Monday evening saw the opening of the “Important Contemporary Artists of Latvia” exhibition at The National Arts Club in Gramercy. The exhibit, running in NYC until April 20th, also makes stops at Washington D.C. and Chicago, before returning as the final exhibit (before renovations) at the Latvian National Museum of Art.
Seeking largely to showcase the diversely rich palette of Latvian artists, and fortuitously coinciding with the 21st Anniversary of Latvia’s Declaration of Re-Independence, the opening was an affair rife with swank, beauty, and copious artistry. Of particular note was the fact that the exhibit was comprised of selections from mostly female artists. Such Latvian greats as Daiga Kruze, Ieva Iltnere, and Inga Meldere were but a few showcased in an evening positively saturated with talent.
Upon conferring with host and organizer, Hamid Ladjevardi, concerning the selection process; he revealed it to be “a lengthy, majority-based endeavor of the most important contemporary artists, as determined by Latvia’s foremost art authorities." The evening’s focus revolved largely around the term “contemporary," in an attempt to elucidate the defining traits synonymous with Latvia’s current artistic movement: diversity, originality, and creativity. While limited solely to paintings, the scopes varied— from immense, wall-consuming canvases, to minute, yet poignant portraits—in a truly earnest rendering of the Latvian spirit.
The affair, while celebrating the continuing achievement of Latvian artistry, also included brief appearances by Latvian ambassadors Andrejs Pildegovics (to the United States) and Normans Penke (to the United Nations). Lending grander scope to the evening’s events, both ambassadors stressed their genuine pride at Latvia’s growing presence in the world—spearheaded (in many ways) by its achievements on the artistic front.
As this showcase only remains in town for two fleeting weeks, the time is nigh to experience the viscerally beautiful strain of art embodied by Latvian paintings. You can find viewing hours here. You can also check out our full photo set here.