JAAN ELKEN’s personal exhibition Heaven and Earth will be opened in Hobusepea gallery at 5pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Current exposition is exhibited in Hobusepea gallery in June 11-July 8, 2019 and in Draakon gallery in June 10-July 6, 2019.
During the exhibition, both galleries will be open Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm, Sun closed.
According to the artist, current exhibition forms a vigorous sketch about the entire universe while shifting the viewpoint back in time, to the beginning of times.
Jaan Elken: „Using such meaningful, Biblical words in a title is risky yet safe – I believe in the advantages of meditative solutions instead of aggressive activism.
As for painting, I have divided the artwork into three conceptual themes. In the light of our prior knowledge, water is the most important element – it reaches both the sky and the earth, not to mention that it also gives the fluidity to acryclic paint. The artwork exhibited in Draakon gallery expresses atmospherical qualities; and yet, I try to avoid photorealism characteristic to new age phenomena and monotonous minimalism. It is rather about searching for visual equivalents to the inner states of mind – the search being based on the knowledge about consciousness as the so-called inner space acquired throughout the years. During the trips to Iceland and Norway I have experienced the feeling of déjà vu, found similarities with melting glaciers or steep cliffs that have been represented as archetypes in my subconsciousness since the beginning of the times. Some artworks might be as well as inspired by the yellowish-gray heaps of dirty, polluted snow and ice piled up by roads in winter. I see values and meanings in everything that is surrounding us.
The series exhibited in Hobusepea gallery, reminding of sediments of water and mud, could tune the viewer to the wavelength of finiteness and infinity. At the current exhibition, I have tried to avoid the signs of urbanism and have rather seeked for answers that are often kept from people. The keywords to characterize my work would be: forces of nature, peace of the kingdom of heaven, eternal silence, existence / non-existence, beginning and end.“
Jaan Elken (b.1954) is an artist, art critic, curator and art professor. He has published several hundred articles with art critique and art politics. In 1997-2018 he was a professor and chair of painting at the Institute of Cultural Research and Art at Tartu University, until its closing. Since 2018 he is a professor emeritus at Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Tartu University. He has been a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 1981. In 1995-1999 he was chairman of the Estonian Painters’ Association. 1999-2013 he was the president of Estonian Artists’ Association. He started his work in 1970s as a hyperrealist painter, but has over time become one of the more prominent figures of abstract art in Estonia.