Exhibition > Present > Haus Gallery
Haus Gallery 15.03.2023-03.04.2023
LAURENTSIUS - LAURI SILLAK
S - SMALL SIZE
Laurentsius has said that he likes to paint in the system L, M, S – large, medium, and small – to denote an internal game that determines both the format of the forthcoming work and its artistic and substantive approach. When measuring the work of Laurentius in this format-based way, one should also mention his giant XL and his miniature XS, from which the audience that knows him recalls in a maximized close-up view, stylishly content-anarchic portraits, small personified fruits, or natural miniatures in baroque giant frames.
‘If you’ve been painting mostly big pictures for a while, it’s a real pleasure to have an exhibition of small paintings for a change. The small format makes it easier to take risks, to experiment, to try out new techniques, to set yourself up in every way to be ready to paint again mostly large pictures for a while,’ notes the artist.
In terms of content, however, the exhibition by Laurentsius at Haus is a continuation of the artist’s paintings from seven years ago, in which a solitary three-ball figure acts as a suggestive or almost abstract backdrop to a landscape. The small-format painting evokes the sensation of a large and spaceless space, where the form-notable protagonist is grasped as a thought rather than as a material being, as if speaking of the unfathomable coexistence of determined and indeterminate reality.
An emphatically pervasive feature of the work of Laurentsius is his perpetual technical subtlety of painting, which the artist approaches with his own arithmetic, pairing an academic and contemporary set of paintings in which the concept prevails. Conceptual painting, mixed with pop elements, is more typical of our 1990s generation of artists, where Laurentius has a deservedly respected position and a phenomenally distinctive artistic signature. Against the backdrop of seemingly personal and intimate creative insights, Laurentius has been engaged in the unraveling of art issues more broadly, also touching on the relationship between kitsch and high art, or quoting the history of modern art, drawing inspiration from the renowned American photographer Robert Mapplethorphe (1946–1989) or a specific sculptor’s signature from the English artist Henry Moore (1898–1986).
Laurentsius’s work is a subtly idiosyncratic world philosophy with the arithmetic of outstanding style, space, and composition. Interaction with his works is an aesthetically enjoyable intellectual process, an engagingly multi-layered conversation, laced with the quiet humour inherent in the artist.
Laurentsius, whose real name is Lauri Sillak (1969), received his art education at the Estonian Academy of Arts in the field of painting, and has been actively presenting his works in exhibitions since 1993. He has been a lecturer in the Chair of Painting of the Estonian Academy of Arts since 2000 and has been awarded several prizes, including the Konrad Mägi Award in 1999. Laurentsius’s works can be found in the collections of several museums and also hold a distinguished place in private collections both at home and abroad.
Text: Curator Piia Ausman