germany

Awards & scholarships & commissions

Commision for the Wienerberger Contemporary Photography Collection, curated by Büro für Kunst (Valerie Loudon & Moritz Stipsicz)


Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Foundation for Fine and Applied Arts


Artist’s salary, provided by Estonian Ministry of Culture in collaboration with Estonian Artists’ Association


Köler Prize 2015 grand prix

Kristjan Raud Award, nominee

Cultural Endowment of Estonia, one-year grant


Sadolin Art Prize, nominee


Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Foundation for Fine and Applied Arts (with Lugemik)

Works in collections

Art Museum of Estonia

Wienerberger Contemporary Photography Collection

Tartu Art Museum

Private collections in Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, The Netherlands


Six Questions: Anu Vahtra,, 17.03.2021

Nadeche Remst. Verbrusseling – in gesprek met Anu Vahtra bij P/////AKT, Metropolis M, 02.03.2021


SAAL Raadio — Anu Vahtra & Mart Kangro, IDA Raadio, 30.09.2019 (in Estonian)

Stefan Peetri. Mahajäetud utoopiad, Sirp, 15.03.2019 (in Estonian)

EKKM – külas Anu Vahtra, IDA Raadio, 04.03.2019 (in Estonian)

Kunstiministeerium. Arhitektuur ja avalik ruum., 23.02.2019 (in Estonian)

Andreas Trossek. Gordon Matta-Clark and Anu Vahtra in dialogue,, 2019/1


Helen Shaw. Review: Performa 17,, 01.02.2018


Hanno Soans. Pidurdusjälg läbi kahe ruumi, Sirp, 01.07.2016 (in Estonian)


Maarja Kangro. Anu Vahtra diskreetsed žestid, Vikerkaar, 9/2015

An Education: Anu Vahtra, Estonian Art, 1/2015

Silvia Pärmann. Anu Vahtra Lugemikust ja loomingust, Diivan, 09/2015

Sandra Kosorotova. Anu Vahtra. The winner of the Köler Prize 2015,, 30.07.2015

Mari Kartau. Anu Vahtra: kui ruum meie ümber muutub, siis saame sellest aru puhtalt seda tajudes,, 18.06.2015 (in Estonian)

Marten Esko. Murrangu lävel, Sirp, 5.06.2015 (in Estonian)

Elise Eimre. Kunstnikutöö, mis saab alguse ruumist endast, Pulss 6/15

Katrin Koov. Köler Prize 2015: Anu Vahtra, MAJA 2/2015

Piret Karro. Poliitiline ja poeetiline Köler Prize, Eesti Päevaleht, 26.05.2015 (in Estonian)

Toidublogi: Anu Vahtra, Eesti Ekspress, 13.05.2015 (in Estonian)

Hanno Soans. Koos Köleriga nüüdisaega, Eesti Ekspress, 7.05.2015

Janar Ala. Põhjala Jeruusalemm, tondid ja kirjasõna, Postimees, 4.02.2015


Kadri Karro. Areeni Kunstiaasta 2014, Eesti Ekspress, 31.12.2014

Laura Põld. Intervjuu Anu Vahtra ja Paul Kuimetiga, Positiiv, 19/2014

Indra Devriendt. Platform Time to Meet in Voorkamer Lier. Fotografie in de kijker, H ART Magazine #132, 16.10.2014

Veronika Valk. Episoodiline küsimus, Müürileht, 18.09.2014 (in Estonian)

Kaire Nurk. Pornograafiline maastik,, 2014/3

Hanno Soans. Pööritustunne aistinguturul, Sirp, 22.08.2014

Ingrid Ruudi. On a Mission, Modernists, Issue #4 Summer 2014

Piret Karro. Arheoloogiafestivalil tuleb meelde, et kõik on ajutine, Müürileht, 14.08.2014

Heie Treier. Kolm vaadet Tartu arheoloogiafestivalile, Eesti Ekspress, 6.08.2014

Kaire Nurk. Kas postmoderni pessimistlik lunastusetõotus?, Sirp, 24.07.2014

Mari Kartau. Viltune maja sai toed,, 19.06.2014


Marika Agu. Artishoki biennaali jõujooned, Sirp, 2. XI

Saara Hacklin. On photography and the city: Anu Vahtra’s invasive, transient images,, 23.04.2012


Hanno Soans. Kunstnikud käivad katuseid mööda, Postimees, 15.09.2010


Sketchbook. Deconstructing Pärnu: locations, individuals, Hotell Pärnu. Rael Artel Gallery: Non-Profit Project Space 2004–2008

Margit Säde. Backstage at the Tallinn Pavilion, Estonian Art, 2/2009


Laura Kuusk. Some examples of young Estonian photography, Estonian Art, 1/2007


Andrus Lauringson. Puudumine teeb meeled teravaks, Sirp, 24.11.2006