NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

The exhibition is accompanied by a 232 page book “Helle Vahersalu. Snow, Rust, Colour” in Estonian and English. The texts are written by Tiiu Talvistu, Kadri Asmer and Reet Pulk-Piatkowska. The book also contains a lengthy interview with the artist and almost a hundred reproductions of her art works.

Colours have dominated the works of Helle Vahersalu for most of her life. Her pictorial world is based on them and this is expressed through her portraits, still lifes and abstract compositions. Although Vahersalu doesn’t paint to convey messages or to make the world a better place, she still manages to transform our surroundings. She paints to bring more colour to the world of viewers, and to thereby offer them aesthetic experiences and soothe their senses. She paints because she cannot live without it.

Vahersalu’s paintings allow us to enter her world of colours and sensibilities. It is difficult to find anything comparable to her portraits in Estonian art. The artist’s personal approach to her models is significant since most of them have been part of her own social circles. Throughout the years, her abstractions have shown both searching and experimenting, as well as returning to earlier approaches. Over time, the world of objects started to gradually disappear from Vahersalu’s paintings, until her latest large format compositions contain only individual recognisable elements. Colour, however, has always remained paramount.

The exhibition has been designed by Madis Liplap.

Helle-Reet Vahersalu-Paris (b 1939) received her education in the Tartu Art School and the Estonian State Art Institute. After graduation, she returned to Tartu and has taught painting and composition in various art educational institutions of Tartu. Her arrival as a young artist in Tartu in the 1960s was a breath of fresh air for the local art life. She has participated in exhibitions since 1969. Vahersalu has had over two dozen personal exhibitions of which the last one in the Tartu Art House took place in 2004.

Gallery name: Tartu Art House

Address: Vanemuise 26, Tartu

Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 12:00 - 18:00

Open: 18.10.2019 - 10.11.2019