Ēriks Apaļais : ĒRIKS APAĻAIS Born in Riga, Latvia, in 1981. Lives and works in Riga, Latvia Ēriks Apaļais’ s works deal with language as culturally produced material. He creates visual models, which clarify traumatic experiences through certain linguistic formulae. His work often refers to literature and linguistics (Apaļais has studied English philology), where painterly utterances are critically investigated. Thus, similar to the sounds of speech, painterly articulation may register a diverse spectrum of intonations. His matte black large format paintings stir up chalkboard beauty, where deconstructed elements levitate on the surface as the remains of semantically emptied memories. 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. 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. 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. 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 Ivars Drulle : 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. Verners Lazdāns : "I'm interested in the incomprehensible in nature – in savagery that contains much undiscovered pre-programmed genuineness. When creating an artwork, I strive to achieve that the painted character becomes a symbol for an emotional state or trait. Perhaps in this image you will find something I haven’t noticed by myself because  of my partly intuitive manner of painting, which is not previously thought out in details. I avoid explanatory  ambience – landscapes and interior because I wish to focus on the image itself. I don’t consider the place where the character stands is so important neither the reality which overwhelms the image, but  relevant is the fact of its essence. The form of my human animals is often inspired by nature - by some animal, piece of rock, part of a bone, piece of wood and ore or even by a natural phenomenon." Verners Lazdāns 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. The artist works in a variety of media, including animation, video and object installation, occasionally using his own body in his art. 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.
Ēriks Apaļais
Kristiana Dimitere
Andris Breže
Māra Brīvere
Barbara Gaile
Ivars Drulle
Ernests Kļaviņš
Verners Lazdāns
Krišs Salmanis

Ivars Drulle savos darbos bieži pievēršas refleksijai par neviennozīmīgām un publiski ne pārāk ērti apspriežamām sabiedrības norisēm, aplūkojot tās caur saskarsmes punktiem ar paša privāto dzīvi. Šoreiz kā pamatimpulss darbu radīšanai kalpojusi mākslinieka ikdienas dzīve Vidzemes laukos, turienes apkārtējās vides un apkārtējo dzīves vērojumi, kas materializēti vairākos objektos. Ironiskais nosaukums “Manai Dzimtenei” pirmajā brīdī raisa asociācijas ar banālām idillisku ainavu pastkartēm vai fotogrāfijām no “Lauku Avīzes” kalendāriem, proti, patriotisku lepnumu simbolizējošiem dabas tēliem. Ironija daļēji slēpjas tajā, ka arī izstādē aplūkojamās instalācijas iespējams uztvert gan kā ainavu attēlojumus, gan kā fiziski tiešus dabas nospiedumus, kuri estētiskās kontemplācijas vietā lauku romantiku piedāvā aplūkot caur turienes sociālās realitātes prizmu. Ivara Drulles radītie dzimtenes ainu šķērsgriezumi ir arī retorisks jautājums par vidusmēra latvieša patriotismu, kas tik bieži tiek izteikts caur attieksmi “es mīlu šo zemi, bet nemīlu šo valsti”. Atšķirības starp abām kļūst arvien krasākas, gluži tāpat kā starp lauku un pilsētas dzīvesveidiem, kas eksistē kā divas paralēlas, viena priekš otras eksotiskas pasaules. Globālās ekonomikas un vietējās politiskās varas mehānismi laukus ir padarījuši par drupu ainavām, taču tas netraucē nacionālajām ideoloģijām “dzimtenes āres” pasniegt kā latviskās patības un dzīvesziņas vērtības, kurām ar reālo lauku ikdienu ir pavisam attāla saistība.
Visas šīs norises iespējams vērot un fiksēt caur pasīvu tūrista skatienu, kas dzimtenes ainavās cenšas patverties no ikdienišķās rutīnas. Taču Ivaru Drulli ir vadījuši antropoloģiski lokālās identitātes meklējumi (te būtu svarīgi nejaukt ar nacionālo identitāti), rosinot domāt, vai globalizācijas apstākļos vispār var pastāvēt tas, kas laikmetīgās mākslas slengā visbiežāk tiek apzīmēts ar modīgo “site-specific” terminu? Klasiskās latviešu lauku mājas, to ierastās proporcijas un mērogi māksliniekam un daudziem no mums izsaka arī latviskās estētikas kodu, ko izjūtam netveramā, gandrīz neapzinātā līmenī. “Manai dzimtenei” attēlo, kā politiski ekonomiskie apstākļi deformē šo vizuālo kodu. Deformācijas siluetu veidā ir iemūžinātas uz dzelzs plāksnēm, nedaudz atgādinot savdabīgus kapakmeņu gravējumus, kā arī fotogrāfijās – autors jau kopš 2013. gada centies safotografēt tās vismaz 350 pamestās mājas, kas atrodas 15 km rādiusā ap viņa Vidzemes māju (domās pamēģiniet šos skaitļus pārrēķināt cilvēku likteņu mērvienībās).

