Noblessner, Kai Art Center building – Peetri 12, 10415, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 6405770, info@temnikova.ee. Wed–Fri 13–18 Sat 14–18.  

Alice Kask 'Five Views'

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selected works

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Alice Kask

'Untitled'

oil, acrylic, canvas, clay 212×303cm 2023

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Alice Kask

'Untitled'

oil, acrylics, canvas 251×202cm 2023

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Alice Kask

'Untitled'

oil, acrylics, canvas 251×202cm 2023

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Alice Kask

'Untitled'

oil, acrylics, canvas 270×210cm 2023

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Alice Kask

'Untitled'

oil, acrylics, canvas 260×203cm 2023

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installation views

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Through her large-scale paintings, presented here under the title Five Views, Alice Kask offers self-contained insights into a painter's perception of the world, which is characterized by a particular existential wonder about being human. The interpretive space of her paintings is generally open-ended, and there is no predetermined thematic framework to be taken as a guide. However, what is provided are specific images, often in the form of individual anonymous figures or everyday human objects, which, as obvious centerpieces of the paintings, demand to be taken as starting points for further elaboration.
 
Similarly to the paintings, the exhibition Five Views widens its space for interpretation, in relation to itself as a whole, by leaving open what is meant by the titular views. Whether it is primarily a matter of pictorial vistas or five points of view – so to speak, a visual or a conceptual approach – does not matter much, as choosing just one would throw off their balance. Only in this interplay between the visual and the conceptual do the interpretations really start to emerge, and this applies both to the exhibition as a whole and to the individual paintings.

However, the most central of these interplays that characterize Kask’s paintings is a certain balanced tension between the symbolic and the real. The realistic forms and anonymous subjects depicted feel as if lifted out from the real world, cut off from everything extraneous, and placed into an abstract and sketchy painting-world. All this is inevitably symbolic in its powerful imagery, but at the same time it is never quite concrete or direct in its symbolism. Blaise Pascal has often said that "man's unhappiness springs from one thing alone, his incapacity to stay quietly in one room." In her paintings, Kask seems to be constructing those quiet metaphorical rooms, in which this incapacity is confronted, or where, despite everything, one tries to be quiet, even if it is bound to fail.

The situations created by Kask in her paintings function as temporal nuances which often have a transitional character or seem as having been caught in-between two distinct moments. Yet, at the same time, they also feel timeless, or even external to time. Unassuming forms in modest tonality and clothes with a traditional undertone act in these abstract environments as timeless generalizations, and the impression that this interplay creates is therefore concrete as well as general; both specific and comprehensive. Something that is rather elusive in real life, and which is also not easily captured with words, has been aimed for here.

Several of the paintings exhibited in Five Views, including a nature vista that is somewhat uncharacteristic of the artist's previous work, were initially part of Alice Kask’s and Neeme Külm's joint exhibition Something Righter in This. In the accompanying text of that exhibition, curator Tamara Luuk managed to summarize Kask’s working method very eloquently, finding that she is “ruthlessly precise in what she is trying to show, straightforward in concealing what deserves to be hidden. Only nature is left outside Alice’s penetrating gaze: she looks at it from a distance and sees it as something bigger than herself. The dark and dreary elements can only be captured vaguely, recorded only from a distance. So complicated and, at the same time, also so simple. As sincere as possible.”

Text: Marten Esko

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EST:

Näitusel “Viis vaadet” pakub Alice Kask oma suureformaadiliste maalide kaudu iseseisvalt eneseküllaseid sissevaateid maalikunstniku maailmatunnetusse, millele on iseloomulik teatav eksistentsiaalne kummastus inimeseks olemise üle. Kase maalide tõlgendusruum on tavapäraselt piiritlemata ning etteantud temaatilist raamistikku orientiiriks võtta ei ole. Küll aga on ette antud kujutised, sageli kas üksikute anonüümsete inimvormide või inimlike argiste esemete kujul, mis maalide ilmselgete keskmetena nõuavad endast lähtumist.

Sarnaselt maalidele loob ka pealkirja „Viis vaadet“ kandev näitus enda kui terviku suhtes avara tõlgendusruumi, sest jätab vaataja otsustada, mida on vaadete all silmas peetud. See, kas siin on ennekõike tegu viie silmavaate või seisukohaga – nii-öelda visuaalse või ideelise lähenemisega – ei oma suurt tähtsust, sest ainult ühe valimine tasalülitaks tervikut. Alles visuaalse ja ideelise koosmõjus hakkavad tõlgendused päriselt esile kerkima, ning see kehtib nii siinse näituseterviku kui ka individuaalsete maalide osas.

Olukorrad Kase maalidel on sageli justkui ühelt hetkelt teisele ülemineku ajalised nüansid, mis on samaaegselt ka aegadeülesed või isegi ajavälised. Tagasihoidliku tonaalsuse ja traditsioonilise alatooniga vormid ja rõivad mõjuvad neis oludes samas jällegi aegadeülese üldistusena, ning mulje, mis selles vastasmõjus tekib, ongi seeläbi samaaegselt nii konkreetne kui üldsõnaline; nii spetsiifiline kui kõikehõlmav. Sihikule on võetud miski, mis päriselu jääb pigem tabamatuks, ning mida ei ole kerge ka sõnadesse panna.

Tekst: Marten Esko

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