Andris Breže : Andris Breže (1958) graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia’s Design (formerly Industrial Art) Department. He has participated in exhibitions since 1977. He was one of the members of the group of Supergraphic Artists who created expressive works of graphic art in the 1980s in the medium of large format screen printing. He was nominated for the Purvītis Prize for his most recent personal show “A Life of Peace” (Galerija Alma, 2013). Under the pseudonym Andris Žebers, Breže has published three collections of poems: “Tattoos” (Liesma, 1988) and together “Vodkas/Side Effects” (Neputns, 2007). For these, he received the Klāvs Elsbergs Prize for best debut, the Aleksandrs Čaks Prize and the Annual Literature Prize for the year’s best collection of poems. Krišs Salmanis : Krišs Salmanis (1977) studied in the Art Academy of Latvia’s Visual Communication Sub-Department and at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. Having participated in exhibitions since 2001, he has twice been nominated for the Purvītis Prize for the exhibition Lost (Riga Art Space, 2009), and subsequently for the video animation “The Long Day” (Festival Survival Kit 4, 2012) and the exhibition “The Fragility of Trust” (Galerija Alma, 2012). In 2011, he was one of the finalists nominated for the prestigious Henkel Art Award. In 2013, together with artist Kaspars Podnieks, he represented Latvia at the 55th Venice Art Biennale with the pavilion North by Northeast. Reserved, melancholic, intellectually justified and visually filigree - this briefly describes the artist Krišs Salmanis, who is no doubt one of the brightest representatives of contemporary art in Latvia. Krišs Salmanis uses animation, video, photography, objects as well as his body, trees etc in his art. However, it is neither the media used, nor the unifying themes, but rather the employed method what characterizes his work. In Latvian there is not an appropriate synonym for the word 'joke' to denote that the element, which in Salmanis’ work can be perceived as irony or humour, is instead mental excersise, intellectual activity, wit as a twist of thought. Another important aspect is formulated best by the artist himself, using Kurt Vonnegut’s idea of the complicated futility. The making of Salmanis’ work is often seemingly unnecessarily time- and effort-consuming. It is a kind of self-invented craftsmanship, which, even if unnoticed by the spectator, is a vital component of the final piece. The work of Krišs Salmanis is the process of thinking and the way of passing one’s life. Conceptual clarity and poetic polysemy co-exist in Salmanis’ art. Painstakingly elaborate, the works are thought out to the tiniest detail; they are often quite minimalist as to artistic expression and defined by their unexpected paradoxicality and intuitive quest for the truth combined with subtle irony and existential sadness. Māra Brīvere : Māra’s painting reflects the artist’s path to liberation manifested through rejection of everything superfluous. This is characterized by emotional measurements precisely captured right down to the last millimetre, which are both personal and fragile. In hushed tones, with impressions akin to lines of chalk, and highlighting the value of simplicity and humility, Māra forms a reflection of her own subjective reality. She “portrays” signs or road signs, which help one to see clearly, without the sediment of domestic pollution or the context of the age. Scrupulously and laboriously conceived large-format paintings or momentary vestiges tell of our unity with nature, the primordial origins of the world, the unjustifiable seismic jolts of fate and the imperceptible expanses of her roots and soul. Kristiana Dimitere : "Kristiana`s art is live theatre, captured in mid-motion. The vivid colours conceal within themselves an omen of fate, which is also always present in the eyes of the characters and sometimes even outside of the picture." This description by the artist`s mother, legendary Latvian actress Vija Artmane, helps understand the complicated world of Kristiana Dimitere`s art. She`s equally comfortable sculpting, painting, drawing, illustrating, and creating stage sets and animations. The trump card of Kristiana Dimitere`s art is the plasticity of her shapes and the recognisable lines which tame the artist`s vibrant, fantastic characters so akin to the aesthetics of naïve art. Ivars Drulle : Vika Eksta : www.vikaeksta.com Kristians Fukss : Kristians Fukss (1999) creates installations called "Rooms". Working in video, animation, painting and sculpture, Kristians fuses a hyper-sensitive imagination and a childishly playful gaze with an autobiographical narrative, creating a new kind of romanticism in Latvian contemporary art. “He plays with tough, intellectual subjects, but exactly this clever play makes it possible to reach a cataract state, while looking at his works.” – Tomass Pārups Barbara Gaile : Barbara Gaile is one of the more unorthodox representatives of Latvian contemporary art. The source and solution of her self-expression is in her thorough, complete and self-sufficient brand of minimalism. THE ORGANIC WORKS OF BARBARA GAILE It is common to break down contemporary art into various trends, to single out tendencies, establish conceptions and strategies, emphasise discourses, describe