Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Memento Vivere' by Lilian Mosolainen at the Draakon Gallery

December 9, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Lilian Mosolainen opened personal exhibition Memento Vivere in Draakon gallery on November 18th, 2022. Exhibition will be open until December 10, 2022.

Lilian Mosolainen: “My exhibition is titled Memento vivere which means “remember to live”. The Latin sentence is often accompanied by another sentence Memento mori, meaning “don’t forget death” that is also the title of the last painting I have completed. In this artwork, I have perceived human life as a part of the full circle in nature, but death is also part of it and the painting has been also influenced by the atmosphere of the war in Ukraine, referred also by the crosses in the painting. As for the painting technique, my recent works have a strong influence by drawings and bear a deeply existential and symbolistic subtone, for instance the painting The Death of Jesus Christ. At the current exposition, I am exhibiting works that I have completed during the years 1980s–2022. There is a certain similarity between the oldest painting Luncheon on the Grass and the newest one Memento Mori, especially when concerning realistic drawing. The painting Shipwreck also dates back to the early years of my artist’s career – the artwork that has been painted in a surprisingly abstract way, yet the subject matter can be related to the dramatic mood of my latest paintings.

The paintings completed between the early years and today can be described according to Jaan Elken’s statement: “In the context of contemporary painting, Mosolainen uses technique that is unprecedentedly unique – she applies multicolored, at times even a drawing-like brushwork, therefore referring to the technical interconnection between figural painting and traditions. The flowingly dynamic overpaintings allow the artist to create powerful figural archetypes about the connectedness of individuals while reaching grand, even biblical themes with the power of generalization.”

There are eleven paintings exhibited at the current exhibition, this being a cross section of my creative practice of the last 36 years. At the same time, the exhibition serves as a follow-up to my extensive retrospective exhibition that took place at Kadriorg gallery in 2021.

Lilian Mosolainen (b. 1961) has graduated from the department of painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1991. She has worked as a lecturer at Tallinn University, Tartu Art College and at Estonian Academy of Art. Currently she is teaching at Tallinn Art School. Mosolainen has participated in exhibitions since 1986 and since 1992 she is the member of the Estonian Artists’ Association.

Lilian Mosolainen emerged in the art life of Estonia within the wave of new expressionism, being a member of the initial core team of Rühm T in early 1980s. She reintroduced powerful animism and androgynous eroticism in Estonian art, whereas the earlier manifestations had an important part during the era of the Young Estonian (Noor-Eesti) neo-romantic movement in early 20th century.

Mirjam Peil: “Whereas for Mosolainen’s co-fighters expressionism remained only a phase then Lillian Mosolainen has always contributed to intense expressiveness and emotionality in her creative practice. Several art historians have pointed out the split structure of her paintings as well as the dialogues between the seemingly independent line and colour that complement and unveil each other. In her artistic practice, Lilian Mosolainen studies powerfully charged existential themes while perceiving human life as a part of the full circle of life and death as a part of life.”Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Exhibitions in Draakon gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

Exhibition by Lilian Mosolainen
Title: Memento Vivere
Open: 15.11.-10.12.2022
Draakon Gallery, Pikk 18, Tallinn.
Mon-Fri 11.00-18.00, Sat 11.00-17.00

Photography: Anna Mari Liivrand