October 2014

No standards!

In addition to the previous post about ridiculous exhibitions of contemporary art, I would like to share with you this video. Here, the artist Robert Florczak says what many people think when visiting contemporary art museums.

It reminds me of an exhibition I saw in Hamburger Kunsthalle. There was a pipe on the floor in the middle of an empty room. It wasn’t too intriguing, but nevertheless i came to see the Great Idea. So, what could it be?.. 



Merike Estna and I’m a Painting

Recently I was at a fairly meaningless exhibition. The project involved several artists, but their installations, video installations and art objects were so equally meaningless, giving me the impression of a solo exhibition. Still, there was a certain idea: the interpretation of art by other forms of art. The exhibition was of a fun and easy nature.

Maybe, I’m a boring viewer with a conservative mindset, but I’m not sure I want to have fun at the museum. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like contemporary art! I like to consider pictures of contemporary artists, and I am certainly going to write about some of them. Even installations and performances can make a strong positive impression on me.

However, I get this annoying feeling of disgust when somebody is trying to pass a “kitten” for a “tiger”. If you choose a non-traditional way of transmitting art, it doesn’t mean that interesting and impressing the viewers will be any easier. From my own experience, I know that if an art object didn’t interest me from the first glance, I won’t spend time on reading the plate with the explanation.

Going back to the exhibition, the first thing we see there is an empty room with painted walls. Apparently, visitors are expected to get the feeling of “being inside the painting”. Passing through other halls, we can see painted stones, floors and even toilet paper, video installations (on one of them, a girl is walking on the snow and waving a colored piece of cloth), andother strange art objects. I remember my friend’s comment: „Can we really walk on THAT?“ In one of the rooms there was a disco ball hanging on the ceiling, and a bar with bathrobes colored with acryl. We were allowed to try them on. It was fun for no more than 5 minutes.

Much as I am grumbling here, time was not entirely wasted for nothing. I could not remember that I have ever been at the exhibition of op art (optical art), or at least any exhibition with a hint of that style. Incindentally, the aim of opart is to cause visual illusions. Geometry and bright colours can help with that. Not necessarily, but mainly these two conditions also help make you nauseous and dizzy. By the way, if anyone wants to explain the beauty of optical art to me, please feel free to comment.

Other exhibit items that I didn’t mention in this post can be seen here

and on the website of the artist and exhibition curator Merike Estna. Here you can see some beautiful photos.

Here is general information about the exhibition.

This video I have found in the vast expanses of internet.

Nikolai Triik. Classics of the Modernist Era

Last week I visited an exhibition of one of my favourite Estonian artists, Nikolai Triik. I almost started clapping my hands when I saw how the exhibition was fashioned. It was rather surprising to see wallpaper on one of the walls. Other walls were painted dark turquise, lime, yellow and burgundy. It all perfectly fitted with the colour scheme used by the artist.

The first thing I saw was a portrait of Konrad Mägi, another Estonian artist (I enjoy looking at his paintings every time I go to KUMU). I happily poked a finger in the portrait and hoping to convey my delight explained to my friend what was so good about this portrait: “Just look at the contrast between the person and the background, and at the colours used! Did you notice that his face is drawn in detail, although the artist didn’t give much attention to anything else?” The portrait reminded me of The Fifer by Edouard Manet: well, maybe not of the painting itself, but of its clear silhouette and minority of the background.

Nikolay Triik’s technique seems to me very lively and sincere; there’s nothing boring or scrupulous. Pastel and tempera that he started using under the influence of Roerich’s paintings gave Nikolay Triik’s pictures a peculiar kind of magic. I avoid using the word “decorativeness on purpose: in my opinion it means „meaningless beauty“. Triik’s artworks are certainly not the case, although in all the art books specialists say how decorative his paintings are.

There were also charcoal portraits. Here the lack of colours helps us to see what an expressive artist was Nikolay Triik. I was imagining artsist’s fingers pressing the charcoal into the paper in order to add some character to the face of his model. Next to the charcoal drawings there hung watercolours that were drawn, on the contrary, in a rather light way. At the same time those watercolours didn’t lose the saturated palette or expression characteristic of the artist.

My friend asked me why some pictures seemed unfinished. I could only answer that there are no rules in expressionism. Slightly incomplete pictures always have certain charm. Haven’t you noticed that?


Oh my! I really love all these japanese kimono elements that were very subtly used in this collection.
Full show

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