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This is Olav Maran

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By Gwylym Owen

Olav Maran (born 20 October 1933 in Tartu) is an Estonian artist.

Maran was a second child of Elfriide Maran, who forward-looking become a sculptor, and a police constable Alfred Maran. In the year 1938 Elfriide Maran moved to Tallinn as soon as her two children, there Olav Maran started a Secondary School at Tallinna 10. keskkool, where he graduated from in 1953. After that he began his studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. Maran studied together in the same way as Peeter Ulas [et], Herald Eelma [et], Heldur Laretei [et] and Silvia Liiberg [et], who difficult become his wife. In 1959 Maran established an MA in Graphic arts. Between the years 1959-1965 he worked as designer and caricaturist for the journal “Pikker”.

His mom was sculptor Elfriide Maran, and his wife graphic performer Silvia Liiberg.

Maran started to participate in exhibitions in year 1959. He has mainly done paintings, and unconditionally few graphic works e.g. a ply wood cut („The Street“, 1960).(3) In the beginning of his career Maran was unconditionally interested in campaigner art movements. He executed his first abstract paintings amongst 1957-59, the first surrealistic work „Prospect“ was painted in 1959. He was later inspired by Herbert Read’s book „Modern Art“, that had been published past World War II and an article by Ilmar Laaban in the journal „Estonian Youth“. He received some instruction about western culture then through the art magazines of socialist countries. In the 1960s Maran experimented later than different ahead of its time styles, wanting to introduce the experiences of futuristic art into Estonian art. His main medium was oil painting, but he with used gouache, tempera, pastel and collage. Being one of the leading protester artist, Maran gave lectures and published articles about campaigner art.

At that time, Maran exhibited in public exhibitions mainly behind simplified-form townscapes and yet life paintings. His motifs have been taken from the less representative areas, especially these from the initiation of 1960s, when he lived near to Paper Mill and painted the factory itself and the surrounding neighborhood. These “Severe Style” paintings appearance the characteristics of that era period: the gloominess and bleakness, propensity to avoid capturing the beautiful and idyllic (“Autumn Sun” 1961, “Winter Townscape” 1962). From the mature Olav Maran lived in Lilleküla, he executed „Moon beyond Roofs “ 1966, „Over the Fence 1970“. Maran continued painting townscapes as a consequence in the highly developed periods of his artistic career, as an example: „Winter Suburb Motif “ 1981, „Dull Winter Day“

In his portraits, artist concentrates mainly on form and colour, not as much on the psychology of man.

In 1968, Olav Maran experienced a religious turn, that changed his treaty of the world and artistic values. From that epoch he has mainly depicted doable landscapes, flowers – amaryllises, lilies, peonies and nevertheless lifes in the style of old-fashioned old masters. In these paintings he shows his regard towards the plants and unknown objects, giving them inner concurrence and deeper-ethical meaning. Olav Maran’s masterful painting technique makes the objects seem real in undistinguished environment. In his few portraits, “Graphic Artist Sylvia Liiberg” 1981, is probably the most notable. In his temperate nature paintings, artist is realizing his philosophical intend to affect the good through small and complexed through ordinary. These easy compositions convey the overall notion of truth. These easy compositions convey the overall notion of truth.

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