Exhibition “Gustavs Klucis. The Anatomy of an Experiment”
The name of Gustavs Klucis (1895-1938) is often heard in European museums, but the world-famous constructivist’s links with Latvia often go unsaid. However, it is essential for Riga, as the European Cultural Capital in 2014, to tell complete stories about Latvians who have contributed significantly to European culture.
Gustavs Klucis’ diverse creative heritage has never been sufficiently evaluated, because the ideological context of his artworks has overshadowed his contribution toward the aesthetics of Constructivism. Klucis defended the thought that artists have the right to engage in experimentation – a process both daring and risky. The artist dared believe that his goals were in line with the goals of the country and society in which he lived and worked. We have the benefit of hindsight to be aware of the historical background which turned the new and experimental style of Constructivism into an ideological weapon for the Soviet regime. We also know that Gustavs Klucis did not see any risks for society or his creative freedom.
This exhibition calls on the audience to avoid any temptation to denounce or deny the artist’s work. By telling the story of a single individual, the exhibition will encourage visitors to think about problems and phenomena that that have always been of great importance – the limits and responsibilities of an individual’s freedom of choice, the relationship between an artist and a regime, and how the artist and his artworks influence public opinion.
The exhibition “Gustavs Klucis: The Anatomy of an Experiment” will be the largest exhibition of his artwork in his native land. Alongside the unique collection of Klucis’ artworks held by the Latvian National Museum of Art, which is incomparable with other collections of the artist’s works in terms of quality and quantity, the exhibition will also feature dozens of artworks from the collections of other museums in Europe.