About Raul

Raul RajanguAbout Raul

Raul Rajangu was born on 24 November 1968 in Viljandi

Raul Rajangu is the father of Estonian postmodern art. He is legendary, incisive, and has excellent timing. Rajangu is an artist who constantly stands on the boundary between two worlds, mediating between them. His works provide a meeting point for East and West, communism and total capitalism, public and personal, consciousness and non-consciousness, life and death. Rajangu`s works speak in a powerful and striking fashion.

The core of Rajangu`s artistic myth lies in his position in relation to the world of art: he is an autodidact and is not actively involved in artists` associations; he lives outside the closed circle and the world of artists. However, both the audience and the community of artists accepted Rajangu right from his first exhibition. As an artist, he doest not restrict himself to specific techniques, but bases the execution on the idea. Rajangu`s works acquire meaning over time, with the emergence of new facts, which provide new interpretations for his works. This situation of constant openness and redefinition of meaning is very characteristic of postmodern art in general. Rajangu started out with paintings in which he combined the three-dimensionality of assemblage with various two-dimensional cuts and painting. In recent years, perfect objectness has been replaced by ready-made publicity images, taken directly from the media. Rajangu lets the signs talk. In his works, we can encounter Coca-Cola, Gazprom, presidential receptions, Britney Spears, a male choir of the police, the eternal flame, etc. He does not interfere or process; he simply changes the context and sequence and creates new captions. He applies the same level of liberty to his own works. Having detected a moment when an integral text of a work has been condensed into a sign, he will saw the work into pieces, either conceptually or literally, and will use the pieces as symbols in a new context, in a new work. The details, familiar from his paintings, have found a place in a glass installation; the “House of Playboy” is part of the video “Memoirs of Cagliostro”, which in turn is part of “Sweet Little N.A.T.O.”. The eternal flame and a pentagon, the symbol of the graves of Soviet war heroes, recurs from work to work. (Anneli Porri)

EDUCATION – Self-educated in art

PERSONAL EXHIBITIONS

  • 1989 SOLO. Taidemaalarit-Galleria (Gallery of the Association of Finnish Painters), Helsinki, Finland
  • 1996 HOUSE OF PLAYBOY. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2000 SWEET LITTLE SEVENTEEN. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2001 SWEET LIFE. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2002 MEMOIRS OF CAGLIOSTRO. City Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2002 RAJANGU & TOLTS IN DECO. Deco Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2003 SWEET LITTLE N.A.T.O. Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2005 SOVIET MIDNIGHT. Draakon Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2005 BEDROOMS´ SHOW. Tartu Art Museum, Tartu, Estonia
  • 2007 GOLDEN HOME. EARTHY HOME. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2007 BEDROOMS´ SHOW. Gallery “Meno Parkas”, Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 2008 LUMINOSO. BUSHENWALD.COM. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2010 LUMINOSO FEAT. RUSSKIY RAZMER. Gallery “Hobusepea”, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2011 SOVIET MIDNIGHT II. Tartu Art Museum Exhibition Hall, Tartu, Estonia
  • 2011 SUPERLUMINOUS DARKNESS, 3D movie. Directed by Kaur Kallas. Cinemas “Ekraan”, Tartu and “Coca – Cola Plaza”, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2012 SECRET REICH. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2015 NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST II. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2015 BEACH FUNERAL. Performance. Pärnu city area, Pärnu, Estonia
  • 2015 PNEUMATIC FLESH. Performance. Curated by Kalev Rajangu. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2016 RAUL RAJANGU´S ART FROM MART ERIK´S COLLECTION. The Kondas Center Of Naive Art, Viljandi, Estonia
  • 2016 KILLER FUNERAL FEAT. POLITBUREAU. Performance. Curated by Kalev Rajangu. KUMU, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2016 – 2017 SOVIET MIDNIGHT. RAUL RAJANGU. Curated by Liisa Kaljula. KUMU Art Museum Tallinn, Estonia

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

  • 1987 Exhibition of painters from Tallinn. Kotka, Finland
  • 1987 Object in Art. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn
  • 1988 Following the Idea of Vanguard. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn
  • 1989-1991 Structure/Metaphysics. Group exhibition of Estonian artists. Finland: Pori Art Museum, Helsinki Art Hall, Rovaniemi Art Museum; Germany: Kiel City Gallery, Nemo Gallery in Eckenförde; Sweden: Kulturhuset and Liljevalch Art Hall (both in Stockholm), Museum of Linköping
  • 1990 Distances. Rauma Biennial. Rauma Art Museum, Rauma, Finland
  • 1991-1992 Ars Baltica. Kiel Art Hall, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
  • 1992 My Time is a Pilot. Den Fries Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1992-1993 Baltiske Billeder. Group exhibition of Baltic artists. Herning Art Museum, Søllerød Museum, Denmark 1994 Europe Rediscovered. Project for Europe. Turbine Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1995 Europe Rediscovered. Project for Europe, part 2. Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris, France
  • 1995 SELF-PORTRAIT. Conceptual exhibition of J. Saar. Moscow Gallery, Moscow
  • 1995 WAIT WE`RE LOADING. Group exhibition of Estonian artists. Göteborg Art Museum, Sweden
  • 1996 PERSONAL TIME. Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian art.
  • 2003 I AND THE OTHER. Tallinn Art Hall, Talinn, Estonia
  • 2009 COLLECTION: SELECTED WORKS I. Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2009 LIFE 69. Rakvere Exhibition Hall, Rakvere, Estonia
  • 2009 ELEPHANT BULLET. International Video Art Project. KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2011 IT WAS GOOD WHILE IT LASTED. Dance performance. Millimeter Performance Group feat. Luminoso. Viru Center, National Library Of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2013 BERLINER LISTE 2013, Fair For Contemporary Art. Curated by Peter Funken & Jörgen Golz. Kraftwerk Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013 International Festival Of Performance Art DIMANCHE ROUGE FESTIVAL. ESTONIA-FINLAND-FRANCE. Augusta Gallery, Helsinki, Finland; Polymer Art Factory, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2014 BERLINER LISTE 2014, Fair For Contemporary Art.Curated by Peter Funken & Jörgen Golz. Ostbahnhof Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 2015 TRIBUTE TO THE WOMAN, International Art Exhibition. Curated by Zina Berkovici. Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London, Great Britain
  • 2015 MASTER AND MARGARITE, Summer Art Festival. Curated by Eveli Varik. Pärnu, Estonia
  • 2016 THE ARTBOX.PROJECT Miami 1.0. Miami, USA

