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Flight over the Desert

Olev Subbi Flight over the Desert 1998 acrylic, oil masonite 60 × 80 cm

Olev Subbi has painted several pictures of illusionary flights over landscapes. The artist’s viewpoint in these paintings is different: he has chosen the viewpoint of a bird and is observing unfamiliar colourful objects floating above the ground. This enables him to let go of the realistic approach in creating the motif, since the depicted objects are not hooked to anything real and the coloured shapes have been removed from mundane surroundings and lifted above the landscape into an abstract environment. The backdrop can therefore also be rendered in a more laconic and neutral manner, allowing the coloured flying object to rise more powerfully to the fore.

Abstract works began to set the tone in Subbi’s oeuvre more prominently in the 1980s, but even in his earlier works there are fragments in either the background or somewhere else that the artist has rendered in a completely abstract manner. Subbi’s incentive to turn to complete abstraction was his interest in finding out what would happen to colour and the integrity of the painting if colour was liberated from object, i.e. if colour did not have to depict any objects at all.