Publications

Man in Art. - exhibition catalogue. - Riga: Maksla XO gallery, 2018. - p. 4, 13


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From 14–17 September, POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair once again shows its visitors at the Arena Berlin (Germany) what is important for the international art scene: discovering and rediscovering, quality and a discourse.

The displayed artworks don‘t chase after trends, but represent relevance and actuality. 83 exhibitors from 15 countries are once again showing their most important artistic positions and invite to take new perspectives. We selected  our TOP 5 artworks offering space for inspiration. 

1. Kristap Gelzis (Gallery Maksla XO, Riga)

Kristaps Gelzis (1962, Latvia) is an artist who is able to work in any of the available materials, technologies and mediums of nowadays – from classical drawing and watercolour painting to ready-made objects, high-tech materials, photography, digital prints, video etc. The chosen technique is closely linked with what Gelzis wants to say – the main idea of the work and the atmosphere of the time.

In 2012, Kristaps Gelzis came up with plastic paintings – his own author-technique, where the used materials are polyethylene and plastic tapes, adhesive tape and acrylic pigment.

Since 2015, Kristaps Gelzis’ plastic works have turn into paintings, where the brutal materiality of the polyethylene has matured in painterly structures, subtle colour tonality and layers of glaze.


2. Tom Butler (Gallery Heike Strelow, Frankfurt am Main)

Tom Butler’s works are based on Victorian cabinet cards, which he paints in a very delicate manner in gouache technique. He transforms the individual portraits with intricate shapes, patterns, or beings in painstaking detail. The inherent character of the cards, the clear traces of the past, and the appearance and the staging of the depicted persons encourage Butler to instinctively decide how he wants to change the object of origin.

“I am fascinated by the process of ‘conspicuous invisibility’: the simultaneous human desire to both hide and perform. In a visual way, I collect memories, thresholds and hiding places and attempt to re-manufacture them. My work expresses my natural inclination towards introversion and the opposition of displaying artwork essentially about hiding.”


3. Barbara und Michael Leisgen (Maus Contemporary, Birmingham, USA)

In their Mimetic works from the 1970s, a crucial moment in which the Leisgens’ works were a reaction against the conceptual photography coming out of Dusseldorf, Barbara’s gure becomes the writing-force within the landscape.

The body becomes a marker within the landscape, bisecting it, and accentuating its shapes.

As the recording of a natural trace, a research concerning the body and experiments related to Land Art, Barbara Leisgen’s silhouette is set, and leaves its feeting trace in landscapes.

The actions involve stretching out her arms to follow the contours of undulating countryside (the Paysage mimétique and Mimesis series), or to include the sun in an arc drawn by her arm while she is seen from behind in the center of the image.

This is not merely imitating nature through its gestures; it describes, in the sense of tracing, and channels it as well. The (re)appropriation of the landscape is subjective, the silhouette of Barbara Leisgen being displayed in the landscape, inscribing its mark therein is ephemeral.


4. Dieter Mammel, (Gerken Gallery, Berlin)

With the solo exhibition “near and far” the artist Dieter Mammel gives a comprehensive insight into his personal impressions and experiences in interaction with the political events of our time.

Escape, search, journey and location of the human being and the associated longing for arrival and acceptance are facing a loud, blind rage of self-aggrandizement and self-staging. Mammel sensitively commutes between those possible states of being, grasps the subtle emotional differences and similarities of excesses and thus provides a profound image of his, our world.

In the well-known monochromy of his tinged paintings, the portrayed characters appear against the wind and the weather, hurry and dwell surrounded by water and forest, look into the distance with their eyes wide open and search for knowledge.


5. Ernst Weil (Gallery Kremers, Berlin)

The work of Ernst Weil, born in Frankfurt am Main in 1919, represents a very independent position in the development of German post-war painting from classical modernism. He has lived in France for a long time and has been in contact with artists such as Picasso. There he developed a very authentic synthesis of French valeur painting and German abstract painting. At that time, as in the past, his originality is the strictly formal, yet expressive approach to form and color, which gives his compositions a distinctive and lively tension. In 1981 he died in Gran Canaria.

+ info: Positions

https://luxiders.com/top-five-artworks-positions-berlin-art-fair-2017/

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Kristaps Gelzis.- Riga: Maksla XO gallery, 2017.- 36. p.
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Light at the End of the Cable. Latvian Art in the Digital Era, Works from the State-owned collection of the future Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. –
Exhibition catalogue (Curator, Editor of catalogue, Author – Helena Demakova). – Riga: Society for the Formation of the Content of Riga’s Contemporary Art Museum,
2016. – 28.–21., 64., 73.–74. p.


