March 02 – April 07, 2012
Works from the Mūkusala Art Salon collection
The exhibition "Purvītis and other Latvian Landscape Artists" is dedicated to the grand master of Latvian landscape painting Vilhelms Purvītis – whose 140th anniversary is on March 3.
It is held that Purvītis has established the canon of Latvian landscape painting which has become a symbol of the nation's identity, including people's sense of beauty, the spirit of his time, ethnic ideals and temperament. The followers of the genre each in their own way took inspiration from Purvītis’ wealth of topics, and without his powerful presence Latvian landscape painting may not have been the same. During the course of the 20th century, the role of the landscape changed and transformed, in their creative endeavours the artists departed ever more from direct encounters with nature, yet the genre has never lost its currency.
The exhibition raises the question - how deeply the landscape genre as a means of artistic expression is ingrained and consolidated in the consciousness of the nation? And whether it can be relevant today? In order to find an answer to these questions, the exhibition brings together the works of the grand master and other well-known landscape artists and the works of contemporary artists Arturs Bērziņš and Andris Eglītis, who are inspired by direct observation of nature, and retain Latvian landscape as an important theme.
One could claim that the young artists' fascination with the landscape confirms the presence of the concept of national identity in contemporary art.
The exhibited works include those of Vilhelms Purvītis, Kārlis Melnbārdis, Ārijs Skride, Oto Pladers, Jānis Pūpols, Fēlikss Čipāns, Konrāds Ubāns, Līga Purmale, Aleksejs Naumovs, Arturs Bērziņš, Andris Eglītis, and others.
Diāna Barčevska, curator of the exhibition.
Press photo: Vilhelms Purvītis. Spring Landscape. Ca 1930. Oil on cardboard. 72 x 104 cm