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Collection highlights
Ilmar Kruusamäe started his artistic career with the second wave of Estonian Hyper-realism, as a “slide painter” from Tartu. Hyper-realism, which emerged in the youth exhibition of 1975 and was associated with veristic brushwork and passionless attitude, was created as a counterpoise to the Pallasian Post-Impressionism that was very common on the Estonian artistic landscape. Unlike the first wave of Hyper-realists, the artists in Tartu were not interested in attaining an objective impression, photo-like effects and “momentary snapshots” of the alienated urban environment. Above all, the slide painting in Tartu was a glossy topical work of art with a narrative element. Using photographs was not as much a conceptual choice there as an aid for carrying the desired images on the canvas “colorfully, in the Western style”. In Ilmar Kruusamäe’s paintings of the time, we can usually see pretentious stagings, often showing the leitmotif of the kissing couple. The emergence of slide painting in Tartu in the 1980s was a sign of a changing mentality. The grotesque and lust for fun that can be noticed in Kruusamäe’s work Spring Break describe the mentality of that time, which was influenced by the hierarchy in everyday privileges. Resistance to the Soviet power was primarily expressed in epating,with fashion goods made by foreign companies, which symbolised the good Western life, in fetishizing bright blue jeans and telling mocking absurd jokes. The glossiness of Kruusamäe’s paintings refers to the longing for a colorful life, which in the greyness of the time could be staged only thanks to slides taken on film manufactured in the GDR. “These paintings did not want to resemble the existing -- they were a method of escape.” Spring Break is more ironic than other Kruusamäe paintings of the time. His favourite model, a young and beautiful girl with blue eyes and platinum-blonde hair, has become a grotesque half-naked woman with a tired face but youthful body. She has fallen into the trap of the limbs of a young man in jeans. That contradiction provides a key to understanding the contrast between the real and the imaginary world in Kruusamäe’s paintings. Kädi Talvoja

Ilmar Kruusamäe
Spring Holiday

 
Artist: Ilmar Kruusamäe (1957 - )
Title: Spring Holiday
Date: 1983
Technique:
Material:
oil
canvas
Height (cm): 110.2
Width (cm): 80.1
Description: Ilmar Kruusamäe started his artistic career with the second wave of Estonian Hyper-realism, as a “slide painter” from Tartu. Hyper-realism, which emerged in the youth exhibition of 1975 and was associated with veristic brushwork and passionless attitude, was created as a counterpoise to the Pallasian Post-Impressionism that was very common on the Estonian artistic landscape. Unlike the first wave of Hyper-realists, the artists in Tartu were not interested in attaining an objective impression, photo-like effects and “momentary snapshots” of the alienated urban environment. Above all, the slide painting in Tartu was a glossy topical work of art with a narrative element. Using photographs was not as much a conceptual choice there as an aid for carrying the desired images on the canvas “colorfully, in the Western style”. In Ilmar Kruusamäe’s paintings of the time, we can usually see pretentious stagings, often showing the leitmotif of the kissing couple.
The emergence of slide painting in Tartu in the 1980s was a sign of a changing mentality. The grotesque and lust for fun that can be noticed in Kruusamäe’s work Spring Break describe the mentality of that time, which was influenced by the hierarchy in everyday privileges. Resistance to the Soviet power was primarily expressed in epating,with fashion goods made by foreign companies, which symbolised the good Western life, in fetishizing bright blue jeans and telling mocking absurd jokes. The glossiness of Kruusamäe’s paintings refers to the longing for a colorful life, which in the greyness of the time could be staged only thanks to slides taken on film manufactured in the GDR. “These paintings did not want to resemble the existing -- they were a method of escape.”
Spring Break is more ironic than other Kruusamäe paintings of the time. His favourite model, a young and beautiful girl with blue eyes and platinum-blonde hair, has become a grotesque half-naked woman with a tired face but youthful body. She has fallen into the trap of the limbs of a young man in jeans. That contradiction provides a key to understanding the contrast between the real and the imaginary world in Kruusamäe’s paintings.
Kädi Talvoja
Related categories: Art during the Soviet Era
Copyright notice: Art Museum of Estonia
AME collection: Paintings collection
Collection number: M 6994
Accretion number: EKM j 46071
Muis reference http://muis.ee/museaalView/250449
File info: Source type: digital photography
File type: TIF
File size: 59.17MB
Resolution: 3803*5435px @ 350dpi
 
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