21.XI – 10.XII 2017 | Vabaduse Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
With this exhibition, Jaan Elken continues his so-called “open landscape” series, the beginning of which can be traced back to the exhibition “It has been written” in Tallinn City Gallery in 2012, and “Strawberry Fields” in Vabaduse Gallery in 2013. His exhibitions have a strong autobiographic element, yet also appealing to a more universal human experience with archetypes of landscapes. The white-gray rainbows remind of things lost or yet to come, a sensation the artist has expressed with the thought “Somewhere over the rainbow, the skies are blue”.
Jaan Elken describes his new exhibition:
“If you choose a high enough vantage point, details disappear, colours collapse and forms melt together. The only thing that remains is the horizon, a vertical division of up and down, conceptions of good and evil, and the great dichotomy between light and darkness.
In the unwritten hierarchy of arts, music has a very special position, as it talks directly to human soul – there is certainty and determinism by the creator, yet even the most technically lucid listener is affected by the mood and associations, and all of this remains abstract! A good architect has a similar kind of plan in their work, creating poetry of space for the viewer and showing the value of human existence. Painting is now perhaps in the its happiest place during its existence over several thousand years. It has become free from the obligation to represent (as new media has picked up this function), it is free from the repression of modernist form experimentation (this path to the end of the world and back has already been done). What is left is ultimate freedom to operate in its own universe.
If you remove all objects, the horizon remains, and if you remove the horizon, the canvas remains empty. This feels like ultimate freedom, as if everything is possible… and yet nothing is possible. Anonymous brush or spatula strokes are mere notes, construction elements, to build something greater, even if the given space is a small gallery.
The contrasts of large metropolitan airports, where the human made futuristic emptiness of the terminals is followed by a different emptiness when you hit the runway, where the rush if speeding is replaced by transcendental ascension, when you no longer can feel the speed, or space time in an ordinary manner – emerging above the clouds. “
List of works:
- Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue. 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 135×150
- Flying over… 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 135×150
- Holy place.2014-2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 130×150
- Flying over II… 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 135×150
- Flying over darkness. 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 135×150
- Overflow. 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 160×200
- Somewhere over the rainbow. 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas.135×150
- Overflow II. 2017. Acrylic, collage, canvas. 135×150
The exhibition has been supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia