NewsPRESS RELEASE 18.08.2006
AHEAD OF TIMES
August 19 to September 17, 2006
The exhibition "Ahead of Times" focuses on the design of cultural publications of Estonia in the 1970s.
The period under examination in this exhibition is one of the stages when creativity was at its highest in the history of Estonian magazine and, in a broader sense, cultural publications in general. At a longer or shorter interval, more or less in the same beat with the other world everything has taken place also before and after that but this period is more relevant. At that time, inter alia, graphic design was taken up by the artists having graduated as designers and architects, who were also outside such pragmatic area of activity the figureheads of decisive changes and innovations in the artistic life of Soviet Estonia (Leonhard Lapin, Andres Tolts, Ando Keskküla). A bridge was built between reforms in art (spiritual leader being Tõnis Vint who also was engaged in the design of magazines) and a much more practical and artisanry activity; several magazines displayed here (“Horisont”, “Noorus”, “Pikker”, “Kultuur ja Elu”, but primarily “Kunst” and “Kunst ja Kodu” and also “Siluett”) were also extremely important considering essence, importing radically novel ideas and liberal thinking, which could naturally take place only when playing cat and mouse with the censors. The obligatory party stuff was sometimes clad in a somewhat weird garment. The work of the magazine designer of these times (several of them were also directly connected with the editing of these publications) could be compared to the work of a wise smuggler or a learned tourist guide: while manoeuvring in the prescribed system of rules they conveyed further hints, messages from a more sophisticated and liberal world to the reader.
This exhibition is one of the first attempts to document the history of graphic design in Estonia and to present it to younger generations.
The exhibition is organised by Estonian Association of Graphic Design Artists, the working group included Tiiu Pirsko, Tõnu Kaalep, Harry Liivrand and Ivar Sakk. The author of the graphic design of the exhibition and catalogue is Jaan Evart.