From April 1 until May 15, 2022 an exhibition “Sadura”, dedicated to expanded painting is on view at the PAiR residency gallery (E. Šneidera laukums 11, Pāvilosta). The show includes works by Jānis Dzirnieks, Andris Eglītis, Sarmīte Māliņa, Elza Sīle, Jānis Šneiders and Aija Zariņa from the collection of VV Foundation. Curator of the exhibition is Auguste Petre. The central focus of the exhibition is the dialogue that has been developed though the notion of expanded painting – questions and answers about relations that exist between particular pieces of art, between art media, and between painting and the 21st century. Questions and answers existing between those artists of different generations, that have found themselves in one room.

Foto: Ansis Starks

Expanded painting is a concept raised in the world history of arts more than 70 years ago, as artists and art theorists revalued the disappearance of the formal boundaries of painting, the almost literal merger of this medium with sculpture, object art and various expressions of conceptualism, including performing arts. As innovative media have been established, the role of painting has been subject to revaluation and discussion several times – Latvia has not been an exception either, where this medium is perceived as “traditional” and failing to comply with the notion of “contemporary” art. There was a period, when a timid idea occurred, which stated that the era of painting had gone and, in the nearest future, it would be replaced by virtuality with its limitless boundaries.

Foto: Ansis Starks

However, reality shows that the options of painting are also limitless and extensions of painting can be found everywhere. The selection of different material (dirt and mud in the works of A. Eglītis, epoxy resin in the objectual paintings of J. Dzirnieks; wooden boards used by S. Māliņa and J. Šneiders; metal and toothpaste in the creative practice of E. Sīle; or canvas and oil in the painting of A. Zariņa) is only one of the techniques at the disposal of the artist, in order to develop and expand technique. The importance of painting is no longer hidden in the form and content alone; currently technical versatility, awareness of colour and composition have been put on a pedestal alongside the former. Do not live without painting, everything is small without it. 

The concept of this exhibition has been designed as a dialogue of three pairs of artists – mutual communication or extensions of art within the “white cube” of PAiR gallery consist of the works from the collection of VV Foundation by Andris Eglītis and Jānis Dzirnieks, Elza Sīle and Aija Zariņa, as well as Sarmīte Māliņa and Jānis Šneiders. Each of these artists addresses the notion of painting and space differently, but all of them are united by appreciation of the architectonics of visual arts and expansion of media. Meanwhile the composition of the exhibition reveals that a dialogue is maintained by all pieces of art jointly and colour can be considered as an unequivocal initiative for this communication.

Foto: Ansis Starks

The word “Sadura” used in the title is borrowed from the building sector, where this word is used to denote the site of connection of two elements of construction. In the context of the exhibition, this emphasises painting as an opportunity for establishing contemporary thought and visualisation, as well as the need for the expansion of inclusive communication, not only between art and the observer, but between different media as well. 

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