AWARDS

  •  1986 Artist of the Year award of the Estonian Artists` Association
  • 1988 Diploma from the Triennial of Young Baltic Artists
  • 1989 Painting of the Year award of the Estonian Artists` Association
  • 2001 Award of the Endowment of Visual and Applied Arts of the Estonian Cultural Endowment

WORKS IN ART COLLECTIONS

Estonian Art Museum, Tallinn Art Hall, Tartu Art Museum, Bank of Estonia. Private collections in Estonia, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, USA.

FILMS

Raul Rajangu fenomen (The Phenomenon of Raul Rajangu), directed by Liina Kulles, 2001 (36 min.)
2012 Hilkka Hiiop “Contemporary Art In The Museum: How to Preserve the Ephemeral?”

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Porin taidekoulun vuosijulkaisu, 1988 Struktuur/Metafüüsika. Vaatenurk eesti nüüdiskunsti. Porin Taidemuseo, Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy, Pori, 1989 Rauma Biennale Balticum 1990. Distances. Rauman Taidemuseo, 1990 Mu aeg on piloot. Udgivet I forbindelse med den Dansk-Baltiske Udstilling 12.-28. april 1991. Den Fries Udstillingsbygning, Oslo Baltiske Billeder. Herning Kunstmuseum, Søllerød Museum, Denmark, 1993 Europe Rediscovered. Project for Europe in collaboration with Copenhagen 96, Cultural capital of Europe presents, Copenhagen, 1994 Autoportree. Eesti Kunstnike Liit ja Moskva Kaasaegse Kunsti Instituut, Tallinn, 1995 Wait We`re Loading. Ung Konst Från Estland. Göteborgs Konstmuseum, 1995 (Rootsi) Personal Time. Art of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 1945-1996. The Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw, 1996 (Poola) Ajakirjad Juske, A. Raul Rajangu maailm. “Vikerkaar” nr. 6, 1989 Komissarov, E. Raul Rajangu fenomen. “Kunst” nr. 2, 1990 Sarje, K. Viljandin sivullinen. “Siksi” nr. 2, 1990 Sarje, K. Struktuurista myöhaisstalinistisen idyllin erittelyyn. “Arkkitekti” nr. 7, 1989 Finnish architectural review Treier, H. Ühiskülastus playboy koju. “Vikerkaar” nr. 5/6, 1996 Kiwa, Kunst EE kevad 2002 Ajalehed Kivirinta, M.-T. Tallinnasta löytyy huipputaidetta, josta maailma ei tiedä. “Helsingin Sanomat” 20. 10. 1988 Remsu, O. Kunstipreemia laureaadist. “Sirp ja Vasar” 06. 01. 1989 Kaalep, T; Palo, A. Veel kord aasta pildist. “Sirp ja Vasar” 03. 02. 1989 Kivirinta, M.-T. Virolainen Raul Rajangu kuvaa 1950-luvun särkynyttä neuvostounelmaa. “Emme enää usko sellaiseen maailmakuvaan”. “Helsingin Sanomat” 01. 06. 1989 Heiskanen, S. Taitelija jättää jälkiä ja merkkejä. “Demari” 07. 06. 1989 Kivirinta, M.-T. Helsinkiläisgalleriat puuhaavat näyttelyita Viro-kuumeessa. Mukana on todellisia helmiä, mutta taso unohtuu helposti. “Helsingin Sanomat” 16. 06. 1989 Saar, J. Mängupoisi maja. “Postimees” 26. 04. 1996 Harry Liivrand. Jõhkra mängumaja peremees (intervjuu). “Eesti Ekspress” 26. 04. 1996 Tomberg, D. Rajangu väljumine klaasist majja. “Sõnumileht” 10. 05. 1996 Saar, J. Isiklik aeg Poolas. “Postimees” 09. 09. 1996 Alver, A.-M. Rajangu – totaalselt roiskveevaba. “Eesti Ekspress: XXI sajandi kodu” 16. 05. 1997. 2009 “1968 – 2008 Raul Rajangu. Luminoso”. Catalogue 2012 Hilkka Hiiop, the Doctoral thesis “Contemporary Art In The Museum: How to Preserve the Ephemeral?”. Estonian Art Museum, Tallinn. 2009 “1968 – 2008 Raul Rajangu. Luminoso”, Monograph, ed. Anneli Porri. Tallinn, Estonia. 2014 Hidden Treasure Art Magazine Yearbook 2014/2, ed. Georgia Szollosi. London, UK