Art Nouveau. Its Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature
The exhibition "Art Nouveau. Its Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature" dedicated to Latvia’s Centenary will be on view at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga (Doma laukums 6) from 4 May to 5 August 2018.

Within the landscape of global art, Latvia has written an enduring story with its brilliant examples of Art Nouveau. By highlighting the Art Nouveau heritage, the Latvian National Museum of Art wants to show Riga’s special place in the European cultural palette at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, at a time when Latvian national consciousness was forming.

 

The rapid rise of the Baltics’ biggest metropolis, Riga at the turn of the century inspired the fantasies of architects, who developed the idea of Art Nouveau through the design of richly decorated façades, colourful interiors and overall aesthetic harmony. In addition to architecture, which is the most well-known part of the artistic heritage of this period, vivid examples of Art Nouveau are also found in applied arts, graphic art of books and magazines, and painting. It should be noted that the Art Nouveau epoch in Latvia was not just a moment before the birth of the state, but also the time when the formation of national professional art took place and the new style became one of the catalysts for the modernization of artistic expression.

 

The exhibition is a meeting of various national schools, with the objective of allowing the viewer to identify their similarities, influences and differences. Although the Art Nouveau style of Riga is undeniably peculiar, its features are closely related to the processes in other countries. The exposition is also a story of the most notable manifestations of Art Nouveau in Europe, visualising these through painting, graphic art, sculpture and decorative applied arts. It traces the roots, beginnings and flourishing of this style, and offers a clearer understanding of the original nature of Art Nouveau in Latvia, which are exemplified in comparison with the oeuvre of the greatest Art Nouveau metropolises – Paris, London, Brussels and other most vibrant cities of Europe.

 

In terms of time, all that separates us from the age of Art Nouveau is just over a century, and the volume of material available is enormous, as a result of which this exhibition is merely a tiny angle within a much greater whole. Highlighted therein, alongside Latvia’s contribution, are those countries and sources of inspiration that helped the style to evolve and develop in our region. It is the story of France and Japonism, Louis Majorelle’s, Hector Guimard’s and Émile Gallé’s refined forms of dishes and vessels, furniture and architectural details, Belgium and Congo style, floral motifs in the patterns of William Morris and Walter Crane in Great Britain, Faberge’s sophistication in Russia, as well as Art Nouveau period art in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

 

The works on show have retained their aesthetic merits in the modern world, delighting the demanding contemporary spectator with their elegant forms. Moreover, the exhibition is an attempt to clear the playing field of sentimentality, neo-romantic exaggerations and sensuality, returning instead to the primordial tale of the harmony, plasticity and synthesis combined with functionality. From harsh, simplistic games of geometric shapes and volumes, to supple plant motifs that break down any symmetry – all of this is Art Nouveau.

 

For their great help in organising the exhibition and compiling the catalogue, as well as for their special assistance in selecting the works, the Latvian National Museum of Art and the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE would like to thank the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, Centre Pompidou – Musée national d’art moderne in Paris and the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas, the National History Museum of Latvia, the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, the Museum of Literature and Music in Riga, Rainis and Aspazija’s Memorial Museum, the Riga Art Nouveau Centre, Viktor Astanin, the Belēvičs family, the Academic Library of the University of Latvia in Riga.

 

Project implemented with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the French Institute in Latvia.

 

The exhibition Art Nouveau. Its Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature is the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE dedication to Latvia’s Centenary.

 

 

EXHIBITION ORGANIZED BY:

 

EXHIBITION SUPPORTERS and COOPERATION PARTNERS:

 

EXHIBITION CURATORS:

Daiga Upeniece, Head of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Latvian National Museum of Art

in collaboration with

Dr. art. Silvija Grosa, Professor of Art History, Art Academy of Latvia

Vita Birzaka, Exhibition Curator of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

Latvian National Museum of Art

Baiba Uburģe, Collection Manager of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

Latvian National Museum of Art

Laura Okdaldere, Exhibition Curator, Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Latvian National Museum of Art

Aija Taimiņa, UL Academic Library

 

 

 

#RigasBirza

#JūgendstilsBiržā

#ArtNouveauBourse 

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#LV100

 

 

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03 May 10:00
PRESS CONFERENCE: Art Nouveau. Its Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature
To mark the opening of the exhibition “Art Nouveau. Its Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature” at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga (Doma laukums 6) from 4 May to 5 August 2018, we cordially invite media representatives to attend the press conference and preview of the exhibition.
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12 May 12:00
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25 May 17:30
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31 May 17:00
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07 Jun 17:00
GUIDED TOUR: Art Nouveau in the city. Walk around the Riga Bourse
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09 Jun 12:00
AT THE ARTISTS’ WORKSHOP: Taming of the line
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16 Jun 12:00
FAMILY DAY: Flag garland workshop
We invite families to participate in a flag garland workshop and to create an art nouveau inspired colorful ornament for summer garden parties and picnics.
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28 Jun 17:00
GUIDED TOUR: Art Nouveau in the city. Walk around the Riga Bourse
We already know that art nouveau can be found at the Alberta iela, but is that all you can find in Riga?
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13 Jul 17:30
WORKSHOP: How to look and how to see? Art Nouveau
This workshop is dedicated to our visual literacy – ability to see and to create artworks, giving special attention to the analysis of an artwork.
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21 Jul 12:00
AT THE ARTISTS’ WORKSHOP: Taming of the line ne plain air
Back in the day, art nouveau was present in every sphere of art and design. We will begin with a short guided tour at the exhibition “Art Nouveau. Its Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature”, followed by a walk through the streets of Riga Old town where we will look for art nouveau architecture.
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