Olev Subbi: Using Paint to Find an Ideal World 13/03/2020 – 25/10/2020

Adamson-Eric Museum
Adult: Adamson-Eric Museum
  • Family: Adamson-Eric Museum
  • Discount: Adamson-Eric Museum
  • Adult ticket with donation: Art Museum of Estonia
Olev Subbi. Girl in the Doorway. 1971. Art Museum of Estonia
Olev Subbi. Girl in the Doorway. 1971. Art Museum of Estonia

Olev Subbi: Using Paint to Find an Ideal World

The exhibition is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the birth of the legendary Estonian painter Olev Subbi.

Olev Subbi (1930–2013) was a member of the Estonian Artist’s Association and a freelance artist from 1967 until his demise on 19 August 2013. Subbi quickly earned recognition as an artist. Solo exhibitions in Estonia and abroad plus an award at the Vilnius Painting Triennial in 1969 bear witness to his success. Few people are aware of the fact that from 25 March 1949 until 1957 Olev Subbi lived as a deportee in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Siberia, so his art studies were on a forced hiatus for nearly a decade.

Ülle Kruus, the exhibition curator: “Olev Subbi’s oeuvre was very sensitive in the 1960s and 1970s, and kept evolving internally and in the nuances of colour. The artist seemingly painted himself to spiritual and creative freedom. The predominant desire that the artist displayed was to paint shifts in space-time, mixing reality with something from the master’s dreams and recollections. In these painted ideal worlds, the artist tried to find universal human virtues in the harsh reality of Soviet Estonia. Dedication to his unique style and thorough analysis of his subject matter earned him the greatest recognition in life. He was named a Meritorious Artist of the Estonian SSR and a People’s Artist of the Estonian SSR, he received the Kristjan Raud Art Award, the Konrad Mägi Award for painting, the Order of the White Star, Second Class, the Order of the Tallinn Coat of Arms, and many other awards. Olev Subbi lived a full life dedicated to art.”

The display of Olev Subbi’s colourful paintings from the collections of the Art Museum of Estonia and the Tartu Art Museum can be viewed on the ground floor of the Adamson-Eric Museum. On the basement level, visitors can watch the film Õnnemaastikud (Landscapes of Happiness). Olev Subbi (2015), directed by Kalev Lepik.

Exhibition curator: Ülle Kruus
Exhibition design: Inga Heamägi
Curator of th public and education programmes: Annika Teras.

The primary supporter: Tallinna Kaubamaja.