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Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt

Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt (born 22 August 1941, Tallinn)

Kai. 1975. Oil on canvas. Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt (born 22 August 1941, Tallinn)

Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt defined his theme in art very early, being a student of the State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR. Born 22 August 1941 in Tallinn, as a child he lived for five years on the islands of Kuusalu. That is where he became attached to the harsh Baltic weather, Estonian farms, their inhabitants, island fishermen, to the inhospitable Estonian nature: the cold sea, rocks, and dunes. And fishermen will later become the heroes of his paintings – their lives, full of risk, dangerous work, and hard life.
In the first work with which Roosvalt participated at the republican exhibition, “Coast” (1967), there are already qualities inherent in his painting in the future. In particular, laconic plot, restrained polychrome painting, and severe courageous intonation.

Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt (born 22 August 1941, Tallinn)

Portrait with shawl. 1976. Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt (born 22 August 1941, Tallinn)

The diploma work “Coast people” (triptych: “Young”, “Windy Day”, “Autumn” – 1969) was the first thematic work of the artist. In this composition – the impressions that the student Uno Roosvalt collected on the islands of Kihnu, Wahasa, and Mukhu: specific landscapes, situations and faces. But in them the impressions of childhood, when he not once saw fishermen walking with anchors along the seashore, came to life.

Uno Roosvalt is constantly on the lookout, on the move. In addition to the inner meaning, movement has for him a real, physical meaning. Traveling artist, many of his paintings were born on the road. Travel impressions – observations, the most common in color and shape, created in tempera, watercolor, pencil, and pastel. There are hundreds of them. They convince with their reliability, opened by the prospect of real events, life.

The desire for monumentality is one of the most characteristic features of Roosvalt’s work. In a certain sense, the creative orientation of the artist makes him the heir to the “severe style.” In the emphatically catchy drawings, the simplicity of the compositions, the generalized characteristics of the characters, the pathos of creation characteristic of the art of young artists of the 1960s.

Roosvalt has a favorite habit: when reading a book that he obviously likes, he immediately pencils the possible illustrations. Some of them still remain runaway random sketches, others – the artist develops into finished series. So appeared illustrations for poetic collections, prose, and science fiction stories.

Meanwhile, Uno Roosvalt gives his entire creative experience to students – beginning artists. Associate professor of the painting department of the institute, who came once a twenty-year-old boy. Uno Albertovich Roosvalt entered the artistic and pedagogical department of the Tartu Fine Arts School in 1956, from which he graduated in 1962. From 1963 to 1969 – student of the State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR.

If to talk about the Soviet period of exhibition activity of the artist, the most significant is the All-Union Exhibition of Young Artists in Moscow in 1972. Then followed the exhibition of Soviet art of the Baltic republics (1973, Moscow). And in 1976 he took part in the All-Union art exhibition “Glory to Labor”. In addition, in the same year he took part in the exhibition of works by young artists of the Academy of Arts of the USSR. In the period 1971-1975 he was a regular participant of the All-Union Exhibition “Fine Arts of the Estonian SSR”.

Soviet Estonian artist Uno Roosvalt

The article based on Illustrated album “Uno Roosvalt” from the Series “New Names”, publisher Soviet artist. Moscow. 1979