Kumu opens an exhibition dedicated to rebel Soviet Estonia artists

Jüri Arrak "Taxi" (1966, oil on painting) Kumu
4/15/2015 4:30 PM
Category: Culture

The Tallinn-based Kumu Art Museum opens an exhibition called Art Revolution 1966, which focuses on the breakthrough that occurred in the Soviet-occupied Estonia's art scene in the mid-1960s.

"Art Revolution 1966" commemorates the exhibitions that took place in Tallinn and Tartu in 1966, in which the works daringly abandoned the official Soviet art canons and revealed new ideas and strategies for the art of that era. These exhibitions managed to shift the boundaries between what was permitted and prohibited at the time.

“Art Revolution 1966” focuses on the perspective of the younger generation of Estonian artists in the 1960s, who used more multi-layered ways of depicting people, and whose works were frequently rooted in surrealist methods and verged on abstract art: geometric and nature-derived forms that were different from everyday reality, and references to mysterious dimensions of human nature and activity.

All these trends reflected, in one way or another, their natal environment and ways of adapting to it: they were a reaction to an over-rationalized society’s requirement that everything have a single meaning, as well as to the suppression of the subjective in favor of the collective. The artists sought out ways of understanding life differently than dictated by the official ideology at the time.

The exhibition presents the same works that were on display in 1966, alongside slightly earlier and later works by the same artists, including the ones that were not approved for public display back then.

Works from artists who would become some of the Estonia's most distinguished masters, are displayed, including Jüri Arrak, Malle Leis, Ilmar Malin, Olav Maran, Enn Põldroos, Kaljo Põllu, Aili Vint, Toomas Vint, and many others.

S. Tambur

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