A Relief from Sweltering Heat. “Riga 2014” Exhibitions

A Relief from Sweltering Heat. “Riga 2014” Exhibitions
Kaspars Garda, Riga 2014 . Exhibition FIELDS
Weather forecasters are predicting that the heat wave in Latvia will continue through the next week. Perhaps the best place imaginable to escape the sweltering heat are the cool, quiet exhibition halls and the well-ventilated museum rooms, where one can visit the various exhibitions of the “Riga 2014” Programme that will run until the end of the summer and into the autumn.

Exhibitions about amber in Riga museums

Amber is one of the main themes of the “Riga 2014” Programme, and several new exhibitions about amber are yet to open this year as part of the “Amber Road in Riga” series. In the meantime, several exhibitions about amber are on show until the end of the summer at the Latvian Museum of Natural History, National History Museum of Latvia and Pauls Stradiņš Museum for History of Medicine.

Exhibition “Amber through the Ages” at the Latvian Museum of Natural History, Kr. Barona iela 4, will continue until the end of the year. The temporary premises of the National History Museum of Latvia at Brīvības bulvāris 32 present the exhibition “Amber – the Precious Stone of the Baltic Sea”, on show until the 1st of November, whereas exhibition “Amber: Myths and Science” at the Museum for History of Medicine will continue until the 15th of October.

Exhibitions at the National Library

Several exhibitions of the “Riga 2014” Programme are still on display at the Latvian National Library at Mūkusalas iela 3. If you have not yet been there, visiting an exhibition is also an excellent opportunity to explore the “Palace of Light” – the new building of the National Library designed by architect Gunārs Birkerts.

“1514. The Book. 2014” (on show until the 31st of March, 2015)

The exhibition of books hundreds of years old has been praised by local and foreign visitors ever since the opening. The exhibition presents unique books printed exactly 500 years ago, at the beginning of the 16th century when Europe was going through a boom in book printing and reading. Some of the most prominent authors and artists of that period, when the world was seeing unprecedented changes and America was put on the map for the first time, include Erasmus of Rotterdam, Martin Luther, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Albrecht Dürer and others.

An interview with the curator of the exhibition, Astrīda Rogule, is available here.

“Visionary Structures. From Ioganson to Johansons” (open until the 10th of August)

The kinetic art exhibition “Visionary Structures. From Ioganson to Johansons” at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art showcases works by seven Latvian artists representing three different generations, each a trendsetting artistic innovator of his era. The exhibition explores the most experimental and visionary phenomena in each given period, and their historic transformations. The seven artists represented at the exhibition are Gustavs Klucis (1895–1938), Karl Ioganson (1890–1929), Valdis Celms (1943), Jānis Krievs (1942), Artūrs Riņķis (1942), Gints Gabrāns (1970) and Voldemārs Johansons (1981). The exhibition is curated by Ieva Astahovska.

For our interview with artist Gints Gabrāns, visit this link.

Ravenna Historic and Contemporary Mosaic Art (on show until the 30th of August)

The exhibition presents copies of early Christian mosaics in Ravenna, it was organised in collaboration with the Ravenna Municipality and the Italian Embassy in Riga. Since the pilot exhibition in Paris in 1951, the collection of 36 reproductions of ancient mosaics has travelled to many countries around the world, and is now on display in Riga. Visitors have the opportunity to see every detail up close – which is impossible to do when looking at the originals in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Basilica of San Vitale and Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Baptistry of Neon and Capella Arcivescovile in Ravenna. The exhibition also presents contemporary mosaic art, selected by the curator of the exhibition, the mosaics expert Rosetta Berardi.

More information about the exhibition of historic mosaic art is available here.

Exhibitions at the Corner House (on show until the 19th of October)

Five exhibitions that interpret the relationships between the individual and the authorities from various standpoints will run at the former KGB building or the Corner House until the 19th October: “(Re)construction of Friendship”, “A Latvian’s Suitcase”, “In Spite of All”, “Stories of People and Power in Ten Objects” and the Museum of Fateful Objects.

The exhibition “(Re)construction of Friendship” turns the spotlight on superpowers’ “friendships” with smaller countries, featuring a number of artists from several countries. Besides Latvian artists, also participating in the exhibition are artists from Germany, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Sweden and others. One of the works at the exhibition, the poetic installation “Scheme A. Scheme B” by the textual group “Orbīta”, has been nominated for Purvītis Prize – the highest recognition in Latvian art.

The exhibition “A Latvian’s Suitcase” features various things and items that people who, for one reason or another, had to leave the country had packed to take with them. The exhibition focuses on items that tell the story of their owners through vintage photographs, video and audio materials, computer graphics and animations.

The exhibition “In Spite of All” showcases works from the Latvian Naïve Art Museum – drawings made in 1941-1945 and 1949-1956. They were created in cattle wagons, concentration camps, POW filtering camps, labour camps, etc.

“Stories of People and Power in Ten Objects” is an exhibition created by the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. The main “narrators” are ten museum objects, supplemented by other items from the museum’s collection. One particular object is the starting point for a story about not only a particular person, but entire families, contemporaries, cities and countries in the 20th century.

The Corner House also presents the Museum of Fateful Objects, created specifically for the “Riga 2014” Programme over a period of several years when Riga residents submitted meaningful objects, entrusting the museum with telling the stories of fates that these objects had changed. As part of the exhibition, video monitors have been set up at the museum to shed more light on a particular object and the story it tells. Also, a compilation of the most compelling stories and objects will be published in a book titled “Fateful Objects” (“Liktens lietas”). The author and director of the project is journalist Ilona Brūvere. Project artist – Artis Rutks.

For more information about the Corner House, exhibitions and events it runs, go here.

Part 3 of the Sound Art Exhibition “SKAN II” (until the 24th of August)

Part three of the sound art exhibition “SKAN II”, organised by the “Skaņu mežs” association, opened in the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia a short while ago. The final part of “SKAN II” presents the following artists: Voldemārs Johansons, RIXC, Max Eastley (Great Britain), Michael J. Schumacher (United States), Edwin van der Heide and Jan-Peter E. R. Sonntag (Netherlands, Germany), Christian Skjødt (Denmark), Eli Keszler (United States), David Helbich (Germany), Evelīna Deičmane, Anke Eckardt (Germany), Heimo Lattner and Judith Laub (Germany).

For an interview with Viestarts Gailītis, the head of “Skaņu mežs”, visit this link.

Gustavs Klucis (1895–1938). The Anatomy of an Experiment (the 22nd of August to the 26th of October)

“The Anatomy of an Experiment”, an exhibition of works by the prominent Latvian artist Gustavs Klucis, will open at the exhibition hall “Arsenāls” on the 22nd of August. It will be the largest exhibition of Klucis’ 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.


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