Jüri Okas’ ‘specific objects’: diverging discourses in Estonian Art in the 1970s

Main Article Content

Andres Kurg


This article will look at the early works of Estonian architect and artist Jüri Okas and will try to work between diverging languages and interpretations, reading works by Okas against the background of Anglo-american conceptualism and minimalism of the same period. The first part of the paper will analyse a print by Jüri Okas that paraphrases works by the American artist Donald Judd and will try to show how Okas’ concept of minimalism differed from the Western one and the reasons behind it. The second part of the paper will focus on a conceptual book by Jüri Okas, consisting of a series of photographs of everyday and banal architectural objects, and compare it to Rober Venturi’s book on Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. Finally, a comparison will be made with works of Robert Smithson in the context of concepts of waste, excess and the remainders of industrial civilisation.

Article Details