Õhtuleht 10.aug 2002
Last Saturday, on August 3 at 4 p.m. when hundreds of people had gathered to the Old Town Theatre House, including diplomats of foreign embassies residing in Estonia, a bomb exploded. The energy that was thrown on the audience by the exhibited paintings and drawings at the personal exhibition of Estonian artist Rafael Arutyunyan who has just reached the age of 65 was very strong.
The artistic life of Rafael Arutyunyan, born in 1937 in the warm city of Baku on the coast of the Caspian Sea, started in 1958 in tune with the cool waves splashing against the coast of the Baltic Sea in Tallinn at the Estonian State Art Institute. Even during the studies Arutyunyan stood out for his special world cognition and for the ability to express grief. His diploma work, completed in 1964, a composition of four figures titled “The Jewish Ghetto in Odessa” caused live polemics among the examination committee. Almost 40 years has passed from that time, but the theme that influenced the artist-sculptor in youth is very topical even today, in the free Republic of Estonia, where the victims of the Holocaust will be memorialised officially every year.
Compared to the previous exhibition of Rafael Arutyunyan in the same house five years ago, when his sculptures were exhibited, this time over 230 (this is not a misprint – yes, over two hundred thirty) paintings and drawings of the artist made during the last years are exhibited.