Exhibition > Future > Haus Gallery
Haus Gallery 15.03.2023-03.04.2023
Painted in the 1990s, the works depict a rare subject in the art of its time – a toddler with his mother and other family members, and the surrounding environment, which is sometimes transformed into abstract patches of colour.
In some cases, his painting style indicates a sunny day, sometimes there is a ‘severe style’ (1960s fashion trend to paint dark contours on figures), in some cases a Picasso-like geometry. There are subtle colour nuances and compositions in colour-based painting.
Orest Kormašov is a somewhat exceptional artist in his generation and in Estonian art as a whole. He has inherited the consistency of his painter and icon collector father Nikolai Kormašov, studying, collecting, and restoring icon art based on stricter rules alongside his original personal free creation and possessing a wide range of knowledge about this type of image. Mother and child are portrayed very differently in sacred and profane contexts. Yet, this kind of art is based on valuing the beginning and continuity of life, reminding us that every person has been a child.
The common denominator of the artist’s work and iconic paintings is adherence to the ethics, soulfulness, pure heart, perception of the universe and the unity that builds up the human spirit. All of this at a time when much of art plays under opposing game rules, based on modern technologies and cultural theories.
The more unsafe the world becomes, the more a person seeks safety, either knowingly or subconsciously. What there is less of in life itself becomes more valuable in art.
The paintings on display at the Haus Gallery are in natural sync with the events of the artist’s personal life in the 1990s. The bright family moments are painted on canvases of varying formats and do not represent a planned coherent series of paintings in this sense, but rather the course of life itself. Each painting stands on its own as part of a wider family of paintings.
PS Orest Kormašov’s large-format painting depicting maternal happiness is located on the wall of the student café in the main building of Tallinn University. Reference to the fact that the artist worked for a long time as a lecturer in the Art Department of Tallinn University, as well as to the fact that Tallinn University has specialisations related to the development, teaching and research of young children, supporting the choices of students in their personal lives.
Orest Kormašov (1964) received his art education in painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts, from which he graduated in 1990. In 2006 he began working in the Pedagogical Institute at Tallinn University, where he was awarded the Order of Merit in 2019. Member of the Union of Estonian Artists since 1996. He has worked in the field of heritage conservation, curated exhibitions of iconography at the Kadioru Art Museum and the Mikkel Museum. In 2010, he participated in an international research project on Leonardo da Vinci's self-portrait attribution, which culminated in a conference at Tallinn University and an exhibition at the Kadriorg Art Museum.
Text: Tallinn University/BFM Lecturer, art historian Heie Marie Treier