Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award

Maret Olvet

Maret Olvet´s (born 1930) artistic path of Maret Olvet has lasted 55 years. Her artwork reflects the general development of Estonian graphics during this period. Until the beginning of the 1970s the artist’s preferred technique was lithography, which was suitable both for works of decorative nature as well as for generalized symbolic figures.

During these years in the art of Maret Olvet, and Estonian print art in general, the poetic-visionary figurativeness was strengthened. At the same time she began to turn predominantly towards the intaglio printing techniques (“Dream”, 1971, eau-forte).

The end of the 1980s and beginning of the 90s saw a new kick to Maret Olvet’s art. One of her top pieces of art, a serial titled “Equals! (1989–1994, eau-forte, aquatint, chine-collé) in which the main variant has the color mix of the Estonian national colors, was created.

The subject of the Tallinn XIII Print Triennial in 2004, “In Exile”, encouraged her to create a silkscreen serial title “My Fathers’s Story I–II”, which is based on documents and photographs.

In 1997, in the Kivisilla Gallery of the Tartu Art Museum, letterpress geometrical abstractions under the name “Da Segno” were exhibited. In these the artist endeavored for minimalism. These artful sheets with bright colors showed Maret Olvet in an unexpected light and the same time brought a fresh nuance into Estonian abstract graphics.

In spring 2003 the artist had an exhibition at the Hobusepea Gallery in Tallinn, named “Possibilities of Lighting”, where expressive aggressively culminated.

Maret Olvet’s versatile art, which still carries the youthful spirit of searching, is a remarkable part of the rich garner of Estonian graphics – a more detailed overview of which is unthinkable without her.

Source: Mai Levin´s text from press materials related to Maret Olvet´s exhibition “Freedom of Choice“ in SEB Gallery, 2008