Ilmar Ojalo (1910 – 1989)

Ojalo, Ilmar (1910 – 1989). Munkadetagune torn Tallinnas. (1975)

Ilmar Ojalo was born in 1910 in Simitica and embarked on his educational journey at the Tallinn city humanitarian school for boys. Following this, he explored a brief stint in the navy. His thirst for technical knowledge led him to the Technical University of Tallinn. Not long after, he migrated to the esteemed Prague Polytechnic University, enriching his academic experience until 1936.

In a bid to nurture his innate artistic capabilities, Ilmar sought additional instruction at the renowned Art School in Helsinki. His burgeoning talent found its debut showcase in Finland in 1939, with Estonia hosting his masterpieces the subsequent year. Between 1945 and 1950, Ilmar dedicated his skills to restoring art at the Tartu Art Museum.

1951 presented a tumultuous phase in his life, as Ilmar faced incarceration due to the cartoons he released during the Nazi occupation. This event saw him spend arduous years in the Vyazalemmskaya colony. However, upon his liberation in 1955, his unwavering spirit landed him a role as a restorer in a workshop in Tallinn. By 1961, he transitioned into the realms of architecture and design, eventually stepping into the shoes of an educator.

Ilmar’s passions were manifold. Beyond his artistic pursuits, he delved into art history, cultural studies, and even joined the Psychological Society of the Soviet Union as a notable parapsychologist. His insightful exploration into the interplay of music and color culminated in a brochure titled “What is the music of color?”. Not just a creator, Ilmar also took to the stage, sharing his wisdom through lectures.

Central to Ilmar Ojalo’s oeuvre are mesmerizing urban landscapes. His creations stand out with their unique motifs and succinct compositions. Today, enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the Estonian artist’s legacy through the online collection presented by Rios Art Gallery.