From December 4, 2014 the Mūkusala Art Salon presents an exhibition dedicated to the 120th anniversary of Latvian artist Ludolfs Liberts.
Ludolfs Liberts (1895-1959) was a painter, stage designer, professor at the figurative painting workshop at the Art Academy of Latvia, decorator at the Latvian National Opera, director at the State Paper Press and Mint. Liberts' activities were manifold, making it difficult to say, which of these fields best characterises his creative talent.
As stage and costume designer, director, Ludolfs Liberts has staged ca. 70 opera, ballet and operetta performances at the Latvian National Opera, Liepāja Opera, the National Theatre, as well as several other opera houses in Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania and Finland. It was his ornamentally brave, profusely colourful and occasionally kitsch stage painting that, as a medium, secured Liberts' popularity and helped build the myth of the artist, ensuring close links with his easel works.
Liberts achieved the widest recognition among the general public with his splendid paintings of European metropolises Paris and Venice as well as his vivid portraits of cultural and public figures. In his works he created idols for the affluent part of society, who spent holidays in Nice, took gondola rides on the Venetian canals, traveled to Paris Opera or visited museums in London. Liberts' professional achievements were based on his considerable working capacity, accomplished talent, individual vision and a sense for the times, attuned to the market economy, creating a product that had the biggest demand. During the first period of Latvian independence, it was held that the dining room of every wealthy citizen should include a painting of a European city by Liberts.
Having acquired education in Russia, after his return to Latvia Ludolfs Liberts continued to work in the style of the early 20th century Russian and French modernists, which in his oeuvre acquired at times ironic, at times admiringly emotional interpretation. Despite the popularity of his expressive depictions of European cities, Liberts also painted tonally muted landscapes of Latvia, dominated by his native land's meadows and birch groves, as well as views of Torņakalns. He also painted figurative compositions on traditional Latvian subjects, which mostly were of idyllic nature. Ludolfs Liberts with his family emigrated from Latvia in 1944. Having lived in Europe for several years, in 1950, together with other migrants, he arrived in New York, where he was able to make a living by painting and teaching at New York City College. In 1959 the urn with his ashes was buried in Green-Wood cemetery. After the restoration of independence, most of his works returned to Latvia.
The exhibition is dedicated to next year's 120th anniversary of the popular Latvian master.
The exhibition at the Mūkusala Art Salon presents Ludolfs Liberts' paintings and sketches for opera and ballet performances.
The exhibition is made in collaboration with the Latvian National Museum of Art.
The exhibition is on display until January 17, 2015.
Curator: Diāna Barčevska
Press image: Ludlofs Liberts “Girl with Flowers”. 1933. Oil on cardboard. 99,5 x 70,7 cm. Collection of the Mūkusala Art Salon. Photo: Jānis Pipars