Exhibition > Past > SEB Gallery

SEB Gallery 30.08.2006-13.10.2006


Signs of choice

Abstract art is surrounded by several paradoxes, in the context of Lola Liivat’s exhibition we could talk about two of them. Nobody claims that exactly these two are the most important ones (or that they actually exist), not talking about the fact that Lola Liivat keeps in mind or has ever kept in mind the aims having been described below.

The first paradox is the historical one. As we know, abstract art as an independent art genre is one of the newest ones, being highly surpassed both historically and in duration by  all other possible
-isms. Slow movement towards the depicted loss gave the first results already at the end of the 19. century, but these results were still too pale for giving grounds for the Christening of the new toddler. The first decades of the 20. century were the time for breakthrough which was followed by  a powerful successor in the 1940ies and 1950ies in the form of abstract expressionism. The latter spread firstly in the USA, being simultaneously one of the newest forms of the blast of self-expression and an ideological weapon against socialist realism that was obligatory in the USSR.

Maybe this opposition, the battle between “good” and “bad” helps us to illustrate better also the promised paradox. So – even though abstractionism is one of the newest art trends, it could and should be one of the oldest ones. It actually is weird that realistic story-telling canon was not opposed for such a long period by art, which actually would deal with itself: with colours. (The latter is of course poetical exaggeration).

In this paradox the role of Lola Liivat is quite clear. She could boldly be considered one of the first, if not the first consistent abtract expressionist in Estonia. But in the historical context one more paradox is immediately added– Liivat was the follower of the mentioned trend exactly during that period, when it should have been the least possible. Official pressure tried to direct Liivat’s creation into another channel, but – and here we actually do not have to talk about martyrdom or heroism, but just of creativity – colours of this artist ran into another direction. 

Another paradox is about a fallacy that abstractionism means chaos. Because abstractionism does not mean chaos. Yes, at the first glance all rules seem to have been neglected, all fetters have been removed, the connection with reality has been left behind the door. But such impression is as wrong as the opinion that wildness means disorder. Claude Levi-Strauss has said that each ”wild thinking” actually contains a firm will to organize and classify the Universe. The same applies about Lola Liivat, where we see bigger role of chance than we have got accustomed to, but the role is smaller than it seems at the first glance. Liivat’s colours are always well-chosen, she does not wade in random colours, but knows exactly what she is taking from the palette. 

And actually it is of no importance, whether her choice is based on the visual strength of these colour combinations, in some sort of secret meanings or is it just Lola-Liivat-style of handwriting. Liivat does not expose to us the victory of chaos, as she also does not expose to us the victory of order. Internal battles have not been held here for a long time.

< back