Exhibition > Past > Haus Gallery

Haus Gallery 17.09.2008-31.10.2008

Assumption-Deduction

Estonian artists have been fascinated by the islands many times during art history. For example the works that the twin brothers Kristjan and Paul Raud made on Muhu island, Amandus Adamson’s Pakri reflections, scenes from the åland Islands by Nikolai Triik, Konrad Mägi’s Saaremaa period, Evald Okas’s fishermen from Kihnu island – and so on. Although the locus has been the same for all the artists and although they have all found inspiration namely from the islands, yet their approach and point of view are entirely different. One of them captures exciting characters, another is inspired by the laconic landscape, yet another admires the ethnographic exoticism and someone depicts the island’s everyday life. But Uno Roosvalt with his current exhibition adds another dimension here.

 

The islands, of course, are not a new subject for Roosvalt. Actually he is well-known namely due to those works – Uno Roosvalt and “the islands” belong together on Estonian art landscape. Having been born in Tallinn and studied in Pärnu and Tartu he has always found his true inspiration on the islands, mostly either on Kihnu or Muhumaa. But Roosvalt with his admiration for the islands does not really belong into any of the known categories of Estonian art history. He, too, is fascinated by the scarce nature of the islands but while Konrad Mägi painted Saaremaa with turbulent colours Roosvalt’s approach is completely different. His drawings are rather severe, even true-to-life; with minimal means he conveys the branches and roots of trees contorted by the forces of nature. In his paintings, to the contrary, one can spot the careful epic dimension: the colours are soft and blended, yet the image is not realistic but looking for the meanings of things and symbolic influences.

 

Unlike the works of Paul Raud or Evald Okas we almost never see people in Roosvalt’s works. The islands breathe in their own rhythm but people are nowhere in sight. And still Roosvalt does not paint landscapes without people. The traces of human activities can clearly be seen here and there: some boats or some patterns from folk costumes. Roosvalt paints the so-called cultural landscape, i.e. how the human beings change and influence the landscape, and vice versa. Namely the latter constitutes the very essence of Roosvalt’s paintings: he is interested in how the landscape changes human behaviour, what kind of influence the specific forms of nature have on the signs, meanings and symbols of human culture and on the human life itself.

 

Roosvalt’s paintings are nature paintings, no doubt. However he does not paint the nature in itself, he does not capture trees and bushes and the sea but puts them all into context. We may not learn anything about geography from his paintings, we do not recognise the specific places, we may even doubt whether these landscapes and these trees really originate from the island. But we may definitely learn something about what living on an island means for a human being. What way of thinking suits living on an island. What do you have to do to make the island talk to you. From Roosvalt’s last pictures it seems that after decades of peaceful dialogue it is now time to be festive. It is time to be elated, epic, uprising and proud. It is time to be happy.

 

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Köidikutes meri
Uno Roosvalt
Köidikutes meri
2006. 110 x 150 cm (not framed)
price 2 813
Tee künkale
Uno Roosvalt
Tee künkale
2007. 110 x 150 cm (not framed)
price 2 813
Rattad, ajarattad
Uno Roosvalt
Rattad, ajarattad
2007. 110 x 150 cm (not framed)
price 2 813
(sold)Võrgupoid laiul
Uno Roosvalt
Võrgupoid laiul
2007. oil, acrylic on canvas 110 x 150 cm (not framed)
price 2 813
Mõttes Kihnus
Uno Roosvalt
Mõttes Kihnus
2008. 110 x 150 cm (not framed)
price 3 005
Plokid ja vendrid
Uno Roosvalt
Plokid ja vendrid
2008. 110 x 150 cm (not framed)
price 2 813
(sold)Kaks teed
Uno Roosvalt
Kaks teed
2007. oil, acrylic on canvas 132 x 83 cm (not framed)