Ülo Sooster

Ülo Ilmar Sooster (October 17, 1924 in Ühtri, Käina Parish – October 25, 1970 in Moscow)[1] was an Estonian nonconformist painter.

Ülo Sooster was born the village of Ühtri on the island of Hiiumaa. He was the son of Johannes Sooster and Veera Sooster (née Tatter) and had a sister, Meedi, two years younger. His father was later remarried to Linda Vahtras. He was educated at Tartu Art College where he studied surrealism during the years 1945—1949. In 1949 his studies were cut short when he was arrested and like hundreds of thousands of other Baltic republics citizens, he was captured by the Soviet authorities and sent to Soviet labour camp in Karaganda for ten years hard labor.[2] In 1956, during Nikita Khrushchev's thaw, he was released and 'rehabilitated' by denouncing Stalinism.[3] He returned to Estonia in 1956 but in 1957 he went to Moscow, and began intensive practice as non-conformist artist. In 1962 he exhibited his work Eye in the Egg at the Manege exhibition that later was a turning point in the acceptance of modern art: though Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev disapproved and threatened to send the artists to Siberia, the public understood that only membership in the artists' union would be denied and no one would be executed or exiled.

He worked with Ilya Kabakov who wrote a monograph of his work which he kept throughout the Soviet period and which he finally published years later in 1996 after the artist had emigrated to New York.

Ülo Sooster
Born17 October 1924
Died25 October 1970 (aged 46)
EducationTartu Art College
Known forPainting
Soviet Nonconformist Art

Personal life

Ülo Sooster married Lidia Serh in 1956. They had a son, Tenno-Pent Sooster, born in 1957, who would go on to become an artist.


  • 1966 : Poland, XIX Festiwal Sztuk Płastycznych, Sopot – Poznań: Biura wystaw artystycznych.[4]


  1. ^ http://www.geni.com/people/%C3%9Clo-Sooster/6000000007790132273
  2. ^ More than 10% of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to penal servitude in Siberia or Kazakhstan Gulag camps in the years after World War II : Heinrihs Strods, Matthew Kott (Spring 2002). "The file on operation "Priboi": A re-assessment of the mass deportations of 1949". Journal of Baltic Studies 33 (1)
  3. ^ SOOSTER, Ullo (1924 - 1970), Painter, animation artist in Bénézit
  4. ^ Второй русский авангард, или Визуальная культура эпохи холодной войны//АртГид, 2013 (Russian).
Eye in the Egg

Eye in the Egg (Silm munas) is a 1962 oil on paper painting by the Estonian artist Ülo Sooster in the Tartu Art Museum.This painting shows an abstract egg-shaped form that opens into an infinite number of such opened-egg-shaped forms. It was painted in the period after the artist was released from 7 years hard labor in a Soviet prison camp when he was living in Moscow on Sretensky Boulevard with several other artists then painting and working in the non-conformist style.

Sooster was experimenting at that time with motifs of the egg taken from René Magritte, and they symbolized for him infinity, evolution, and the experience of timelessness. There were so many repetitions of the egg in later works by Sooster that his grave has a stone egg on it. On 1 December 1962 this work was shown in an exhibition called Manege, hoping to gain Soviet recognition for their modernist art, but which sadly backfired, receiving a threat from Khrushchev to send them all into exile.The shape of the eggs is not exact and the "eye" in the title may refer to the central shutter-like doors in the egg that are similar to the shutters over the lens of a camera, a possible reference to surveillance cameras. The edges of the egg shapes are contoured to look almost as if made in metal, a trompe l'oeil effect that gives the whole a machine-like quality, as if the "eye" could blink mechanically.

Ilya Kabakov

Ilya Kabakov (Russian: Илья́ Ио́сифович Кабако́в; born September 30, 1933), is a Russian - American conceptual artist, born in Dnipropetrovsk in what was then the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union. He worked for thirty years in Moscow, from the 1950s until the late 1980s. He now lives and works on Long Island.

Throughout his forty-year plus career, Kabakov has produced a wide range of paintings, drawings, installations, and theoretical texts — not to mention extensive memoirs that track his life from his childhood to the early 1980s. In recent years, he has created installations that evoked the visual culture of the Soviet Union, though this theme has never been the exclusive focus of his work. Unlike some underground Soviet artists, Kabakov joined the Union of Soviet Artists in 1959, and became a full member in 1962. This was a prestigious position in the USSR and it brought with it substantial material benefits. In general, Kabakov illustrated children's books for 3–6 months each year and then spent the remainder of his time on his own projects.

