Exhibition > Past > Haus Gallery

Haus Gallery 05.11.2007-14.12.2007

Leonhard Lapin will become this autumn 60 years old. This could seem a dignified age, but while having a look at the total amount of Lapin’s creation and the range of his talent, one could guess that he becomes thrice the mentioned age. In the Estonian culture of the second half of the 20.century there are not exactly many spheres which could be written without the name of Leonhard Lapin. Literature and poetry by Trapeež, theatre and the staging “Multiplitseeritud inimene” (“The multiplied man“), architecture and the designed houses, painting and the paintings, the art of performances and happenings, art history and Lapin’s thorough researches, theory and his discussions of for instance vacuity – and so on. Still, from that whole bunch we can rip up threads that are longer than others.


The graphical art of Estonia lived prior to Leonhard Lapin as a bee near heather. Even though the possibilities of foreign performing were cut off, the stories of the technically high level of the local graphical art spread afar. The graphical art of the 1960ies and 1970ies was really remarkably abundant, powerful and diverse, but Lapin still introduced there something that had never existed there before. Unexpected boldness, laconic visual language, political messages, slogan-type sentences, striking figures, cartoon-style topics – there was so much of everything that others never started to make “poor man’s Lapins”, as it was impossible to repeat the things Lapin accomplished.


At the present exhibition there are being exposed the works that can be viewed from two angles which also characterize the two principal ways that have become customary for viewing art. From one side eternity is expected from art. Here must be presented the values which cannot be found elsewhere and which never die. While looking in this key, in case of the present exposition we should talk of the artist’s “messages”. It seems that one of them could be the claim of the living right of aesthetic auto-worlds. Lapin manifests the inherent existence of art that actually does not mean sentimental admiration, but paradoxes, beauty, absurd, optical illusions, dual interpretations, social sensitivity, subtle line handling – all of these more concrete and abstract notions that in other spheres of life can not be encountered or at least can not be encountered in such a manner. So Lapin is the advocate of everything that should ennoble and console man in the most miserable situations.


Another angle of vision is to see Lapin in these historical-social conditions, in which his works were accomplished. In such a case come out periodically specific notions that make us for instance ask questions concerning the artist’s freedom, responsibility and obligation in a closed system. How to make political art at the moment when it is unconditionally prohibited? Lapin is not an author, who would somehow conceal his mentality. He is shameless, ironic and sharp. His works become like billboards, being simultaneously artistic avant-garde and tested means of propaganda. So at the present exhibition we can recognize that even if we line up almost all known spheres of art, we do not line up Lapin’s hobbies, as art has always been for him only one hone of the world.


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