Co-exhibition of artists Mari Roosvalt and Mara Ljutjuk
at the Estonian Embassy in Berlin, Germany
April 8 through June 15, 2014
Traces are either adumbrative or visible signs denoting existence, occurrence or presence of something. Traces are always accompanied by a story of their own. It is the same thing with paintings – before creating them, artists have to be inspired by a certain narrative or a strong emotional impulse.
The intersection of Mari Roosvalt's and Mara Ljutjuk's artwork lies in the traces of their common ancestors as well as their interest towards the ultimate essence of the art of painting. Both artists use their own way to reflect their surroundings and to depict various traces - traces that are a critical part of both artists's work follow us from birth to death, both in our mental and physical worlds. There are eight abstract paintings by Mari Roosvalt created in 2010-2012 and ten figurative paintings by Mara Ljutjuk created in 2001-2011 presented at the current exhibition.
Mari Roosvalt (born in 1945 in Tallinn) has graduated from the department of painting at the Estonian State Art Institute in 1969. She is a member of the Estonian Artists' Association since 1979 and the head of the Estonian Painters' Union since 2006. Since 1992, Roosvalt has been teaching at the Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA). In 1998, she was a professor extraordinarius at EAA and in 2001-2006 the head of the Open Academy at EAA. Since 2006, Roosvalt has been the coordinator of preparatory classes at the Open Academy and the head of the curriculum of faculty of fine arts at EAA. She is participating in exhibitions since 1970. Roosvalt was awarded the Konrad Mägi Prize in 2006.
Whereas in her earlier work Roosvalt has mainly used realistic manner of painting, the form of her recent artwork has become expressive and abstract. She mostly applies mixed media and combines various materials while adding elements of photography. Roosvalt remains to the playground of an evidently "beautiful" painting whereas breaking the scenic uniformity in her work and throwing in various patterns, motifs and textures. For Roosvalt, abstract painting represents the individual, the romantic and the authentic counterbalanced by using objective and documenting photography. Roosvalt is like a bridge builder, a mediator who analyzes and synthesizes "the new" and "the old". Thus, new layers and words both spoken and unspoken will be added to her work every time, resulting into a conversation held with the artist herself, with the past, and perhaps later with the future. The massive experience gathered during her numerous foreign trips keeps flowing through the artist and has left profound traces in Roosvalt's work.
Mara Ljutjuk (born in 1978 in Tallinn) has graduated from the department of painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2001 and obtained a Master's degree in educational sciences at the same university. She has taken additional courses in fine arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain in 2007. Ljutjuk is a member of Estonian Artists' Association and Estonian Painters' Union since 2006. She has held personal exhibitions since 2004 and participated in several group exhibitions since 2000.
Ljutjuk's paintings can be characterized by simplified form and realistic manner. Her narrative paintings tell stories that express familiar elements from life. Ljutjuk's work focuses on analyzing human relationships as well as perceiving the various nuances of the surrounding life and world. Her paintings often refer to ephemeral moments, to situations and relationships that may be left unnoticed but that are still a part of our "daily life". The scenes in paintings are expressed through sketches that either metaphorically or literally tell us about the recurrencies in daily life and circular movements such as repeating mistakes and one's continuous hope. Ljutjuk's paintings unveil the inner monologue of a human soul, relationships with the close ones, fighting with oneself, the beginning and the fugacity of life in a dramatic yet emotional way.