Visionary structures, through the eyes of three generations of the Latvian avant-garde

The BOZAR in Bruxelles is hosting an exhibition on three different generations of Latvian avant-garde art through Russian Constructivism to the nineteen-seventies experimental design, as part of a larger scope on Latvian Art for this spring’s programme.

 

Valdis Celms_Architectural proposal Kinetic light object ‘Balloon’ (1978), Collection of the Latvian Artists' Union  © BOZAR

Valdis Celms_Architectural proposal Kinetic light object ‘Balloon’ (1978), Collection of the Latvian Artists’ Union

 

The Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels is hosting a comprehensive exhibition named “Visionary Structures – from Johansons to Johansons“, a three-stop journey through Latvian avant-garde art of the twenty and twenty-first century.

Through the works of three artists’ generations, from the Russian Constructivist 1920’s to contemporary avant-garde art, through the nineteen seventies Soviet revival in search of innovative forms and spatial experimentation, the retrospective organized by the Bozar in Bruxelles comprises works that comfortably sit on the edge of artistic research, reaching out to architecture, design and urban planning.

The exhibition, which will be open until the 31st of May, 2015 has been curated by Ieva Astahovska in partnership with the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art in Riga, as part of a larger programme organized by the BOZAR museum with the common theme of Latvian art, “Focus on Latvia“.

“Focus on Latvia” will bring Latvian Art to Brussels in two exhibitions: “Visionary Structures” and “Ola Vasilieva – The Limp of a Letter“.  Please download the full programme and exhibtion’s brochure, or read on for further information.

 

Valdis Celms. Kinetic Accent – Tower. 1978 Collection of Latvian Artists’ Union   © BOZAR

Valdis Celms. Kinetic Accent – Tower. 1978 Collection of Latvian Artists’ Union © BOZAR

 


 

Visionary Structures – from Johansons to Johansons

This exhibition traces a striking trajectory in Latvian art – a look at the most experimental and visionary artistic values of their day and their historical transformations. It is an encounter between artists and artworks belonging to different eras, yet allowing the viewer to perceive the legacy of ideas and common currents in the flow of art that have developed over time.

 

View of Constructivist Group’s Part of the OBMOKhU Exhibition in Moscow, 1921  © BOZAR

View of Constructivist Group’s Part of the OBMOKhU Exhibition in Moscow, 1921 © BOZAR

 

In the 1920s, artists Kārlis Johansons and Gustavs Klucis, who belonged to the Constructivists’ group in Moscow, responded to the challenge for art to create a new way to materialise the dynamics of social life. They were interested in experiments, which searched for revolutionary forms, and were driven by confidence that art would be able to embody a new world. Today, the works of both artists are part of the international avant-garde.

 

Gustavs Klucis. Construction. 1919–1920 Collection of Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga  © BOZAR

Gustavs Klucis. Construction. 1919–1920 Collection of Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga © BOZAR

Valdis Celms (1943) Design of the model for kinetic object 'Positron', proposal for a factory in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. 1976. Courtesy of the artist © BOZAR

Valdis Celms (1943) Design of the model for kinetic object ‘Positron’, proposal for a factory in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. 1976. Courtesy of the artist © BOZAR

 

The legacy of Constructivism and futuristic ideas returned to the spotlight in the 1970s, during the Cold War, when Latvia was one of the republics of the Soviet Union. There were several artists – among them, Valdis Celms, Jānis Krievs and Artūrs Riņķis – who were captivated by the quest for an alternative, ideal space and innovative forms. They came forth with surprising proposals for the residential environment in the city, in nature and even in outer space, which embodied the problems of the era and at the same time veered away from the real social space.

 

Artūrs Riņķis. Kinetic  painting EMU. 1984. © BOZAR

Artūrs Riņķis. Kinetic painting EMU. 1984. © BOZAR

Voldemārs Johansons. From series Emissions. 2011  © BOZAR

Voldemārs Johansons. From series Emissions. 2011 © BOZAR

 

At the centre of the works of the youngest generation of artists in the exhibition – Gints Gabrāns and Voldemārs Johansons – are quests that instead of cosmic dimensions delve into micro-realities. Through aleatory organic forms and systemic, ideal structures they interpret the complex processes of both the visible and the invisible reality. The flow of energy and space of imagination are synthesised in these structures, uncovering new visionary worlds.

 

Gustavs Klutsis (1895-1938) Construction. 1920-1921. Courtesy of the Latvian National Museum of Art © BOZAR

Gustavs Klutsis (1895-1938) Construction. 1920-1921. Courtesy of the Latvian National Museum of Art © BOZAR

 


 

Practical Information

Curator Ieva Astahovska
Artists Karlis Johansons, Gustavs Klucis, Valdis Celms, Janis Krievs, Arturs Rinkis, Gints Gabrans, Voldemars Johansons

Friday 24.04.15 / Sunday 31.05.2015
10:00 > 18:00

BOZAR
Centre for Fine Arts
Rue Ravenstein 23,
1000 Bruxelles

 


 

Images via BOZAR 
Further information on exhibition brochure