Printmaker Mare Vint and architect-photographer Arne Maasik are both well-known Estonian artists belonging to two consecutive generations. 'Geometry and Metaphysics,' a new exhibition opening at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn on Thursday afternoon, marks the first time that the two will be presenting their work together — in a unique dialogue in which Maasik's works were created in direct response to those of Vint.
"Architectonics," a photo series created specifically for the new exhibition, is like Maasik's tribute to Vint's architecturally organized illustrated worlds, but also reflect his understanding as an architect of the ideal space and ideal architecture, according to a museum press release. These are meticulous compositions in which nothing is redundant and nothing is missing; where architecture has reached the ultimate level of abstraction and generalization.
Maasik, who had previously photographed scrubby thickets and houses, has switched gears this time and constructed the photographed objects himself: the precise mockups, with their clear and definite sense of line, are three-dimensional models of something he calls "white architecture."
"I am interested in the emergence of a metaphysical origin in white architecture, white surfaces, and the empty space between them," he described. "Openings in walls, light and shade. My goal is to create a geometric space."
Maasik's models have a familiar resemblance to the "architectons" which, according to tradition dating back to Russian avant-garde art of the 1920s, signify abstract sculptures created by architects that strove toward pure geometric art.
Vint likewise strives for order and perfect balance in the image space. Her motifs are always extremely aesthetic: nature, parks and houses appear in Vint's work as perfected archetypes — ideal forms. We have all seen these landscapes, walls and white southern cities somewhere; we recognize them by their simplicity, and yet we remain outside, as they are distinctly inaccessible, like images from a dream.
Vint's aesthetics have been associated with the reaction of artists of her generation to the ugliness and harrowing realities of the Soviet era. They drew motifs from minimalist Japanese beauty through references and emptiness. Recognizable in her toolkit of architectural motifs, however, is a postmodern awareness that was brought to the Estonian art scene by young architects in the 1970s — historical buildings, Classicist elements, the beauty of decay and ruins, and the relationship between nature and the urban environment.
Exhibition open all summer
Mare Vint (b. 1942) is a well-known Estonian printmaker who has regularly exhibited her drawings (India ink and colored pencil), serigraphs and lithographs both in Estonia and abroad since 1968.
Arne Maasik (b. 1971) is a photographer and artist with an education in architecture. His focus is on metropolises and their outskirts, old houses and the underbrush, as well as other peripheral living environments.
The new exhibition is also accompanied by a richly illustrated catalog with texts in Estonian and English (Elnara Taidre, Triin Ojari).
"Geometry and Metaphysics" will open at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn on Thursday, June 6 at 5 p.m. and run through Aug. 25.
Click here for more information regarding tickets, hours of operation and directions.
Editor: Aili Vahtla