From 17 August, Kate Lyddon and Angela Maasalu’s exhibition “Throbwerk” will be open at the Art Hall Gallery. This is an exhibition that is simultaneously physical, reacting to strong emotions, and loud, almost screaming. It is painful, funny, poetic and cruel and points to one possible way of being artist nowadays.
“Both are stubborn, emotional and passionate. Both place their trust in imagination, instinct and intuition. Neither minds the currentness of their expressive means. They work with intimate and personal everyday subjects, from which both have conjured something utterly powerful and bodily; a physical imposition of their femininity,” writes Tamara Luuk.
“Lyddon’s bodies bulge, bleed, shift, seep and drool. Their abject flesh—filled with solid blues, pinks and greens—is restless, active and consuming… While the bodies that inhabit the spaces of Angela Maasalu’s paintings and drawings have a sparser, scratchier quality, colour also determines the narrative or emotional intensity of the work, which powerfully re-imagines fragments of autobiographical experience. The ‘heart’—inasmuch as it connects to desire, humiliation, vulnerability and loss—becomes the organ of the work as it were, a throbbing machine of visual translation,” writes Alice Butler in her colourful essay for the exhibition. Summing up the motivational context of both artists’ work, she adds: “From the physical to the emotional, the throbbing urgency of Lyddon and Maasalu’s figurative works point toward modes of labour that have so traditionally defined women’s experience; how capitalism has forced women into reproductive or affective capacities, putting them in a precarious relation to waged labour. This is the ‘work’ that has been marginalised, made invisible, cloaked in silence: the work of care and love.”
London is one of the places where Estonian artists prefer to study most. When they return, they are mostly educated conceptualists – creators with a sharp analytical and critical sense. But there are also other kinds of artists in England – there is another London, where sentiment in the palm of your hand and emotions are elevated. The exhibition of works by Angela Maasalu, who has studied art in Tartu, Tallinn and London, and British artist Kate Lyddon, tries to show the less well-known side of the British impact on the current creative scene.