Ants Laikmaa. Vigala and Capri
Location: 3rd floor, B-wing
Ants Laikmaa’s (1866–1942) name is deeply rooted in Estonian cultural history: he was a well-known artist, an organiser of art life and an art teacher. He is also often referred to as a dedicated traveller, since he spent the majority of his most fruitful creative years abroad: in Finland, Italy, Germany, North Africa etc.
The two contrasting key words in the title of the exhibition “Vigala and Capri” describe Laikmaa’s contradictory personality, yet he was an artist capable of combining two opposites in a unique manner. The exhibition also introduces the main geographical locations significant in Laikmaa’s art. His creative legacy is characterised by duality: being simultaneously here – at home − and there – in the wide expanses of Europe – in his thoughts and in his works. Laikmaa’s works are closely associated with ethnic subject matter and a deep respect for history, cultural heritage and peasants, whom he regarded as bearers of local national culture. On the other hand, Laikmaa’s adventurous travels brought Europe closer to other Estonian artists. A synthesis of methods is evident in his works, too: he mixed classical principles with influences from a more innovative and free art. Laikmaa’s painting technique requires special attention: he was one of the most remarkable pastel painters in Europe at the time.
Laikmaa’s empathy and friendly disposition to different people are qualities that are relevant even in the context of today’s issues and discussions. Among Laikmaa’s works are those that express sombre moods, but the joy of colour, living in the current moment and love for human beings are the dominant features of his art.
Curator: Liis Pählapuu
Exhibition designer: Liina Siib
SA Haapsalu ja Läänemaa muuseumid, Eesti Kunstimuuseum, Rahvusarhiivi Filmiarhiiv
Telia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia