Exhibition > Future > Haus Gallery

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Haus Gallery 11.08.2022-09.09.2022

Liivia Leškin

WAR AGAINST THE WAR

War Against War – this is the title of the exhibition of paintings by Liivia Leškin, at Haus Gallery. The titles of exhibitions, movies, books, musical works, and other similar works make us relate to one theme or another and make us think or not. The titles are not prescriptive, they are merely indicative, leaving the audience with a choice. There are also those to which we want to say no, but which may mask more than we think. Art invites openness and always has. Various coloured surfaces provide the viewer with deeper ways of thinking about the world, formulating the meanings of expressions that are often taken in a limited way.

This is how Liivia Leškin’s abstract paintings, painted in the expressive emotions of spring 2022, function, directly influenced by the moods and fears of the military aggression that have gripped Europe, yet without remaining entangled in them. Liivia locked herself away in her Haapsalu studio, transforming the all-encompassing, harassing protests of emotion into a personal, but more broadly thought-provoking action – go to war against war using art.

The war in the title of Livia’s exhibition is a powerful stimulus, a provocation, to open up spheres of consciousness and invite us to think about war as aggression within ourselves; about how we transform, control or live out our emotions and how they affect the world around us.

Every war, in its negativity, carries with it the need to get rid of it or confront it, but also to hide, to withdraw. The aggression that closes in or bursts out of us – both are responsibilities, personal and social.

The sensitive nature of artists has always reflected the nature of different wars. Whether it be war within themselves or within society, artists have responded with their own ‘war in art’, which has had a profound impact on artistic trends.

After World War I and World War II, there were clear anti-war reactions in art. The history of art treats both the period during the wars and the period between the two wars, as well as art in the immediate aftermath of World War II, as entirely separate chapters, analysing the impact of the war on artistic consciousness separately. The emergence of Dadaism stemmed directly from the senselessness of World War I, making artists turn towards absurdity. In New York in the 1940s, however, the global depression unleashed a wave of Abstract Expressionism that had a decisive influence on all later art forms. Art abstracted to the level of emotion, distancing itself completely from real objects. This manifested itself in paint-splattered action art, attempting to make visible the tangling threads of thought, or to evoke, through the predominantly serene and gauzy colour surfaces of the painting’s supreme stillness, deeply personal feelings.

Liivia Leškin’s paintings are touchstones of today’s wartime emotions, yet they can be seen as a comparison of the art following World War II, an expression of a vigorously active abstract expressionism, where the key word is the physical expression of the sharply perceived density of the world accumulated in the artist’s soul. Livia describes her process of painting during the spring war as a rhythm of subconscious lines and forms that the brush carved on the canvas as if in a desire for liberation. Unaware of the motivation behind these paintings, viewers say they have a spring-like, colour-positive effect. This is exactly the case. Light, green and gold, or blue on white and yellow are perceived as bright hues, yet the colours are intensified by compositions in which seemingly completely abstract painting surfaces form landscapes of the subconscious. Transformations of emotional waves that create the feeling of walking on a tightrope for the first time, where balance and imbalance are at once one and the same moment.

Liivia Leškin is known and recognised, above all, as an iconic fashion artist. Born in 1956, having graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts as a fashion designer in 1980, a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 1989, and a founding member of the artistic group ON Grupp. From 1987–1995, Liivia was a lecturer and professor of fashion design in the Estonian Academy of Arts and a visiting lecturer in several Scandinavian universities of art. She has contributed to numerous personal and group exhibitions as a fashion designer, costume designer, fashion illustrator, and she has created large-format interior textiles in the digital printing technique, and more. Liivia Leškin’s paintings make no effort to force the viewer to gaze towards a certain direction but rather serve as an invitation to discover and interpret. Her works appear to be the result of a formed emotion, rather than a logically guided thought.

Piia Ausman – Curator

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Characters
Liivia Leškin
Characters
2022. Acrylic, canvas 100 x 120 cm (not framed)
price 3 700
Essence
Liivia Leškin
Essence
2022. Acrylic, canvas 100 x 120 cm (not framed)
price 2 900
In the Morning
Liivia Leškin
In the Morning
2022. Acrylic, canvas 100 x 60 cm (not framed)
price 1 900
Crow Spring
Liivia Leškin
Crow Spring
2022. Acrylic, canvas 150 x 110 cm (not framed)
price 4 200
Excitement
Liivia Leškin
Excitement
2022. Acrylic, canvas 150 x 110 cm (not framed)
price 2 800
Playful Lightness
Liivia Leškin
Playful Lightness
2022. Acrylic, canvas 150 x 110 cm (not framed)
price 3 800
I Come
Liivia Leškin
I Come
2022. Acrylic, canvas 70 x 70 cm (not framed)
price 1 700
Princess
Liivia Leškin
Princess
2022. Acrylic, canvas 70 x 70 cm (not framed)
price 1 500
Looking for Words III
Liivia Leškin
Looking for Words III
2022. Acrylic, canvas 70 x 70 cm (not framed)
price 1 300
Password
Liivia Leškin
Password
2022. Acrylic, canvas 120 x 100 cm (not framed)
price 3 400
City Child
Liivia Leškin
City Child
2022. Acrylic, canvas 80 x 100 cm (not framed)
price 1 800
Hermosa
Liivia Leškin
Hermosa
2021. Acrylic, canvas 120 x 80 cm (not framed)
price 2 200
Buds I
Liivia Leškin
Buds I
2021. Acrylic, canvas 150 x 120 cm (not framed)
price 4 400
Do you want to fly? Just do it!
Liivia Leškin
Do you want to fly? Just do it!
2022. Acrylic, canvas 150 x 100 cm (not framed)
price 2 600
So what?
Liivia Leškin
So what?
2022. Acrylic, canvas 150 x 80 cm (not framed)
price 2 600
Ease
Liivia Leškin
Ease
2022. Acrylic, canvas 100 x 80 cm (not framed)
price 1 800