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The Eighth Foreign Town

Olev Subbi The Eighth Foreign Town 2007 acrylic, oil, masonite 90 × 120 cm

The eighth work in the series of foreign towns serves as a conceptual end to Olev Subbi’s decades of interest in urban motifs. Although he is known mostly as an author of nudes, landscapes, portraits, figural compositions and still-lifes, his paintings frequently contain fragments of towns in the background. There are motifs of Tallinn's Old Town, as well as anonymous urban environments that have been painted through some kind of fog or haze. The city is there in Subbi’s paintings, never as the main character but rather as a metaphysical environment. It is interesting to note that whereas the landscapes often look back into the past because Subbi depicted motifs from his childhood, his cityscapes are firmly rooted in the present, inspired by his immediate surroundings.

The Eighth Foreign Town depicts an obviously imaginary town, which displays some clear southern features. An important nuance is the yellow line connecting all of the depicted objects into a single conceptually harmonious whole. The blue sea and sky do not have a nostalgic effect here but rather seem emotionally neutral colour planes that amplify the lighter shades in the foreground.