Clearly a socially critical work. When looking at the year 1955 and the man’s gaze towards the rich country house in the background, one can imagine a dramatic sense of social injustice. The graphic sheet is executed according to the ideological prescriptions of the Soviet state in both form and content – the form required of the artists was socialist realism, while the content was class war, or Marxist theory.
The concept of ‘work’ is also a key term of Marxism, on which the Soviet Union’s ideology and propaganda, flag, and coat of arms were based. The name of a specific place, Kurepalu, is written on the road sign, which is located in Kastre rural municipality in Tartu county today. It is thought that this is a scene from bourgeois Estonia, because in the Soviet Union all the land was nationalised to the state, so this man could not have owned any land. Over the decades, Ilmar Torn’s oeuvre has undergone a series of turns and changes. When the freer 1960s arrived, he painted, for example, Tulililled (Fire Flowers) (oil on masonite, 1968), which can be seen in the modern painting section of the HAUS Gallery’s spring auction.