From 13 September to 10 November 2018, the Mūkusala Art Salon will hold an exhibitiondedicated to artist Vladimirs Glušenkovs (1948–2009), titled Absurd Mythology. It will include works from the Zuzāns Collection, the Latvian National Museum of Art and private collections. The artist's first retrospective exhibition will encompass three significant forms of his creative output – painting, graphic art and diary design.
Since the collapse of the USSR and the restoration of Latvian independence, the art history of the occupation period is slowly being reviewed. Many of the former officially approved art authorities have retained their standing, but new names are gradually coming to light, Vladimirs Glušenkovs among them. Being a distinct outsider, throughout his life he was a remarkably multisided person, hence he had the capacity to characterise the time and society with his personality and creative output – from the position of a rejected and ignored yet unbroken artist.
Among colleagues and friends Glušenkovs was known as the local surreal man, who always was playing a role: at times amusing, at times annoying or confusingly awkward. His otherness was easy to see, even too striking to be acceptable to all – especially to the art scene, which was based on determination, the knowledge of traditions and reward for meticulous work.
Vladimirs Glušenkovs had stumbled across what the artists of the following generations consciously cultivated in their creative practice – a postmodern worldview – eclectic, irrational and chaotic. It stemmed from his early interest in surrealist methodology and the fascination with the appropriation of mass cultural influences in pop art that followed later, ultimately leading him to decoratively outward ornament and abstract sand paintings. It was reflected both in his diaries and manifestos, and in his paintings and drawings as well as happenings. Seemingly light and playful, his self-expressions demonstrate the uncertainty and absurdity of the world that was characteristic of the time.
To coincide with the exhibition, the Neputns Publishers are releasing a monograph
about the artist.
Author of the monograph and curator of the exhibition – Daina Auziņa.
Image: Woman and Lion. Ca 1976. Tempera on canvas on pressboard. 34 x 50.5 cm. Zuzāns Collection. Photo: Jānis Pipars