The Nikolai Triik exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum and accompanying book are a homage to the work of one of the most influential and multidimensional personalities in early 20th century Estonian art. As with many of his contemporaries, Triik’s studies started in the closest art metropolis to Estonia – St. Petersburg, Russia – whence he continued on, via Finland, to European capitals such as Paris and Berlin. At the height of his creative powers, Triik was an intellectual collaborator with the writers and other cultural figures connected to the Young Estonia group; his graphic works significantly shaped the visual identity of the publications put out by the movement. The Young Estonia group’s credo – “Let’s be Estonians but become Europeans!” – also resonated in Triik’s activity and art. Influenced by contacts with the diverse art scene of the first decades of the 20th century in Europe’s art centres, Triik cultivated a personal style that fused the rigorous drawing skills from his Russian academy training, awareness of the innovations of form at the beginning of the century and his close connection with Nordic natural landscapes. Triik was one of the most talented and distinctive portraitists in Estonian art history.
Written by Liis Pählapuu
Biography edited by Kaidi Vahar and Liis Pählapuu
Designed by Angelika Schneider
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum
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