Sunday

Olev Subbi Sunday 2001 acrylic, oil, masonite 60 × 80 cm

After the tragic sinking of the ship MS Estonia in 1994, Subbi’s paintings started to include women whose faces are not visible or are hidden by something, such as arms in this instance. This could reflect a certain traumatic yearning: the sinking ship took with it the Lithuanian woman who had served as Subbi’s model for decades. At the same time, the general mood and the title of the painting do not actually allude to anything tragic. The model had become someone to miss, but then again, yearning or nostalgia is typical of most of Subbi’s oeuvre. He longed for his childhood, summers, harmony, the 1930s, well-made objects and beauty, and in this painting, for his old friend. We see the shadows falling only on the model’s body, which has been painted from memory, and not on the rest of the painting’s surface. The background consists of subdued colour areas, which are lighter and brighter in the upper zone, creating an association of an open heaven. In this way, Subbi created a Sunday mood using only abstract surfaces and fading forms.