Raul Meel (born in 1941) is a self-taught print, installation, painting and performance artist and concrete poet. Raul Meel represents the radical wing of 1960s-1980s innovation in Estonian art and is known as the most renowned Estonian autodidact and outsider.
Meel studied electrical engineering in the University of Technology (1959-64), technical background gave him a different perspective towards art. In 1968, when Meel joined the circle of experimenting artists, who tolerated his typewriter poems, he started to feel his affiliation to the Western avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s. In a short period of time he became the best-known representative of Estonia’s neo-avant-garde, whose artistic languages engaged with minimalism and conceptualism, which in Soviet Union, was tried to prohibit by all means. Therefore it’s also possible to look his creation as a political discourse, which emphasizes the antagonistic confortation to the prevailing art system.
Works in collections: Art Museum of Estonia, Tartu Art Museum, Helsinki City Art Museum (Finland), MoMA (New York, USA), Zimmerli Art Museum (Rutgers’ University, Washington D.C., USA), Louisiana Museum (Denmark), Charles Pompidou Center (Paris, France), Senat of United States of America (Washington), Columbia Ülikool (New York, USA), Gallery GKM (Malmö, Sweden), Art Collection of Elcoteq Network (Finland and Estonia), Kuopio Museum of Art (Kuopio, Finland), „Imatran Voima” art collection (Helsinki, Finland), „Kaleva” art museum (Oulu, Finland), Museum of Contemporary Art of Armenia (Yerevan, Armenia), Art collection of Verannemann’s Foundation (Belgium), Vilnius Picture Gallery (Lithuania), Ludwig’s Museum (Köln, Germany), National Museum of Poland(Krakow, Poola), Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art (Finland), Pori Art Museum (Finland), Lahti Art Museum (Finland), New Orleans’ Art Museum (USA), Baltic Institute’s Art Collection (Stockholm, Sweden), Art collection of Uus-Valamo monastery (Finland), Rotary International Art Collection (Chicago, USA) and Estonian Embassy in Finland (Helsinki, Finland).
1998 award by the viewers of Estonian Televison, for the most terrible deed of the year
1998 Republic of Estonia, the most forest-friendly artist of Estonia
1998 Republic of Estonia, award of culture
1997 Republic of Estonia, nominee for art award by Baltic Assambly
1995 award by the United Nations 1995 Republic of Estonia, award of culture
1989 Tallinn Print Triennal, diploma
1989 Eduard Viiralt Art Award, Tallinn Print Triennal
1989 Art Award, Malmö, Sweden 1989 Kristjan Raud Art Award (Estonia) 1988 Artists’ Union of Soviet Socialist Estonian Republic, yearly award for graphic arts
1979 exhibiting award for curated exhibition “New Talents and Ideas of the World Art” (37 artists), Boston, USA
1974 Frechen Print Biennial, 2nd award
1972 Krakow Print Biennial, Poland, 4th award
1972 competition “Copernicus and his ideas”, Krakow Biennial of Graphic Arts, Poland, 3rd award
Sources used: Eha Komissarov (2014). Meel, language and geometry. // Raul Meel. Dialogues with Infinity. Art Museum of Estonia