contexts, recognise conventionality and engage in other similar analytical procedures. This is normal for professional critics and art historians; it helps the audience of contemporary art to orient itself across the manifold space of the latest artistic culture. However, there are artists whose works are ill-suited for such analytic systematisation. One should also note that these are not outsiders but remarkable, talented artists. Of course, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Yves Klein and Agnes Martin can be categorised as abstract artists but this does not help us much to understand their works. In addition, this inclusive definition tends to set them apart from the current trends in contemporary art but their art continues to attract us and is perceived as the best in contemporary painting. It seems to me that the works of Barbara Gaile coincide with various conceptual strategies in contemporary art (such as field painting or salient painting) but first of all they relate to some exceptionally profound and strong artists. Besides those mentioned above, I could add other wonderful and radically different artists: Louise Bourgeois, Kaze Zimblyte, Rachel Whiteread, Mona Hatoum… Each of them features a distinctive evocative quality that is also typical of Barbara Gaile’s works. She, like the other artists mentioned, pays particular attention to the technological side of making an artwork, turning the process of creativity into an ecstatic procedure and expecting the appropriate perception from the viewer. Barbara avoids a painterly approach, favouring texture instead; while emphasising the origin of colour in light and retaining the self-sufficient value of pigment, she preserves its “sound” but not its materiality. The materiality of Barbara’s works is recreated; it is different - like the materiality of a living organism… At the same time, the question of materiality recedes into the background; much more important is the life of that which Barbara has created and which would be difficult to call a painting in the traditional sense. It is life and interaction with us as spectators. The suggestive character of the works is so strong that they put us in a state of sustained contemplation and meditation. Barbara’s works appear to stand openly before the viewer yet at the same time they are closed in their autonomous existence. There is no open expression or narrative. It seems that we are contemplating some kind of living organisms, bodies with healed scars and opalescent skin… It is no longer either salient painting or still life but salient life – life created by the artist. I get the impression that Barbara Gaile has now reached a certain peak in her artistic development, so convincingly does she cultivate her mastery, so stable is the technological side of her painting and her organic creative position. The originality of Gaile’s creativity expands the space of Latvian contemporary art; it gives the most recent art in the world added value and undoubtedly has its audience. Leonid Bazhanov Art critic, artistic director of the Russian National Centre for Contemporary Art Rasa Jansone : I allow for the reading of this title as a joke and a tease. (...) I hope there’s an element of defiance in my collages – I sharpen my scissors and jump right at Raphael himself. I – an Eastern European artist – place myself next to him. It is laughably absurd to the point of desperation. – Rasa Jansone Rasa Jansone is known as an artist and publicist who has long been dealing with the invisible and painful side of motherhood issues in art - a side that has been identified and brought to public attention in Latvia relatively recently. As the third-wave American feminist theorist Naomi Wolf has pointed out, the assumption that motherhood is a duty to be strong presupposes not a healthy communication with oneself, but something dark, seething and masochistic - an insensitivity to harm directed at oneself. She is also known as an essayist, critic and has been nominated for the Normunds Naumanis Award for Art Criticism several times. Ernests Kļaviņš : Through the simple / playful use of colour, drawing and animation, the intelligent provocateur has conjured up fables that make us smile and think... The titles of the works are important for decoding the connections – they serve as rejoinders. Zane Tuča : ZANE TUČA ...But one can never get quiet enough... “When I was a girl, I was terribly sure trees and flowers were the same as birds or people. That they thought things, and talked among themselves. And we could hear them if we really tried. It was just a matter of emptying your head of all other sounds. Being very quiet and listening very hard. But one can never get quiet enough...” (A quote by Truman Capote, inspired by real life events, in the reconstructed detective novel In Cold Blood ) For the most part, attempts to depict, subjectivize or even invent silence in works of art are characterised by delicate and fine intonations. Oftentimes, hidden minutiae and details that are initially obscure are of major, nigh on decisive, importance. Art born of the material of silence strives to be unobtrusive, inconspicuous, and requires a more enduring gaze from the viewer, including when art gravitates towards a kind of durability, which is much slower and less familiar to the mind