This is the artist in his well-known quality – Vano Allsalu’s work cannot leave anyone cold. The artist knows human nature. This is proven by his ability to find certain places in the viewer’s mind that generate unexpected, sometimes surprisingly intense feelings and vivid imageries.
The author observes his surroundings and recreates them as strongly subjective abstractions, keeping the focus on his own unique world of colour. Nature motifs and nature-derived impressions executed in that way have been a part of Allsalu’s work since its beginning – most extensively at the exhibition “Painting Is Landscape” at Tartu Art Museum in 2004. The artist’s creative style is powerfully expressive, abstract, yet occasionally playing with reality. He puts emphasis on the dialogue between the visual and the verbal – the inspiring symbiosis between colours, visual signs and cues or stories emerging from the titles.
The artist has said:
In my works, HORIZON as the organizing force of our world, which defines what is above and what is under, the earth and the sky, is often very present. Landscape as the acting ground for colours and forms. Archetypical motif, feeling grounded, accompanied by the excitement about not knowing what is behind the horizon.
Nature, for me as an artist, is not a glitzy postcard with a set composition, instead, it is mainly a process, an endless MYRIAD OF PROCESSES – growing and shrinking, blooming and yellowing, movement and equilibrium. The force majeure surrounding us, brutal and relentless urge to live and self-sustain, the simultanous vulnerability and hardiness of the organic world. Unending undulation and reappearance. Macrocosm that is always changing yet always moving towards its own core.
As an observer, I have been collecting impressions and feelings. Now, as these have transformed inside of me, I express them in the most subjective way, relating to my own desires, fears and imaginations. Nature then becomes something like a fountain or a mine to me, where to collect creative material that I can translate into the language of colour.
Vano Allsalu was born in 1967 in Tartu and has graduated from Estonian Academy of Arts as a painter (1991). The artist made his solo debut in 1984. Between 2011 and 2017, he was the assistant professor of painting at Estonian Academy of Arts, between 2013 and 2019, the president of Estonian Artists’ Association, and today, the association’s vice president. Vano Allsalu’s works have been acquired by Estonian Art Museum, Tartu Art Museum and several collections in Estonia, Europe and Australia.