The exhibition "Art Nouveau. It’s Beginnings, Influences and Original Nature" will be on view at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga (Doma laukums 6) from 4 May to 5 August 2018.
Latvia stands out against the rest of the world’s mass of art and styles for its original Art Nouveau heritage. The rapid development of the largest Baltic metropolis, Riga, at the turn of the century, stimulated creative expression in the fantasies of architects, who developed the Art Nouveau idea in decoratively rich facade design, colorful interiors and the harmony of the overall image. Even though the Art Nouveau in Riga is undeniably original and splendid, its roots and concept are deeply connected with processes in the other European countries.
This exhibition is a story about the brightest expressions of Art Nouveau in Europe, visualized through painting, graphics, sculpture and the decorative arts. It marks out the beginnings, the roots and the flourishing of this style in Europe, allowing one to sense the originality of Latvian Art Nouveau more clearly, as well as showing the most prominent achievements from Art Nouveau metropolises. The exhibition is a coming together of different national schools with the goal of allowing its viewers to discover similarities, influences and differences on their own.
The exhibition is an interest in the essence of this style, with the works selected having retained their aesthetic value in the modern world. They have survived and still correspond to the understanding of the aesthetics of form and harmony of today’s viewer. It is an attempt to cleanse the playing field of sentiment, neoromantic exaggerations and hypersensitivity and to return to the beginning in the story about the harmony of nature and forms and the synthesis of different art forms.
The project will be developed with the cooperation of The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Musée d'Orsay in Paris, The Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe, The M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas.