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Haus Gallery 31.01.2024

EDMOND ARNOLD BLUMENFELDT

DECORATIVE AVANT-GARDE
GOUACHE AND GRAPHIC ART

Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt was one of the most mysterious Estonian artists of the 20th century. He was born in 1903 in Saint Petersburg to a merchant’s family. In the same city, he completed evening classes at art school when he was a teenager, and then moved to Berlin. While in Paris in the 1920s, he attracted considerable attention, displayed his works at an influential exhibition, and his works were featured in local art magazines. Unfortunately, only a few works from this glorious period have survived: some were destroyed in the turmoil of the Second World War, but it is highly likely that some are still in Paris.

When Blumenfeldt moved back to Tallinn, he briefly emerged as one of the most prominent practitioners of geometric expressionism. Among other things, he created a number of abstract stage designs, many of which were never realised due to their technical complexity and modern formal language. In the 1930s, however, Blumenfeldt fell off the radar of the art world. Almost done with painting, the artist started working as an advertising artist and graphic designer, concentrating on packaging design rather than avant-garde. Most of the time, his work was even focused on clients in Riga. 

This exhibition puts the previously unknown carpet designs of Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt on display for the first time. These were made in the early 1940s, when the artist was trying to earn a living under the Soviet occupation. In addition to carpet designs, he also designed cigarette boxes, tin lids, etc. His attempt to cope with the new times is also reflected in his signature, which is written on paper in Cyrillic. It is not known whether his designs were ever carried out. In addition to the carpet designs, the exhibition also puts on display a series of Blumenfeldt’s linocut prints from Paris (1937) – the city where he had his breakthrough as an artist at the time. The folder was intended to be sold to tourists in Paris, but its print run was unexpectedly small, just 30 copies. 

Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt’s carpet designs are decorative and highly nuanced. The patterns are colourful, the ornamentation slightly oriental, and there is nothing reminiscent of the difficult social times that were prevalent in the period when the designs were made. Rather, the designs are a throwback to the Art Deco style of the 1920s, bringing influences from France and Germany to Soviet Estonia. In grievous conditions, these sketches were probably the only way to maintain a certain creative freedom, as carpet designs were allowed to be abstract. Just a few years later, in 1946, the artist died, barely 43 years old.

The rare sketches are from the collection of Blumenfeldt’s heirs.

Exhibition curator – Piia Ausman

Text – Eero Epner

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Pink Flowers
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Pink Flowers undated. Gouache, paper km 25 x 25 cm (framed) price 1 600
Mushroom and Flowers
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Mushroom and Flowers undated. Gouache, paper 19.7 x 15 cm (framed) price 1 300
(sold)Grapes and Mushrooms
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Grapes and Mushrooms undated. Gouache, paper km 19.7 x 14.8 cm (framed) price 1 500
Orange Flowers
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Orange Flowers undated. Gouache, paper km 19.7 x 14.5 cm (framed) price 1 300
Motive With Cherries
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Motive With Cherries undated. Gouache, paper km 20 x 14.8 cm (framed) price 1 300
Abstract Motives
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Abstract Motives undated. Gouache, paper km 19.5 x 14.5 cm (framed) price 1 400
Yellow Roses
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Yellow Roses undated. Gouache, paper km 29.7 x 20 cm (framed) price 1 300
Abstraction With Green and Yellow
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Abstraction With Green and Yellow undated. Gouache, paper km 20.5 x 13.5 cm (framed) price 1 200
(sold)Abstract Composition
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Abstract Composition undated. Gouache, paper km 29.5 x 19.9 cm (framed)
(sold)Yellow Flowers
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Yellow Flowers undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed)
(sold)Yellow and Pink Flowers
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Yellow and Pink Flowers undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed)
(sold)Fowers and Yellow Lines
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Fowers and Yellow Lines undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed)
(sold)Cubist Constructions
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Cubist Constructions undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed)
Abstract Birds
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Abstract Birds undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed) price 1 700
Fish and Shellfish
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Fish and Shellfish undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed) price 1 700
Grapes and Red Roses
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Grapes and Red Roses undated. Gouache, paper km 17.7 x 9.2 cm (framed) price 1 200
Pink and Red Flower
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Pink and Red Flower undated. Gouache, paper km 17.7 x 9.2 cm (framed) price 1 200
(sold)Tulips
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Tulips undated. Gouache, paper km 24.7 x 24.7 cm (framed) price 1 600
Pink and Yellow Roses
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Pink and Yellow Roses undated. Gouache, paper km 29.6 x 20.2 cm (framed) price 1 300
(sold)Self-Portrait
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Self-Portrait undated. -- am 9.5 x 6.5 cm (framed)
Notre-Dame Chimere
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame Chimere 1937. Woodcut km 26.4 x 18.4 cm (framed) price 950
Notre-Dame Chimere
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame Chimere 1937. Woodcut km 26.2 x 18.2 cm (framed) price 950
(sold)Notre-Dame Chimere
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame Chimere 1937. Woodcut avm 33.4 x 23.6 cm (framed) price 950
(sold)Notre-Dame Chimere
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame Chimere 1937. Woodcut avm 33.4 x 23.6 cm (framed)
Notre-Dame Chimere
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame Chimere 1937. Woodcut km 26.2 x 18.2 cm (framed) price 950
Notre-Dame Chimere
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame Chimere 1937. Woodcut km 26.2 x 18.2 cm (framed) price 950
(sold)Notre- Dame With a Bookmaker
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre- Dame With a Bookmaker 1937. Woodcut km 26.2 x 18.2 cm (framed)
(sold)Notre-Dame With Visitors
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame With Visitors 1937. Woodcut km 26.2 x 18.2 cm (framed)
(sold)Notre-Dame
Edmond Arnold Blumenfeldt Notre-Dame 1937. Woodcut km 33.4 x 23.6 cm (framed)