Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Clue whizzing from the left' by Maria-Kristiina Ulas at the Hobusepea gallery

February 2, 2023
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Maria-Kristiina Ulas opened her personal exhibition Clue whizzing from the left in Hobusepea gallery on January 11th, 2023. Exhibition will stay open until February 6th, 2023.

“Contingency can be enlightening, a quiet nudging towards the bright side. A fresh opportunity to understand despite the fact that the remains of memory are floating in the void. The vigor of comprehension vividly explodes, clues assist us to take a turn and not to stop, to move on, to change direction, your manner will change with ease and screech, way of life becomes alive, world view will be readjusted. Direct awakening within the flow of clues – a clue from the left, a clue from the right, from the top of one’s head and under the soles of one’s feet. Fresh allusions choose the vibrations of freedom, ripples of light, murmurs of water. Purposeless destiny is constantly being weighed again and again. Why does the devilish suspicion of criminal offence undermine the hollow skulls? Where does the wary fear come from?

Disgusting proliferating foul intolerable reek is belligerently tapping in the left ventricle of one’s mind but the implacable clue is whizzing by from the left and takes you to the awakened fields. Outside political efforts, above, beneath machinations, higher, deeper, there is a silent warm sea rippling inside, and will remain the keeper of all mornings. Clues take us to understandings and every understanding must be confirmed by a trace, otherwise it will disappear into thin air, will be lost in non-existence, will be forgotten and one cannot reach it any more. A human being – an alert beast.”

Maria-Kristiina Ulas

Maria-Kristiina Ulas graduated from the department of graphic art at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1991 while following the footprints of both of her parents – her mother Concordia Klar (1938–2004) and father Peeter Ulas (1934–2008) were well-known Estonian graphic artists.

Already during her academic studies Maria-Kristiina Ulas excelled at her extraordinarily unique drawing – this diverse medium has remained Ulas’s main expressive means until the present day. Maria-Kristiina Ulas’s emergence in Estonian art life in 1990s coincided with the pivotal era of changing paradigms. On one side, her artistic nature fitted well with the mythologicalness and neoexpressionistic powerful figurativeness of the second half of 1980s; on the other side, the borders of art were broadening and new freedom arrived both in formats and techniques. Ulas expanded the borders of drawing as an attribute of expression while powerfully bringing the medium to the fore among big art and giving common sketching, pre-work or study a wider dimension. Maria-Kristiina Ulas’ drawing manner, based on classical drawing, has been always free and improvisational, reminding of the style of Ado Vabbe. Her gigantic and colourful drawings, balancing on the verge of figurativeness and abstraction, immediately caught attention and received acknowledgement. Later, Ulas’s figurative world, charged with playfulness and unconcealed eroticism, has increasingly acquired mysticism and surreal elements. With theatrical downrightness, the artist has developed her unique style of self-mythology while creating startling characters and enchanting loaded compositions where the expressiveness of line prevails over colourful surface.

Maria-Kristiina Ulas’ artwork were first publicly displayed in 1988. Since then, she has held around twenty personal exhibitions as well as participated in several group exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad. For many years, Ulas has been worked as a lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts and led several courses outside the institution as well as held drawing actions at the exhibition openings. She is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association (since 1991) and the Association of Estonian Printmakers (since 1992). In 1989–1993 Ulas was a member of Uue Graafika Grupp. She received Kristjan Raud Art Award in 1992 and G Galerii Art Award in 2002. In 2006, Ulas was entitled with the Award of Noted Artist at the 12th Asian Art Biennial. In 2022, she was selected the Graphic Artist of the Year. Maria-Kristiina Ulas’ artwork are part of the collections of the Art Museum of Estonia and Tartu Art Museum.

Reeli Kõiv

The exhibition is supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Vunder Skizze
Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

Exhibition by Maria-Kristiina Ulas
Title: Clue Whizzing from the Left
Open: 11.01.-06.02.2023
Hobusepea Gallery, Hobusepea 2, Tallinn.
Wed-Mon 11.00-18.00

Photography: Anna Mari Liivrand