Lai gan ar identitātes jēdzienu ir viegli manipulēt, pārvēršot to tukšā un neko neizsakošā vārdu konstrukcijā, ģeogrāfiskās piederības sajūta var nostrādāt arī kā psiholoģiska terapija. Jo sevišķi digitālajā laikmetā, kad ģeogrāfiskās robežas savstarpējā komunikācijā vairs gandrīz neko nenozīmē un nekalpo par sociālās dzīves orientieri. Ivars Drulle šoreiz ir nodarbojies ar kognitīvo kartēšanu, izstādes darbos ietverot gan topogrāfiski tiešu, gan estētiski un emocionāli abstraktu informāciju. Šī daudzslāņainība tiek atkārtota arī instalāciju vizuālajā valodā, izmantojot materiālus un tehnikas, kas ietver un uzsver procesualitāti. Rūsas “gleznojumi”, kinētiskās konstrukcijas un diapozitīvu projekcijas savā gausajā ilgstamībā atkārto lauku dzīves ritmu, distancējoties no digitālās high tech estētikas un tehnoloģiski efektīgiem paātrinājumiem – to vietā priekšroka dota amatnieciskām izteiksmes formām.
Strādājot pie izstādes “Manai Dzimtenei”, Ivars Drulle ir pietuvinājies tām mākslinieciskajām stratēģijām, ko Rietumu mākslas teorētiķi aprakstīja kā “Mākslinieka-antropologa” (Džozefs Košuts 70. gados) vai “Mākslinieka kā etnogrāfa” (Hals Fosters 90. gados) pieeju. Paralēli sociālantropoloģiskai dokumentācijai izstādes darbi ietver arī tiešu personisko pieredzi, ko radījusi ikdienas dzīve laukos. Līdz ar to autora lauku apkārtne izstādes darbos eksistē nevis kā pasīva, ģeogrāfiski konkrēta fiziska vieta, bet gan kā dažādu sociālo, vēsturisko un emocionālo procesu caurvīta mentālā telpa. Dziļākā līmenī šī mākslinieka un vides savstarpējā mijiedarbība tiek materializēta dārzā, ko Ivars Drulle ierīkojis vienā no drupām un virs kura uzstādītā videokamera visa gada garumā filmē saullēkta debesis. Kā veltījums kādreizējo māju iedzīvotāju sapņiem.

Santa Mičule
Manai Dzimtenei
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Manai Dzimtenei
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Kristīne Kursiša _ Ārpus kontroles _ 26.09. - 22.10. 2009.
Mūsu laika ikonas _ 27.10. - 14.12.2009.
ARCOmadrid 2010 _ Gints Gabrans _ 17. - 21.02. 2010.
Jānis Blanks _ Personālizstāde _ 27.03. - 30.04.2010.
Ivars Drulle _ Balstīts uz patiesiem notikumiem _ 27.04. - 10.06.2011.
Ernests Kļaviņš _ Karš starp titāniem un rūķīšiem _ 28.11. - 02.12.2011.
Krišs Salmanis _ Uzticēšanās trauslums _ 28.05. - 27.07.2012.
Andris Breže _ Miera Dzīve _ 5.10.2012. - 09.01.2013
Ivars Drulle _ Jums tūlīt atlaidīs _ 22.11.2013. - 24.01.2014.
Molekulārās Dzīves Metamorfozes _ 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 _ Haosa Harmonija _ 9.06.-5.09.2016.
Ēriks Apaļais _ Le Cygne _ 07.09. - 14.10.2016.
Ivars Drulle _ Manai Dzimtenei _ 30.11.2016. - 20.01.2017.
Amalie Smith _ ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ _ 10.04. - 19.05.2017.
Kopā viens EVELĪNA VIDA un ANDRÉ VIDA 29. 05. – 21.07.2017.
ĒRIKS APAĻAIS Institucionālās spēles 17.11. 2017. - 26.01.2018.
ArtBerlin 2018
Art Cologne 2018
Artissima 2016
ArtBrussels 2016
Art Brussels 2015
ArtBrussels 2014
ARCOmadrid 2011