In broad terms the paintings of Ado Lill comprise of one distinct (and perhaps imaginary) contradiction. On one hand the boldness of his painting style: sharp and vigorous colours, often in seemingly violent contrasts, painted not by the softness of the brush but by the robustness of the paint texture. As an abstract painter Lill has always favoured decisive solutions. And as such Lill is an abstractionist par excellence who lets the character of colours come forth to the fullest. Naturally his palette includes a myriad of half-tones, hesitations and blending but in the main Lill has always trusted the other half in his treatment of colours.
Yet at the same time Lill’s subjects are very subtle. Eroticism in itself requires certain softness, carefulness, avoidance of bluntness. Lill’s models are mostly in insecure poses, they are sleeping or dreaming, they can freely be observed and it seems as if they have been deprived of any protective layer. This constitutes an odd contradiction but at the same time a point of balance with Lill’s raw use of colour.
Lill’s paintings are interesting also from the perspective of art history. The nude has always been one of the most powerful genres of painting, whereas pure abstract art has clearly developed only over the last sixty years. Lill combines those two into a peculiar synthesis. Not often can such dominating display of colours be seen in nudes, which at the same time has not prevented Lill from creating some of the most sensuous nudes in the art history here.
In this exhibition Lill has not hidden his source of inspiration from behind decades: the poetry of Pierre Louÿs. The latter was a French poet who wrote at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. His supple poems of feminine eroticism first appeared to the public as those of an anonymous antique author but it was, in fact, a smart manoeuvre by Louÿs. And yet his delicate poems, often celebrating lesbian love, fit perfectly into the decadent atmosphere of those days. But that game of contradictions may be the very thing to inspire Ado Lill.