Olev Subbi always wanted his paintings to be viewed for themselves. He was a believer in the values of autonomous art. Yet, to any art historian the life of an artist holds intriguing clues to cultural references hidden in the paintings. Subbi’s life is connected to his paintings in the way that all artists are a product of their times. The philosophy present in his landscapes and characters carried through to his lifestyle. He was a diligent and devoted artist who spent much of his time in his studio. Aside from art, he enjoyed activities associated with bourgeois life; things such as tennis, fine French wines and jazz music. Everything in Subbi’s life was organised into a consistent harmony; whether he would admit it or not, the way he lived his life certainly carried through into his philosophy about art. With a small exception – in the palette of a painting he believed that it was not complete until he lost control and the painting began to dictate its own composition. In the abstract fields of colour, we find the only chaos Subbi allowed into his life.
The vitrines offer the possibility to delve deeper into Olev Subbi’s life and work. The first vitrine offers a selection of photographs on the themes of childhood, colleagues, studios and exhibitions. The second vitrine offers a selection of literature including the texts that have been the biggest resources and influences for this exhibition, namely: Eero Epner (Ed.) Paintings of Olev Subbi (Olev Subbi maalid), OÜ Sperare, 2006. And Eero Epner, Olev Subbi, OÜ Sperare, 2015.