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Who is Evald Okas?

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By Gwylym Owen

Evald Okas (28 November 1915 – 30 April 2011) was an Estonian painter, probably best known for his portraits of nudes.

Okas was born in Tallinn, where he began his artistic career even if studying at the State Art School. With the advent of World War II and the Soviet invasion and motion of Estonia, he was behind mobilized into Soviet army, but, like many further Estonians, moved to do its stuff battalions in Kotlas, Russia. When the Soviet officials arranged to organize the artistic collectives in the Soviet rear in Yaroslavl, several Estonian artists, including Okas, were provided following an opportunity to depart the enactment battalions and connect the artistic ensembles in 1942. The “Yaroslavl artists”, as they came to be known, were afterward the founding members of the Soviet Estonian Artists Union standard in 1943.

In Yaroslavl Okas befriended the rather Famous Estonian graphic artiste Aino Bach and Richard Sagrits who mentored Okas and helped him hone his skills as an artist. By Soviet regulations, however, all artists were normal to paint in the Social Realism genre.

In 1947, Okas, with Elmar Kits and Richard Sagrits painted the ceiling of the Estonian National Opera in the style of Socialist Realism. By the late 1950s, Evald Okas was committed mainly in the medium of charcoals and earning his buzzing by sketching ex libris – graphic designs that identify the owner of a book, usually pasted onto the inside cover. Around this period Okas was even resolution permission to travel; first, within the Soviet Republics, then future worldwide and exhibit works as far as Asia and Western Europe.

In 1954 he became the professor at the Estonian State Art Institute; in 1962 the corresponding supporter of the Academy of Arts of the Soviet Union and the full zealot of the Academy in 1975.

Evald Okas lived in Tallinn and was a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association.

His son Jüri Okas is an architect, installation artiste and printmaker.

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