For the first time, the general public can enjoy the art collection of Külli and Peeter Värnik, which primarily consists of landscape paintings by authors linked to the Pallas School. The Värniks’ collection started with Aleksander Vardi’s painting Autumn, acquired in 1999. In the succeeding decade, the couple worked intensely to enlarge the collection with works by Oskar Kallis, Konrad Mägi, Ado Vabbe, Kristjan Teder, Richard Sagrits and others.
The display has been designed to take the visitor on a journey through the seasons in Estonian landscapes, from watery grey impressions of spring to colourful summers, to autumn coastlines and fields to sparkly winter snows. A separate theme arises in their collected works of graphic art, consisting of prints of people and animals.
The focus of the exhibition is landscape painting as a genre that records actual places and views, and is a means to express the creativity of the artist. Several views from south Estonia in the collection were clearly recognisable to the collectors, and yet each of the works also reflected the unique world view of its author. In their collection of landscapes, the Värnik family mostly value the serene and positive energy exuding from the image.
An interest in the various manifestations of Modernism and a desire to own the widest possible selection of works by authors from the Pallas school have brought to the collection some typical examples of well-known artists’ work, but also unexpected pieces of fascinating styles and techniques. The collectors have followed two main criteria in their decision-making: the work of art must speak to both of them and it has to be a pleasant addition to their living environment.
Curator: Kerttu Männiste
Exhibition design and graphic design: Exporabbit