An exhibition Džemma Skulme. Her Painting will be on view in the 4th Floor Exhibition Halls and the Cupola Hall of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) from 8 February to 5 April 2020.
The exhibition Džemma Skulme. Her Painting was planned for late 2018 with active participation of the artist herself. Time has intervened to make us complete this task with Džemma no longer around.
The exhibition is dedicated to the painting of Džemma Skulme – the artist’s great passion, love, work, meaning and play, a space for both conversing with herself and addressing the public. It highlights aspects of Džemma Skulme’s art, which not only describe her own biography, but also the history of Latvian art.
The exhibition is a unique opportunity to see Džemma Skulme’s abstract paintings, produced in the summer of 2019, as well as fragments of her notes, which were important to the artist’s creative process. Until the very end, each idea for the painter meant finding a solution to a task, and the new works are devoted to the materiality and independence of paint.
The exposition includes paintings from the group of collages, so important to the author, which talk about times of change – Caryatids or Notes on History [Vēstures piezīmes]. The paintings and documents give an insight into the volume of information involved in the creation of the content and form of the works made at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition also presents the most outstanding examples of Džemma Skulme’s monumental figural painting, which contributed significantly to the development of modern painting during the Soviet period and beyond.
The project’s public programme includes film screenings, musical pieces, literature readings, encounters and creative workshops.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Džemma Skulme (1925–2019) was born in the family of classics of Latvian Modernism, painter Oto Skulme and sculptor Marta Skulme. She graduated from the Department of Monumental Painting at the Art Academy of Latvia (1949) and the post-graduate course at Ilya Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg; 1955).
Džemma Skulme has regularly taken part in exhibitions and held solo exhibitions. She was the Head of the Artists’ Union of Latvia from 1977 to 1992, dedicatedly promoting modern art and contributing to the success of the Art Days. Džemma Skulme also played a role in the development of the National Awakening in Latvia and as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Congress of People’s Deputies took an active part in Mikhail Gorbachev’s democratic processes of perestroika and glasnost. In 1995, artist was awarded the Order of the Three Stars, and in 2019 – Purvītis Prize for Lifetime Achievement.
Džemma Skulme’s works are in the collections of the Museum of the Artists’ Union of Latvia, Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga, State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (Russia), Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University (USA) and private collections – Zuzāns Collection (Latvia) and abroad.
Džemmas Skulme passed away on 9 November 2019.