Jüri Arrak's lesser-known works to be auctioned at Vernissage Gallery

Jüri Arrak's
Jüri Arrak's "Mängur" (The Gambler, 1976.) Source: Vernissage Gallery

The Vernissage gallery's autumn auction includes lesser-known paintings and prints by the recently deceased Jüri Arrak. The auction will last two days, November 12-13.

Enn Põldroos' work, whose companion piece is in the collection of the Art Museum of Estonia, will also be auctioned. There are a total of 141 artworks by 85 artists offered, with the highest starting bid at €26,000.

Kristiina Radevall, the director of Vernissage Gallery said that the art market is healthy even despite the uncertain economic climate, as investing in art is considered a surefire method to avoid inflationary pressures.

"The low costs at which Estonian art was purchased 20 years ago show that art is not just a source of emotional worth, but also a lucrative investment opportunity. The 1960s and later decades are gaining in popularity, and paintings from this era are setting new price records," Radevall added.

One of the auction's highlights, Jüri Arrak's triptych "Mägede lill" (Mountain Flower) was commissioned by the modernist café "Tuluke" in 1968. Since the café's closure, the work has been owned by one family. 

Arrak's oil painting "The Doll" traveled directly from the artist's studio to a private collection in Germany in the 1980s and has now returned to his homeland.

"Häbelik akt I" (Shameful Nude I, 1970) by Enn Põldroos is a long-lost companion piece to "Häbelik akt II" (Shameful Nude II, 1970) that is now in possession of the Art Museum of Estonia.

Ludmilla Siim-Kaasinen's "Fratres" (2019.) Source: Vernissage Gallery

Radevall also highlighted Malle Leis' "Sinine lill" (Blue Flower,1966,) which has been widely reproduced and exhibited in several exhibitions, and which has been considered to be the starting point of the artist's iconic flower paintings. Radevall said that Ludmilla Siimu's work "Fratres" (2019), inspired by the Music of Arvo Pärt , winner of this year's Konrad Mägi Prize, also deserves special mention, as it was recently exhibited at the artist's solo exhibition at the Tartu Art Museum. Also up for auction is a piece by Kaljo Põllu, depicting the unusual for Estonian art treatment of space.

Radevall said that "Lilled sinises vaasis" (Flowers in a Blue Vase, 1940) by Adamson-Eric is the crown jewel of the auction of older Estonian art classics.

The classic auction of old art will be held on November 12 and the auction of contemporary art will be held on November 13. Participation is also possible online. Over the course of two days, 141 works by 85 artists will be auctioned off, with paintings by Malle Leis and Tiit Pääsuke having the highest opening bids.

The full selection is available on the gallery's website.

Evald Okas' "Kuldne Naine" (Golden Woman, 1990).) Source: Vernissage Gallery

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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