On September 18, 2020 from 6 to 10 PM the opening ceremony of a monograph about the great Latvian conceptual artist Sarmīte Māliņa took place in Alma Gallery.
“It’s harder to write about things that cause true emotional experience. Especially it it’s caused by art that is short in words. In such cases, there comes a desire not to think about what is around you, but only and solely about the artwork itself. It is harder not because you have to dislodge your mind to find the right words, but because when you write about art that is affecting to yourself, something forces you into making excuses. As in the moment after confessing one in love. This dissonance in me is caused by Sarmīte Māliņa’s works.” writes Tomass Pārups, the author of the monograph.
This book is the first edition which summarises all the works of Sarmīte Māliņa that have preserved a visual evidence, starting with reproductions of watercolours from the time when Māliņa was studying in the Art Academy of Latvia, to completely recent objects and installations. The range of works also includes illustrations and cover designs for the “Avots” magazine, whose artistic director she was from the late 1980s until the liquidation of the magazine at the beginning of the 1990s.
The texts in the book intersect with reproductions of artworks, photographs from Māliņa’s personal archive, project sketches, cuttings from press releases and conversations with people that are close to her. All these materials help to realise the life and artistic activities of Sarmīte Māliņa, providing an insight into the work of this remarkable artist.
Sarmīte Māliņa entered the contemporary art scene in Latvia in the early 1990s, participating in ambitious group exhibitions that challenged the visual art conventions that existed at the time. Along with the work of Kristaps Ģelzis, Ojārs Pētersons, Oļegs Tillbergs, Andris Breže, etc., Sarmīte Māliņa stood out with a pronounced laconism. The 1990s represent a particularly important period for Māliņa, which is also analysed in the texts of the book.
In honour of the publication of the monograph, an exhibition of the artist’s most familiar works was held in the Alma Gallery from September 18 to 31, 2020.
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