The exhibited graphic album interprets the Estonian literature classics “Truth and Justice” by A. H. Tammsaare. Raul Meel plays with the meaning, symbols, and composition. The personages referred to on the artworks are not strictly polarized (as well as the concept of truth and justice) nor clearly tactile. Once pulled apart, then tightened, mirrored, forming incomprehensible forms or articulating explicitly – the exhibited works tell more about (and give a deeper meaning to) the truth and justice than pages of reviews or commentaries.
It is not necessary to be familiar with the work the album was inspired from, nor to understand Estonian. A perception of the characters referred to (e.g. Andres and Pearu, as well as Truth and Justice) and their internal contradictions, tensions, hopes, and flexions immerse in even in a superficial observation. The elegant design of the artworks speaks of silence, which can overwhelm despite lively and noisy urban space, thus setting the surrounding somewhat at odds with one’s inner world and challenging the viewer to question the meaning of what is seen.
Raul Meel (born in 1941) is print, installation, painting, and performance artist and concrete poet. Meel represents the radical wing of the 1960s-1980s Estonian art. He is known as the most renowned Estonian autodidact and outsider.
Meel studied electrical engineering, which gave him a different perspective on art. In 1968, when Meel joined the coterie of experimenting artists, who tolerated his typewriter poems, he started to feel his affiliation to the 1960s and 1970s Western avant-garde. In a short time, he became the best-known representative of Estonia’s neo-avant-garde, whose artistic language engaged with minimalism and conceptualism, which in the Soviet Union was tried to prohibit by all means. Therefore it is also possible to look at his art as a political discourse, which emphasizes the antagonistic confrontation to the prevailing art system.
(Source: Komissarov, E., 2014. Meel, keel ja geomeetria.)
Artists webpage: https://raulmeel.com
Gallery name: Outdoor Gallery
Address: Telliskivi 60A, Tallinn
Open: 03.07.2020 - 10.09.2020