The exhibition is conceived as a commentary on the painter Indulis Zariņš’ anniversary exhibition and reveals the circle of his contemporaries, who studied and started their creative activity in the latter half of the 1950s alongside Zariņš. It was a time when many strong characters and bright individualities entered the art scene, and it coincided with the transformation of the totalitarian system of Stalin’s cult into the Khrushchev Thaw. With the expanded understanding of Socialist realism Latvian painting developed and began to modernise. A movement towards simplification and synthesis of forms, abstraction of representation can be traced. The artists of the new generation melded with those currents of Soviet art, which the official art theory labeled the harsh style which formed as a reaction to post-war naturalist realism and brought generalisation of content and form, imaginative metaphors. Relative colour combinations, simplified volumes, rhythmic composition and reduced spatiality became popular. Figures were often highlighted by their construction, forms were built with broad impasto brushstrokes and made from large planes of colour.
Works from the collection of the Mūkusala Art Salon.
Image: Boriss Bērziņš. Still Life with a Mandolin. 2000. Oil on cardboard. 55,3 x 69 cm (Photo: Jānis Pipars)