The exhibition represents the young Latvian artists who have graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia in recent years and in whose work painting plays a significant role. This is the third project in the exhibition series The Young in Latvian Painting started several years ago, which draws attention to and revitalises painting as an important element of Latvian contemporary art. The title Tension thematically traces the current socio-political situation, as well as reflecting on the tension that exists deep in human essence and is present in the creative process. The most significant criteria for selection were a high creative capacity, the artist’s synergy with the current trends of content and form-creation as well as a convincing testament to individuality.
The amplitude of the artistic languages of the young authors represented in the exhibition is quite broad, proving that contemporary art’s tearing down of borders also applies to painting. While concrete trends cannot be identified, it is possible to speak about directions of exploration that interest the painters. The young Latvian artist is still influenced by the thematic icon of national art – the landscape, for which he finds ever new narrative context and innovative possibilities of expression. A return to the scenic and poetic can be discerned, at the same time mystifying and transforming it into dream-like post-symbolist compositions. This may well be the way in which the individual’s instinct of self-preservation is being realised in the restless and unpredictable contemporary world.
In the works of several painters, expression is reduced to concentrated, abstract tonal fields of colour, constructing a story of personal experience only with the help of brushstroke and colour, while the influence of the new media can be sensed in the work of other authors. At the same time, a distancing of the younger generation from the long-standing tradition of the school of figurative painting of the Art Academy of Latvia has taken place, with its presence only perceivable in a few instances. Several participants of the exhibition represent themselves as distinct deniers of traditional art forms – trespassers, with connection to painting being revealed only through the presence of colour on a surface.
The first exhibition in the series, Candy Bomber / Našķu bumba, took place in 2007 and its aim was to survey and show the high qualities of the medium of painting in the Latvian art scene as demonstrated by young artists. In late 2010, the next show of young painters, Pilsētasbērni / Urbanchildren, was realised, offering a version on the portrait of the times of the early 21st century. Thematically, the exhibition was devoted to the city, its landscape and inhabitants. Tension, the third exhibition in the series, presents the explorations of young Latvian artists in the field of painting and uncovers names that are still unknown to the broader public.
The project’s participants are Māra Brīvere, Magone Boleiko, Atis Izands, Klāvs Loris, Raitis Hrolovičs, Armands Kanaviņš, Elīna Mekša, Sandra Strēle, Vitalijs Staņislavskis, Mētra Saberova, Edgars Soprāns, Laimdota Steķe, Paula Zariņa, Zane Tuča, Linda Vigdorčika, Zane Veldre, Amanda Ziemele and Zīle Ziemele.
During the exhibition film Why Do You Paint? with the participants’ reflections on their art is being demonstrated. The catalogue of the exhibition is also available to the visitors.
Exhibition curator: Diāna Barčevska
Exhibition supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, SIA Alfor