After the solo exhibition at the Temnikova and Kasela Gallery that ended in January, in which he snickered about the beauty of aging, Jaan Toomik now steps into the madness of the outside world, which he drags onto a home yard decorated with an idol enthroned on a sawing block and a log that is growing out an axe handle.
Each of Jaan Toomik’s exhibitions is realised in a rhythm and context that is his alone, according to his logic and in a light focused by him. While the interrelation of the artist’s works and a message may seem disconnected and uneven to the viewer, it is the next exhibition that reveals the continuity and meaning. And, as Hanno Soans notes, the fact something very significant* is present in the artist’s discontinuity is meaningful. His honesty in the documentation of himself as a place of reflection (Alina Astrova’s astute expression)** is comprised of a large number of premonitions and seemingly irrational connections, which whip both the artist and the interpreters of his work toward ever greater precision. Toomik’s ability is not only to capture and halt feeling and thought, but he has the power to actuate and start them up. The latter is much greater than the intimacy that is visible on the surface. It is the unformulated engine that moves all of us. So who can say they are not affected?
This exhibition continues the characteristic feature of Toomik’s recent exhibitions: alongside the dark and dull colour combinations typical of the artist, we see explosive paintings borne by the intensity of orange and violet. Compared to a fear of the unknown and longing for intimacy that immediately gets under your skin, there is a delayed inevitability and inescapability to the brightness of these paintings. This inevitability has the power to wake people from their slumber and the ability to help the set up the next frame of a long film that talks about life. About life, which as long as it is ticking, is always a sequel that becomes an image.
*Hanno Soans. Elu surmasuunaline voolus. Sirp, 18 December. 2015
**Alina Astrova’s press release for Jaan Toomik’s exhibition Smells Like Old Men’s Spirit at the Temnikova and Kasela Gallery 5 November 2015-9 January 2016