JAAN ELKEN: IF YOU ARE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO. ACRYLIC, COLLAGE, CANVAS 135 X 150. 2018

JAAN ELKEN: IF YOU ARE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO. ACRYLIC, COLLAGE, CANVAS 135 X 150. 2018

 

JAAN ELKEN

MEMORY OF THE PLACE / PAIKAN MUISTI / KOHA MÄLU

Paintings 4.- 26.5.2019

Suomenkielinen teksti alla

Jaan Elken has emphasized that in the same manner he was a not a pure hyperrealist in the 1970s, he is also not a pure-bred abstractionist now. He argues that for an artist, the concept of reality is intriguing and deviates slightly from the understanding of reality/actuality in everyday language. The imagery system used by the painter (brushstrokes, colouring, etc.), with certain characteristic methods for constructing the pictorial reality and aesthetic propaganda are the painter’s reality, actuality or hyper-reality.

Jaan Elken explains: „Being on the road has been my author’s position as an artist for decades already, both in its literal and indirect meaning; in addition to straight pathways, I also appreciate the logic and rhythm expressed in complex urban structures and in addition to natural rock deserts, I also consider urban conglomerates as grand. As an artist who values the methods of abstract art most highly, I want to be the (re)creator of textures/forms similar to natural forms – not an imitaator… For that reason to say I am an abstract artist would be superficial, the triggers and atmosphere are always spurred from specific events, structures, or even psychologically experienced memory fragments. I talk about senses and instincts on my paintings, how I sense things. These are very specific. There is nothing abstract about this, so whether art is „abstract“ „conditional“ or „signified“….

The exhibition „Memory of the Place“ in Oulu consists of a series large-scale paintings, in wich muted colour scheme recreates powerful references to epic wastelands – whether volcanic plains in Island, rock deserts in Nevada and Utah, or the abstract textures and silhouettes of metropols such as San Fransisco or New York. Yet, the emphasis on urban culture and its marks on walls, surfaces and spaces has in Jaan Elkens paintings given space to more eternal rules. As a painter, he navigates an aesthetically disturbed world which aims to connect to the viewer from a more universal and global position.

Jaan Elken (b.1954) is a painter. He has been a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 1981. In 1995-1999 he has been chairman of the Estonian Painters’ Association and in1999–2013 president of Estonian Artists’ Association. In 1997–2018 he has been working as a professor of Chair of Painting at the University of Tartu Institute  Cultural Research and Fine Art, until its closing. Since 2018 he is a Professor Emeritus at the University Tartu Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

He started his artist career with hyper-realistic paintings in 1970s and has since become one of the most significant abstract painters in Estonian art. Elken has held more than 70 personal exhibitions, including in the Museum of New Art in Pärnu (2009, 2014), Tallinn Art Hall (2005), Tartu Art Museum (2005), Adamson-Eric Museum (2000), in addition to exhibitions in Berlin, Kiev, Helsinki, Riga etc. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including: 2018/2019 The X-Files [Registry of the Nineties] – Kumu Art Museum; 2016 Cold Look. Variation of Hyperrealism in Estonian Art – Kumu Art Museum; 2015 Nord Art 2015 – Kunstwerk Carlshütte, Rendsburg/Büdelsdorf; 2014 Tallinn S`Invite À Carcassonne – Chapelle des Jesuites, Carcassonne; 2013 In between zwischen Energie und Materie  –  Alte Oberpostdirektion, Hamburg;  2012 In Between New Abstraction & New Concretion – Klaipeda Culture Communication Center; 2012 Art  Vilnius’12 International contemporary art fair – Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre (Litexpo);  2011 Mystics and Moderns: Painting in Estonia before Glasnost –Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. Rutgers The State University of New Jersey etc.

His works belong to the art collections of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (Rutgers, New Jersey; The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union), CAM_Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (Naples), Tretyakov Gallery, Ivanovsky  Art Museum, Matthew Bown Gallery, European Parliament, Art Museum of Estonia, Tartu Art Museum, The Museum of New Art in Pärnu and many other collections around the world.

Suomenkielinen teksti:
Virolainen taidemaalari Jaan Elken (s.1954) aloitti uransa 1970-luvulla äärirealistisena maalarina. Nykyään hän on yksi merkittävimpiä abstrakteja taidemaalareita Viron taidemaailmassa. Elken on itse kuvannut oman taiteilijuutensa kehittymistä sanomalla, että samalla tavalla kuin häntä saattoi kuvailla uransa alkuaikoina äärirealistiseksi taidemaalariksi, niin hän ei ollut ”puhdas” äärirealisti silloinkaan. Samoin hänen taiteensa ei ole nytkään ”puhtaasti” abstraktia.

Oulun Galleria kajaste Uudenkadun näyttely koostuu sarjasta suurehkoja maalauksia, joiden hartaan hiljainen värimaailma luo vahvoja yhtymäkohtia eeppisiin joutomaihin; joko Islannin vulkaanisiin tasankoihin tai kivisiin autiomaihin Nevadassa ja Utahissa – tai sitten abstrakteihin silhuettirakenteisiin San Fransiscon ja New Yorkin metropoleissa. Kuitenkin, urbaanin kaupunkikulttuurin merkkien korostamisen sijaan Elkenin maalaukset pyrkivät yhdistämään katsojan ulos esteettisesti häiriintyneestä maailmasta johonkin pysyvämpään ja yleismaailmallisempaan.

Elkenin uraan on mahtunut jo yli 70 yksityisnäyttelyä eri puolilla maailmaa. Sen lisäksi hän on ollut mukana monissa yhteisnäyttelyissä sekä kuratoinut näyttelyitä. Hän on oman taiteentekemisen lisäksi monin tavoin aktiivinen kuvataiteen ja kulttuurin saralla, myös professorina ja opettajanaja kriitikkona. Jaan Elkenin töitä on lukuisissa taidekokoelmissa ympäri maailmaa, mm. Yhdysvalloissa, monissa museoissa Euroopan eri maissa ja tietysti Baltian maissa.

See artist home page for more information: http://www.jaanelken.com/

 

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