Urmo Raus

italian landscapes

Exhibition from May 22 to June 15 at the Allee gallery, Vana-Viru 11a,  in Tallinn.
curator: Harry Liivrand

Italian diary

I have traveled to Italy many times in my life, but one trip during the corona restrictions of 2020 has fascinated me to this day. That time I must have caught some kind of Italian fluid, the same one that has fed the fantasies of European artists for centuries and made them travel to Italy. This only trip to Italy, empty of tourists, has fed my inspiration for several years. I often travel in my mind and paint there. In the meantime, I have repeatedly returned to the real Italy to re-experience that same feeling of first love, to get confirmation that I really understood a few years ago. If sometimes I think that my Italian obsession has lasted for several years and I should get rid of it, I console myself by knowing that it lasted for several long centuries in European art.
Villa Malaparte was built on the island of Capri by the Italian writer Cruzio Malaparte in 1938-1940. Italian futurist architect Adalberto Libera was hired to design the villa, but the writer ended up designing the villa according to his own visions. Malaparte knew ancient culture thoroughly and translated it into modern language when creating his villa. When Cruzio Malaparte was asked about his villa, if he invented it, he said no, the villa existed before, but he invented nature around it.
The brightly colored futuristic villa Malaparte on the cliff in turn inspired one of the most groundbreaking film directors of the 20th century, Jean-Luc Godard, and he filmed his epoch-making film “Mépris” (Disdain) with Birgit Bardot in the lead role in this setting. The axis of Godard's film revolves around the filming of the Odyssey.
On my last trip to Rome, I looked at the sprawling Capitol in the middle of Rome and wondered how it was possible that for almost two thousand years, the ruins have not been demolished for material and the valuable city heart has been rebuilt. For a few thousand years, the heart of Rome has been like the eye of a hurricane in the middle of hurricane-ravaged Europe, where silence has remained. This silence of the eye of the hurricane is inspiring.

At the exhibition in the Alle gallery  has paintings inspired by Italy painted in 2021-2024. Most of the paintings have been completed in the spring of this year.