than the everyday rhythm of time. Zane Tuča’s monochrome compositions largely correspond to associations and intuitive visual archetypes about silence. At the same time, they also represent something more, something stemming from the gamma of emotions and feelings that can be contrasted to all that is noisy, challenging and dramatic in the system of binary oppositions. The paintings in the exhibition ...But one can never get quiet enough are about that silence that can be found, not in the absence of sounds, but rather on softer information frequencies that are perceivable in less verbal ways. They tell of a time that Zane Tuča sought to stop and freeze. Perhaps, this is the only state in which silence can exist. At the simplest level, the artist depicts how various moments in time can simultaneously overlap; this physically impossible state, which has stimulated the creative imagination of so many artists and inspired numerous artistic depictions of contemporaneity, in which the present, past, future and other customary watersheds merge. The depictions of landscape that one sees in Zane Tuča’s paintings reflect this mental time zone, where different principles of space and durability prevail. Overlays are also formed in the technical execution of the works. Areas painted in acrylic are covered with exquisite drawing, which both clarifies and tonally blends the depicted forms, as well as accentuating the minimalist colour. Thus, the fine and time-consuming working process of drawing is of major significance, because it echoes the meditative deceleration visible in the paintings, which is out of this world. The artist captures restrained laconic landscapes and studies of nature and architecture in glassy reflections, with each depicted detail doubling and toying with the effects of Northern light. Zane Tuča has also used this approach in her previous works, returning to it through various motifs. If we are seeking the classical logic of representation in these paintings, then, as in the Ancient Greek myth about Narcissus, the confluence of brilliance and an object creates a new third image, which is a symbol of transience and imperceptibility. Landscape elements are a way of thinking about moments, unravelling the mysteries of time and physically perceptible silence, which disrupt its consistently foreseeable flow. The works in ...But one can never get quiet enough were created by Zane Tuča during her residency in Norway. In a reserved Nordic manner, she captures the locale’s instruments of silence – nature and man-made architecture. Seeking the origin of the silence visible in the paintings, one concludes that it does not lie within the anarchically charged silence of 4’33”, nor ethereal metaphysics. In Zane Tuča’s works, asceticism overlaps with the calligraphy of forms. As a result, we can observe references to some decidedly matter-of-fact traditions of photorealism and self-conceived approaches to meditation, which present vision as the content of the work of art and startle the mind through efforts to see reality anew, devoid of the layers wrought by urban urgency and noise. Santa Mičule Renesanse, Renaissance Kristīne Kursiša _ Ārpus kontroles _ 26.09. - 22.10. 2009., Kristīne Kursiša _ Out Of Control _ 26.09. - 22.10. 2009. Mūsu laika ikonas _ 27.10. - 14.12.2009., Contemporary Icons _ 27.10. - 14.12.2009. ARCOmadrid 2010 _ Gints Gabrans _ 17. - 21.02. 2010., ARCOmadrid 2010 _ Gints Gabrans _ 17. - 21.02.2010. Jānis Blanks _ Personālizstāde _ 27.03. - 30.04.2010., Jānis Blanks _ Solo show _ 27.03. - 30.04.2010. Ivars Drulle _ Balstīts uz patiesiem notikumiem _ 27.04. - 10.06.2011., Ivars Drulle _ Based on True Stories _ 27.04. - 10.06.2011. Ernests Kļaviņš _ Karš starp titāniem un rūķīšiem _ 28.11. - 02.12.2011., Ernests Kļaviņš _ War Between the Titans and Gnomes _ 28.11. - 02.12.2011. Krišs Salmanis _ Uzticēšanās trauslums _ 28.05. - 27.07.2012., Krišs Salmanis _ The fragility of trust _ 28.05. - 27.07.2012. Andris Breže _ Miera Dzīve _ 5.10.2012. - 09.01.2013, Andris Breže _ A Life of Peace _ 5.10.2012. - 09.01.2013 Ivars Drulle _ Jums tūlīt atlaidīs _ 22.11.2013. - 24.01.2014., Ivars Drulle _ You’ll be pardoned forthwith _ 22.11.2013. - 24.01.2014. Molekulārās Dzīves Metamorfozes _ 20.06. - 15.08.2014, Metamorphoses of Molecular Life _ 20.06. - 15.08.2014 Aija Zariņa _ RA i nis _ 26.02. - 20.03. 2015, Aija Zariņa _ RA i nis _ 26.02. - 20.03. 2015 Andris Breže, Krišs Salmanis _ 05.05 - 05.06. 2015., Andris Breže, Krišs Salmanis _ 05.05 - 05.06. 2015. Camille Henrot, Māra Brīvere, Daiga Grantiņa _ Haosa Harmonija _ 9.06.-5.09.2016., Camille Henrot, Māra Brīvere, Daiga Grantiņa _ The Harmony of Chaos _ 9.06.-5.09.2016. Ēriks Apaļais _ Le Cygne _ 07.09. - 14.10.2016., Ēriks Apaļais _ Le Cygne _ 07.09. - 14.10.2016. Ivars Drulle _ Manai Dzimtenei _ 30.11.2016. - 20.01.2017., Ivars Drulle _ To My Homeland _ 30.11.2016. - 20.01.2017. Amalie Smith _ ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ _ 10.04. - 19.05.2017., Amalie Smith _ ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ _ 10.04. - 19.05.2017. Kopā viens EVELĪNA VIDA un ANDRÉ VIDA 29. 05. – 21.07.2017., Alone Together by EVELINA VIDA and ANDRÉ VIDA 29.05. - 21.07. 2017 ĒRIKS APAĻAIS Institucionālās spēles 17.11. 2017. - 26.01.2018., ĒRIKS APAĻAIS Institutional Gambling 17.11. 2017. - 26.01.2018.
 
