From 24 October, Tartu Art Museum will host the extensive and definitely colourful retrospective exhibition “Nostalgialess”. The two floors of the exhibition introduce the works of one of the best Estonian colourists from the 1960s to the present day. Pääsuke’s oeuvre conveys classic painting traditions through a contemporary prism, transcending times and trends.
The exhibition is made even more exceptional by the fact that for the artist this marks a return to the location where in 1957 his professional journey began as a student of the Tartu Art School, since back then the classicist mansion from the end of the 18th century was the boys’ dormitory of the music school and the art school. This period of his life has a special place in the exhibition: visitors can experience the historic atmosphere and, as a rare gesture, works from the time of his studies are shown.
According to the curator of the exhibition, Joanna Hoffmann, collaboration with Pääsuke has been fascinating: “We looked through boxes full of archive materials: photos, publications, letters and other documents. I think this has been the most interesting curatorial process for me. Pääsuke is a magnificent artist and person and working with him has been a great joy and an honour.”
The title “Nostalgialess” reflects the artist’s self-irony, since it is hard to imagine anything more nostalgic than a retrospective exhibition in the building where one spent one’s youth. This jarring discrepancy clearly shows Pääsuke’s own desire to avoid being dramatic or praising himself. Let the paintings speak for themselves and let the location and time of the exhibition reveal the emotions that they contain.
The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial publication in Estonian and in English that contains an assortment of texts, numerous photos and a wide selection of reproductions of Pääsuke’s works. An analytical article written by the art historian Tamara Luuk and the painter Tõnis Saadoja contemplates Pääsuke as a teacher and a role model from the point of view of a creator. The catalogue also contains an exhaustive interview, an autobiography of the artist, Joanna Hoffmann’s curatorial text and biographic appendices. The book was designed by Valter Jakovski, translated by Peeter Talvistu and edited by Anti Saar and Richard Adang.
Tiit Pääsuke’s retrospective exhibition “Nostalgialess” will remain open until 25 April 2021. Due to the corona crisis, there will not be an opening ceremony but we will do our best to present the exhibition through guided tours, and meetings with the artist and the curator will take place.