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Born Nov. 15 (28), 1915, in Tallinn. Soviet painter and graphic artist. People’s Artist of the USSR (1963). Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1962).
From 1938 to 1941, Okas studied at the Higher State Art School in Tallinn. Since 1944 he has taught at the Art Institute of the Estonian SSR in Tallinn, where he became a professor in 1954. Okas’ paintings and graphic art are characterized by incisive typification, dramatic narration, and dynamic treatment of composition and textures. His works include The War at Mahtra (1958; Historical Museum of the Estonian SSR, Tallinn), The Burning “Tiger” (1973; Art Museum of the Estonian SSR, Tallinn), the series The Shale Industry of the Estonian SSR (aquatint, 1959), the series Italian Travels (aquatint and drypoint, 1961), and V. I. Lenin (drypoint and aquatint, 1964, 1969). Okas received the State Prize of the Estonian SSR in 1947, 1948, 1950, 1959, and 1965. He has been awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and a number of medals.