Aivar Kurvits is Estonian painter and printmaker who is associated primarily with art brut, and its synonym, outsider art. He was born in 1959, was separated from his family due to congenital poliomyelitis. He spent his childhood in various orphanages, and received his education at the Haapsalu Sanatorium Boarding School. In the years immediately after Estonia regained its independence, he lived in the Tori Nursing Home, where he participated actively in the mixed choir. Since 1995, he had been a permanent resident of the Tammiste Nursing Home. At the end of the 1990s, when the art world was rediscovering outsider artists, and the first Art Summers were organised in Tammiste, those involved with the Academia Non Grata at that time were actively searching for local talent in this field. Thus, Aivar Kurvits found his way to the alternative art school, and by participating in the studies during the subsequent years, acquired a basic knowledge in painting, drawing, graphic art and art history. This was followed by participation in numerous exhibitions here and abroad. Aivar Kurvits can be regarded as the most productive representative of outsider art in Estonia. And he was awarded the Art Prize by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 2005, and the annual Pärnu Art Prize in 2009.

Linocuts from 2005-2016


Born in 1959 in Tartu, Estonia


Academia Non Grata, College of Estonian Academy of Arts
Haapsalu Sanatory Boarding School

Selected Group Exhibitions

2008 Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia, International outsider art and art brut exhibition “ Offending the Medusa”
2009 Chilliani Art Museum, Chile
2009 Pärnu Art Hall, Estonia, Annual exhibition of Contemporary Art
2012 Printmaking IN festival
2013 Museum of New Art, Pärnu, Estonia Exhibition “Man and Woman”
2013 Pärnu City Gallery, Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art
2014 Pärnu City Gallery, Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art
2015 Museum of New Art, Pärnu, Estonia, Exhibition “Man and Woman”

Selected solo exhibitions

2000 Museum of New Art, Pärnu, Estonia
2000 Agape Center, Pärnu, Estonia
2002 Pärnu Endla Theater, Estonia
2002 Vanemuine Theatre, Tartu, Estonia
2003 Tartu Artists House Gallery, Estonia
2004 Donoso Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
2005 Printmaking IN festival, personal exhibition at the Red Tower, Pärnu, Estonia
2006 Printmaking IN festival, personal exhibition at the College of Tartu University, Estonia
2008 Polymer Culture Factory, Tallinn, Estonia
2009 Pärnu Hospital gallery
2009 Parliament of Estonia, Toompea, Tallinn, Estonia

2009 Pärnu Central Library, Estonia
2009 Museum of New Art, Pärnu, Estonia
2010 Pärnu Artists House gallery, Estonia
2011 University of Tallinn, Estonia

Selected Publications

- Catalogue “ART BRUT” , 2007 (EE)
- Outsider Art, Art Brut & Co- Exhibition catalogue for “Offending Medusa”, Editor: Sigrid Saarep, 2003 (EE)


2003 Printmaking IN Festival Art Award
2005 Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment
2009 Annual Art Prize of Pärnu City Government