Resounding Light. Works by Ann Audova

March 17 – July 1, 2007


This exhibition is the first large-scale introduction of the creative legacy of Tartu artist Ann Audova (1904-2001) in Tallinn. The exhibition is part of the First Estonian Female Artists Series that the museum, located in Tallinn’s Old Town, has organized for years. Previously, the series have presented the graphics of Salome Trei, Agate Veeber, and Aino Bach in solo exhibitions; in 2004, a selection of women who became prominent as sculptors were highlighted, and in 2005, the diverse works by Karin Luts were introduced.

The exposition, organized as a cooperative project between the Adamson-Eric Museum and the Pallas Art Association, provides the most comprehensive coverage of Ann Audova’s creative legacy from 1936-1986 in Tallinn to date. Along with materials from the national collections in Tartu and Tallinn, scores of works from private collections, which hold surprises even for the narrower circle of art critics, are on display. The museum is filled with a colourful collection of flower paintings and still lifes, which provide the viewer an exceptional opportunity to observe the presentation of similar motifs across various eras and to compare the play of colour combinations and textures in the course of several decades. However, something similar can be discerned throughout the years. It is the profound interest of the artist in the painting’s subject and the immortalization of the deeper essence of that subject. Audova’s distinctive portraiture searches for the possibility to reflect a person’s inner world rather than external character. Drawings, figure compositions, and nude sketches form a separate interesting series.

Ann Audova (Aliide-Johanna until 1940) was born on September 3, 1904 on Ingli Farm, Undi Village, Vara Parish, Tartumaa. In 1924-1940, Audova studied at the Pallas Higher Art School, in the studios of Nikolai Triik, Ado Vabbe, and Aleksander Vardi, although she did not officially graduate. The reason for her long study period is sooner a personal one. Her fellow students recall that Audova preferred the friendly and secure opportunity of working and developing as an artist at the art school to a bureaucratic graduation diploma. Audova was accepted into the ESSR Artists’ Union in 1945, although five years later, she was removed from the list. In the subsequent period from 1950 to 1959, Ann Audova worked at the Tartu Art Fund. However, the political situation changed and she was reaccepted by the Artists’ Union in 1959. The 1960s saw the start of a new active creative period, which lasted until her vision deteriorated at the end of the 1980s. In 1989, Ann Audova was named an honorary member of the Tartu Art Association (as of 1999, the Pallas Art Association). In 2000, she was awarded the Order of the White Star IV class.

Ann Audova died on February 22, 2001 and she was buried in Tartu at the Raadi Maarja Cemetery.