 
 
Gallery was founded in 2005 by Astrīda Riņķe and Ilva Krišane with the goal of promoting new Latvian contemporary art.

Alma Gallery located in Riga at 64 Terbatas Street. It is open to visitors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 12 pm – 6 pm; appointments can be arranged for any other time by calling +371 29155572.

Perceiving the gallerists` ideas on the tasks, purposes, intentions and mission of the gallery it would appear a "next generation" gallery has been born in Riga. So much idealism on the one hand, so many constructive observations on the other.

/ Inga Šteimane, Editor-in-Chief of the Kultūras Forums weekly./
Opening Hours 12 pm – 18 pm

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64 Terbatas Street
Riga, LV-1001
Latvia

Phone:   +371 29155572

E-mail: alma@galerija-alma.lv
KRISTIANS FUKSS

ROOM NO. 6

20.06.-09.08.2024.


Plato and Mickey Mouse – indeed a philosophically and artistically fortunate combination. One might, of course, ask: in what sense is it fortunate? Let`s set aside the “philosophical” aspect for a moment and address the “artistic”. The image of Mickey Mouse first appears in Kristians Fuks’ art in his solo exhibition Wolken, held in 2019 at the Ojārs Vācietis Museum. The subsequent trajectory of this character in Fuks’ artistic practice is described by the artist himself as “using a playful approach to address serious matters…” A playful approach can save an author resolved to grapple with such a seasoned combatant as Plato (Πλάτων) – the philosopher named Aristocles (Ἀριστοκλῆς) according to tradition, whose other name familiar to us all means "broad" which, again following tradition, is linked to the robust physique sculpted by Plato’s martial arts practice. In the context of Platonism, this sounds almost like an oxymoron, but the contradiction inherent in this thinker’s name characterizes his entire philosophy and its subsequent influence.

It is possible to be playful and yet maintain seriousness in two ways. The third way would, of course, be Socratic irony, which – as far as we can see in Plato`s early dialogues and given that in the later ones, it does not explicitly appear at all – is expressed from power positions, hence we might need to retain this meaning of the term and abstain from using it here.

The first seriousness regards Plato: Kristians Fuks has invited Plato to his room number six for a serious conversation about the meaning of life and virtues. But what does “taking Plato seriously” entail within the context of contemporary Latvia? It might mean dedicating a lecture or two to Plato in aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, ontology, or your basic philosophy course, or maybe composing an entry for the National Encyclopedia about him (which already exists). A mathematician, perhaps, might add: bestowing an eidetic aura upon a theorem that has neither been formulated nor proven.

