Teaduse ja teadusliku kujundistu peegeldusi Nõukogude Eesti vaba- ja raamatugraafikas

Reflections of science and scientific imagery in Soviet Estonian graphic art and book graphic


  • Elnara Taidre Art Museum of Estonia


It must be said that in Soviet Estonian graphic art the topics of
science and research have been interpreted not in the heroic manner
common to the Social Realism artistic canon, but rather either as
mundane-poetic, or, what is even somewhat mystifying, as symbolist
style. At the same time, those “invisible” objects of research which
by their nature were either too small or too grand to be perceived
by the human eye became an important motive and justification for
experiments in the more abstract and conceptual style associated
with significant artistic liberation and innovation of the 1960s. Firstly,
illustrating scientific literature (in addition to earning a living in
their chosen field) offered artists greater freedom, since visualisation
of complicated scientific concepts demanded great imagination
and creative imagery. Secondly, the non-artistic imagery (originating
from a different visual system) borrowed from scientific illustrations
became, in turn, a significant source that markedly enriched the
“vocabulary” of the visual art of the age. Thirdly, a new type of artistresearcher
emerged, whose search for and production of knowledge
was largely carried out using visual materials and means, thus anticipating
the field of artist-research that has become increasingly
relevant today. It is notable that the thematics of science oriented
towards innovations in knowledge also inspired works that renewed
the language of art.


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