Valdur Ohakas (1925 – 1998)

Ohakas, Valdur (1925 – 1998). Landscape. (1995)

In the second half of the 20th century, Valdur Ohakas (1925–1998) was one of the most prominent artists in Estonia. His paintings made him truly famous. Valdur Ohakas graduated from the Tartu Art Institute (from 1944 to 1949) before being deported to the Siberian camp (1949-1956). The graduates of the educational institution were called the Pallas School, which was the original name of the educational institution. The students of that time formed the so-called Tartu circle of friends. Hulo Sooster was the most famous in this circle, and Ohakas was his best friend and associate. All of them considered themselves belonging to the Pallas school and expressed a strong critical position regarding the established norms of art.

Upon his return from the camp, he quickly became one of the key figures in the informal “group” formed by his former classmates in Tartu, whose joint exhibition in 1960 is considered a milestone in the history of Estonian contemporary art. Ohakas’ work attracted more and more attention precisely because of his experiments in innovative forms, and because of his unexpected turns, he could be compared with the former teacher Elmar Keats.
Waldur Ohakas was a prolific artist, but most of his many works were destroyed by fire in 1991. Valdur Ohakas combined in his works the experience of abstractionism, cubism, as well as surrealism and fauvism. Instead of accurately reflecting reality, he was more interested in testing colors and shapes and exploring and changing their relationships.
Online sale of paintings by the Estonian artist is presented in the Rios Art Gallery.