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Projections and perspectives – the art of the Sixties

Anu Allas (3-4/2009)

Anu Allas delves into the art of the 1960s in response to the Tartu Art Museum exhibition The future is born today – progressive art from the ESSR 1958–1968, and its satellite exhibition Through tourist eyes
In the collections of both the Art Museum of Estonia and Tartu Art Museum there are numerous examples of the ‘official’ art that filled exhibition halls during the 1960s. Compared to Socialist Realism as the tourist magnet, the aforementioned tends to be too contained, monotonous and clumsy, and if there is a period in Soviet Estonian art that could be defined by its Western-mindedness, openness and spirit of resistance, it is precisely the 1960s. And so, the majority of Estonian art during the 1960s was created in the playing field that remained between the two extremes – the paraded ‘official’ and the uncompromisingly avant-garde – both of which had rather few representatives. The borders of that playing field were constantly and chaotically displaced; something may or may not have ‘passed’, and the motives were often rather random.
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