The second is the critical seriousness, which might prompt one to embark on a quest for critical theories. However, let`s keep in mind that Kristians Fuks’ Mickey Mouse is a visual – not a literary – character. And being an art character, it sidesteps the verbal entanglements of unambiguity – to the extent that unambiguity is at all possible. Moreover, an art character may not obey even the intentions of its own author, as it becomes independent upon entering the public space of the exhibition and changes, over time, its trajectories of meanings.
What do the three different poses of Mickey Mouse (or the three Mickey Mice) signify? Could they mean that the three levels are not as distinct as knowledge, opinion, and ignorance in Plato`s epistemology, not as distinct as true being, appearance, and non-being in his ontology? Indeed, the three parts of the soul are united in a two-horse chariot, led by reason or intellect; much like a charioteer commands and steers two horses, one of which is “upright and has clean limbs; he carries his neck high, has an aquiline nose, is white in color, and has dark eyes; he is a friend of honor joined with temperance and modesty, guided only by the word of command and by reason”, while the other is “crooked, heavy, ill put together, his neck is short and thick, his nose flat [..]” (Phaedrus, 253d). The literary image of the charioteer and the chariot is powerful enough to be steered in a direction other than Plato intended. But let`s leave reason to hold the reins for now. Concerning his own life and its meaning, Kristians Fuks categorizes virtue into three forms: intellectual ability, scoutism, and artistic endeavor. Only the artistic endeavor – disregarding the recommendations in Plato’s Laws (802b-c) – exhibits independence akin to horses breaking free from the reins of the charioteer. How fortunate that it is so!

The light of the lantern might invite the audience to recall Plato`s cave, lure them through Alain Robbe-Grillet`s labyrinth of repetitions, or lead them to relate to the lamplighter on a distant planet visited by the Little Prince, or make them dream about it as a guiding light on the way to Narnia…Kristians Fukss asks: “In a world ruled by virtue, wouldn`t scouting knots adorn the walls instead of decorative panels?”. And gives his answer in Room no. 6.

- Dr. phil. Jānis Taurens

Curated by Astrīda Riņķe

Kristians Fukss (1999) continues exhibition series called Rooms, that began with "Istaba Nr. 4" (2021) as part of exhibition "GALERIJA ALMA @ PADURES MUIŽA" and “Istaba Nr. 5” ALMA (2022)

Works in collections: VV Foundation

Exhibition opening supported by Pavāru māja Līgatnē

Image: Kristians Fukss. The Thinker, 2024
Andris Breže
Krišs Salmanis
Māra Brīvere
Kristiana Dimitere
Ivars Drulle
Vika Eksta
Kristians Fukss
Barbara Gaile
Rasa Jansone
Ernests Kļaviņš
Zane Tuča
Renaissance
Kristīne Kursiša _ Out Of Control _ 26.09. - 22.10. 2009.
Contemporary Icons _ 27.10. - 14.12.2009.
ARCOmadrid 2010 _ Gints Gabrans _ 17. - 21.02.2010.
Jānis Blanks _ Solo show _ 27.03. - 30.04.2010.
Ivars Drulle _ Based on True Stories _ 27.04. - 10.06.2011.
Ernests Kļaviņš _ War Between the Titans and Gnomes _ 28.11. - 02.12.2011.
Krišs Salmanis _ The fragility of trust _ 28.05. - 27.07.2012.
Andris Breže _ A Life of Peace _ 5.10.2012. - 09.01.2013
Ivars Drulle _ You’ll be pardoned forthwith _ 22.11.2013. - 24.01.2014.
Metamorphoses of Molecular Life _ 20.06. - 15.08.2014
Aija Zariņa _ RA i nis _ 26.02. - 20.03. 2015
Andris Breže, Krišs Salmanis _ 05.05 - 05.06. 2015.
Camille Henrot, Māra Brīvere, Daiga Grantiņa _ The Harmony of Chaos _ 9.06.-5.09.2016.
Ēriks Apaļais _ Le Cygne _ 07.09. - 14.10.2016.
Ivars Drulle _ To My Homeland _ 30.11.2016. - 20.01.2017.
Amalie Smith _ ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ _ 10.04. - 19.05.2017.
Alone Together by EVELINA VIDA and ANDRÉ VIDA 29.05. - 21.07. 2017
ĒRIKS APAĻAIS Institutional Gambling 17.11. 2017. - 26.01.2018.
Art Brussels 2024
NADA MIAMI 2023
Rīga Confidential 2023
NADA MIAMI 2022
NADA MIAMI 2022
ArtBerlin 2018
Art Cologne 2018
Artissima 2016
ArtBrussels 2016
ArtBrussels 2015
ArtBrussels 2014
ArtBrussels2013
VIENNAFAIR 2012
ARCOmadrid 2011