The exhibition "Visionary Structures. From Ioganson to Johansons" will be on show in the new building of the National Library of Latvia at Mūkusalas iela 3 from the 3rd of July to the 6th of August. The exhibition, organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art as part of the "Riga 2014" Programme, offers insight into Latvia's avant-garde art of the 20th and 21st centuries, exploring the most experimental and visionary phenomena in each given period, and their historic transformations.
The exhibition will showcase works by seven Latvian artists – Karl Iognason, Gustavs Klucis, Valdis Celms, Jānis Krievs, Artūrs Riņķis, Gints Gabrāns and Voldemārs Johansons – who represent different generations and each of whom is a trendsetting artistic innovator of his era. By instigating a dialogue between different ages, the exhibition will reveal parallels and coherences between works of art, each of which belongs to a different age and another ideological era. The curator of the exhibition is art researcher Ieva Astahovska.
The earliest generation will be represented at the exhibition by legendary artists from Latvia: Gustavs Klucis (1895–1938) and Karl Ioganson (1890–1929) who in the 1920s belonged to the Constructivist group in Moscow, which is today considered to be one of the foremost examples of avant-garde art. Both artists were interested in experiments and search for revolutionary forms of art. For the first time in Latvia, the exhibition will showcase Karl Ioganson's spatial constructions – structures in which the artist revealed the principles of so-called tensegrity, or universally applicable constructive systems which formulate potential manufacturing structures of a new type.
To date, reconstructions of Karl Ioganson's works have been displayed in exhibitions at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The reconstructions presented at the exhibition in Riga have been created by Moscow artist Vyacheslav Koleichuk in co-operation with Juris Sils, an expert on Karl Ioganson’s art. On the other hand, the selection of Gustavs Klucis' works from the collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art highlights the futuristic and utopian lines in his creative thinking, where abstract compositions become architectonic forms and three-dimensional spatial constructions, creating realities do not yet exist and designs for the cities of future.
The influence of constructivism and futuristic ideas were making a comeback in the works of Valdis Celms (1943), Jānis Krievs (1942) and Artūrs Riņķis (1942), created in the 1970s. These artists were also inspired to construct alternative, ideal space, putting forward daring proposals about life in the city, nature, and even space. The exhibition will showcase kinetic objects created by these artists, as well as environmental installations, visionary proposals and so-called "light painting", which are related both to the Cold War ideas of modernisation and the romanticised ideas of the Space Age.
The younger generation of artists participating in the exhibition is represented by Gints Gabrāns (1970) and Voldemārs Johansons (1980), whose works are not of cosmic proportions but focus on micro-realities.
The exhibition will also feature choreographer Olga Žitluhina's contemporary dance events "Subjective Phenomenon" from the 24th of July to the 6th of August. Much like the artworks displayed at the exhibition, Olga Žitluhina will also use dance routines and principles of various epochs in her performances, emphasising the instrument (the human body) and the changes in the relationship between the performer and the spectator.
The exhibition is being organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with the National Library of Latvia.
The exhibition is supported by the "Riga 2014" Foundation, Riga City Council, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Latvian National Museum of Art, State Culture Capital Foundation, ABLV Charitable Foundation, Arctic Paper, FineArtPrint.lv, "Rijada", Lordbaron, Eximus Studio and "Veselības centrs 4". Media support provided by "IR", "Rīgas Laiks", "Studija", "Veto Magazine", Arterritory.com, "Riga This Week", Easyget.lv, EchoGoneWrong.com, Clear Channel, EuroAWK.
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Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art
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