„ALL IS ONE” 16.sheet from 33 (1988) by Ilmārs Blumbergs, lithography 51/100, framed: wood/glass 14"x20’’

„ALL IS ONE” 16.sheet from 33 (1988) by Ilmārs Blumbergs, lithography 51/100, framed: wood/glass 14"x20’’
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 „ALL IS ONE16.sheet from 33 (1988), lithography 51/100, framed: wood/glass 14"x20’’ by Ilmārs Blumbergs (b Riga, 6 Sept 1943). Latvian painter,graphic designer and stage designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963-72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia's most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Zanna d'Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upits, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of glasnost with his illustrations for a translation (Riga, 1988) of the tragedies of Lucius Annaeus Seneca the younger (c. 5 BC-AD 65), in which he updated imagery of brutality with Soviet motifs, made more explicit in his two-volume book Via dolorosa: Stalinisma upuru liecibas ('Testimony of the victims of Stalinism', Riga, 1990-93), written with Anda Lice (Litsa; b 1941). These works have an immediacy and profundity for Latvians, who are represented in an untitled series of paintings (from 1993) as complicit in their fate as a subjugated people.

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