In the Studio

Endel Kõks In the Studio 1939 oil, canvas 90 × 99.5 cm

Here Endel Kõks has probably depicted his own studio or that of the Pallas Art School. The latter possibility seems more likely since Kõks’s studio was located in a house that did not have such large windows. Furthermore, that house was a small building built of wood, while the roofs of houses can be seen from the window of this work, meaning that the studio was located on some higher storey.

It is possible that one of the men is Kõks himself. Indrek Hirv has recalled: “Parties often ended in Endel Kõks’s studio. After Aunapuu [Hermann Aunapuu – artist] had gone off to war, Kõks rented a studio in a low-rise wooden house on the corner of Kalevi and Lille streets which still stands nowadays. It was a few dozen paces from the Pallas Art School.

It also had a pretty decent upright piano and space for dancing. ”An upright piano can be made out in this work, but other details are also revealing, first and foremost the catalogue of Paul Cézanne’s works, which creates the impression of being Kõks’s manifesto. Like many artists back then, Kõks was fascinated by practically all of the French impressionists. Kõks himself has written about Cézanne: “The value of any given work of art really does not depend on what name it has been given. When we look at Paul Cézanne’s landscapes, we are no longer interested in whether he has depicted scenes from St. Tropez or Jas de Bouffan. Instead, we are charmed by the way he paints and his skill in design.”