Valve Janov: From the Beginnings to the Avant-Garde 1942–1965
The exhibition focuses on the early works of Valve Janov (1921–2003), from the first noteworthy experiments to the classics of the Estonian post-war avant-garde, which were barred from exhibitions during the time of their creation in the ESSR. It follows the developments of the artist’s thoughts and imagination, her trials of creative freedom and independence in a closed society, and the ways and forms in which games of fantasy and technical endeavours became entangled, all the while not forgetting the favourite motifs of Valve Janov: the fish and the moon.
Valve Janov became a central figure in the post-war unofficial artistic group which was formed in Tartu after 1956 and included Silvia Jõgever, Kaja Kärner, Lembit Saarts, Ülo Sooster, Lüüdia Vallimäe-Mark and Heldur Viires. The group was named after an uncensored exhibition held in the Tartu Eighth High School in 1960, which was the only public joint undertaking of all of the members. They played an important role in the resistance movement of Estonian art by preserving aesthetic values despite the demands of the totalitarian system and decisively innovating our artistic language and means of expression.
The exhibition includes works by Valve Janov’s creative companions Herman Aunapuu, Varmo Pirk, Kaja Kärner, Lüüdia Vallimäe-Mark, Lembit Saarts and Silvia Jõgever, whose portraits and reflections of Janov offer an additional dimension to the project.
Valve Janov studied in 1938–1948 in the Pallas Higher Art School and the Tartu State Art Institute, mainly under Johannes Võerahansu, Elmar Kits and Ado Vabbe. She was not allowed to graduate from the institute during the Stalinist era.
The exhibition takes place in cooperation between the Art Museum of Estonia and the Pallas Art Society.
Curators: Ülle Kruus and Enn Lillemets (Pallas Art Society).