By using fictional biographies, many inspired by his own experiences, Kabakov has attempted to explain the birth and death of the Soviet Union, which he claims to be the first modern society to disappear. In the Soviet Union, Kabakov discovers elements common to every modern society, and in doing so he examines the rift between capitalism and communism. Rather than depict the Soviet Union as a failed Socialist project defeated by Western economics, Kabakov describes it as one utopian project among many, capitalism included. By reexamining historical narratives and perspectives, Kabakov delivers a message that every project, whether public or private, important or trivial, has the potential to fail due to the potentially authoritarian will to power.

List of Estonian painters

This is a list of notable painters from, or associated with, Estonia.

List of Estonians

This is a list of notable Estonians.


Metsakalmistu (Estonian: Forest Cemetery) is a cemetery in the Pirita district of Tallinn.

Metsakalmistu was originally planned to be an open city medieval cemetery. Eduard Vilde was the first to be buried in 1933. The original area of the cemetery was 24.2 hectares, but since then, it has expanded to be 48.3 hectares.

Metsakalmistu was officially unveiled in 1939. In the same year, 15 people were buried in the cemetery. In 1939, the nearby Kloostrimetsa Farm cemetery was created, which eventually, through expansion, became part of an expanded Metsakalmistu.

At first, the designers of the cemetery were unanimous about the general design requirements of the cemetery, but the area still dominated by the appearance of a wild forest. Initially, the placement of crosses, girders, ranks, and the largest size of the calcareous stone were 80 x 50 cm. Subsequently, the use of natural barriers, such as grass slabs, has been applied and applied to a moss bed cover and the use of flower borders. The monumental gravestones are not recommended for the cemetery, but they still exist to a small extent. At present, the permissible maximum height for a pillar is 1.5 m.

The main chapel of Metsakalmistu was built in 1936, with its main architect being Herbert Johanson. The chapel was vandalized by the Soviet Union after the establishment of the Estonian SSR, but in 1996 it was restored with the support of the Tallinn City Government. In 2006, a columbarium was built.

Tombstones in Metsakalmistu are reserved for notable Estonian people involved in theatre, sports, composing, writing, the arts, journalism, medicine, architecture, soldiers in Finnish Infantry Regiment 200, veterans of the Estonian War of Independence, scientists and other people well known in public life.

October 25

October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 67 days remaining until the end of the year.

Soviet Nonconformist Art

The term Soviet Nonconformist Art refers to Soviet art produced in the former Soviet Union from 1953 to 1986 (after the death of Joseph Stalin until the advent of Perestroika and Glasnost) outside of the rubric of Socialist Realism. Other terms used to refer to this phenomenon are "underground art" or "unofficial art" (ru). Also, if to use the term "Russian avant-garde" in art, the "First wave of Russian avant-garde" was in 1910s-1930s, than this period in art is called the "Second wave of Russian avant-garde" (ru) (1960s-1980s).


Ühtri is a village in Hiiumaa Parish, Hiiu County in northwestern Estonia.

Painter Ülo Sooster (1924–1970) was born in Ühtri.


Ülo is an Estonian masculine given name. The feminine form of Ülo is Ülle.

People named Ülo include:

Ülo Altermann (1923–1954), freedom fighter, forest brother

Ülo Jõgi (1921–2007), war historian, nationalist and activist

Ülo Kaevats (born 1947), statesman, academic, and philosopher

Ülo Lumiste (born 1929), mathematician

Ülo Matjus (born 1942), philosopher

Ülo Mattheus (born 1956), writer and journalist

Ülo Nugis (born 1944), politician and economist

Ülo Õun (1940–1988), sculptor

Ülo Sooster (1924–1970), painter

Ülo Tootsen (1933–2006), journalist and politician

Ülo Tuulik (born 1940), writer

Ülo Vinter (1924–2000), composer

Ülo Voitka (born 1968), freedom fighter, forest brother, and pro-anarchist

Ülo Vooglaid (born 1935), social scientist and politician

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