"Kristaps Ģelzis “ Bedtime Story “ is a cycle of paintings created in mixed media. Viewed under ultraviolet light, the luminescent colours create a slightly spooky effect similar to the glow of a television screen. This work, created for the Cēsis Art Festival’s visual art exhibition “ Beauty”,  gives one a sense of the city’s lights and rituals, as can be seen in the form of the painted policemen. Dribbles of paint onto the floor continuation of the paintings. This work of art chimes with the theme of Kristaps Ģelzis’ exhibition with wich he represented Latvia at the 54th Venice Art Biennale: Artificial Pease ( Contemporary Landscape ). At the time, in his comments for the exhibition catalogue, Ģelzis explained that, The city is merely a foundation, a static point over wich natural and temporal transformations cease, never to return" - Helēna Demekova.
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Photo reportage from 16th International Vilnius Painting Triennial ‘Nomadic Images’ exhibition at the Museum of Applied Art and Design, Vilnius

http://echogonewrong.com/vilnius-painting-triennial-nomadic-images/

International exhibition of the 16th International Vilnius Painting Triennial ‘Nomadic Images’ presents invited artists from Lithuania and other European countries. The organisers adapt the wandering world vision articulated by the thinkers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, in which reality is constantly changing, and is described using notions of the rhizome and the labyrinth, to the field of contemporary painting. In this way, we can understand forms of painterly expression as a potential infinity that can take various configurations, grow freely, and develop in any direction. Innovation in painting, and changes in forms of representation, format and materials, are emphasized.

Artists participating in the exhibition: Alma Heikkilä (FI), Andris Vītoliņš (LV), Bronius Gražys (LT), David Schnell (DE), Eberhard Havekost (DE), Ewa Juszkiewicz (PL), Gintaras Palemonas Janonis (LT), Jan Poupě (CZ), Jens Fänge (SE), Jolanta Kyzikaitė (LT), Jonas Gasiūnas (LT), Jonas Jurcikas (LT), Kristaps Ģelzis (LV), Kristi Kongi (EE), Konstantinas Gaitanži (LT), Laisvydė Šalčiūtė (LT), Linas Jusionis (LT), Markus Åkesson (SE), Merike Estna (EE), Mihkel Ilus (EE), Mircea Suciu (RO), Mykola Belous (UA), Pieter Vermeersch (BE), Ragna Bley (NO), Rafał Bujnowski (PL), Ramūnas Čeponis (LT), Tomek Baran (PL), Žygimantas Augustinas (LT)
International Vilnius Painting Triennial is a continuous event organized by the Lithuanian Artists’ Association every three years since 1969 and it has become one of the most important events in the Lithuanian art scene. The Triennial has been a professional reflection of the main directions and tendencies in the development of painting. It has acted as a mirror of contemporary painting, and predicted its future.

Exhibition is on view at the Museum of Applied Art and Design until 31th December, 2016.

 

Kristaps Ģelzis, The River Incupe, polythene, plastic adhesive, acrylic pigment 2015. Patchwork, polythene, plastic adhesive, acrylic pigment, 2014
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Sussane Hudson. Painting Now.-
London: Thames & Hudson, 2015. – 26.–27. p.

 

Sussane Hudson. Painting Now.-
London: Thames & Hudson, 2015. – 26.–27. p.

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Personal Structures. Crossing Borders (Venice 2015). –
Exhibition catalogue (Ed. by Global Art Affaires Foundation, Palazzo More & Palazzo Bembo). – Italy: Global Art Affaires Foundation, 2015. – 82.–83. p.

 

     

  Kristaps Ģelzis

“Artificial Peace”Contemporary landscape. Episode V; 2015

I often find myself in the role of a visual detective, investigating and contemplating what I’ve observed. It's my artistic "time machine." At the same time, it could become the cemetery of my illusions. That makes me somewhat uneasy - the changing perspective is so obvious from a long experienced distance. Everything must change at some point. It does not help someone to be smart and capture impressions in the way you like. It is even harder to observe large forms changed by time, without your personal participation and in a frozen mood. More often there is nothing you can do to rearrange the flow.  

I feel that is the way the landscape works. You can leave it alone and trust it. It is always open to merge with your personal human voice. That is its beauty.

One can be sure, that the sand castle you made in your childhood on your favorite beach will soon be blown away by the sea wind, grain by grain. The transparent structure of a metal fence can appear and disappear as an artifact to the strong illusion of human activity fighting for personal spaces.

In my means of expression I engage in the search for and exploration of texture of recent times that surrounds us. I like to replace the whole material structure of traditional “painting” with an obviously artificial, synthetic package. It is an updated eternal repair process so typical of today.

Black polyethylene plastic for greenhouse structures to rationalize and speed up the expected growth process, or a disposable rubbish sack as canvas. Household adhesive that covers up and repairs all the carelessness of modern man, both brown and transparent. Double-sided sticky, tape to remove and transfer the arty acryl pigment fingerprints like the forensic investigators do.

Someone will say, it is so temporary! No. I will say it is not.

It is as temporary as the environment we live and work in now. My painting may be described as packing my troubled observations in a big box ready for moving to the next possible place.

Personal Structures. Crossing Borders (Venice 2015). –
Exhibition catalogue (Ed. by Global Art Affaires Foundation, Palazzo More & Palazzo Bembo). – Italy: Global Art Affaires Foundation, 2015. – 82.–83. p.

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Ornamentalism. Latvian Contemporary Art. Purvītis Prize (56th Venice Biennale).–
Exhibition catalogue (Commissioner of the exhibition Daiga Rudzāte, Curator Viktor Misiano). – Rīga: INDIE, 2015. – 50.–53., 87. p.

 

Ornamentalism. Latvian Contemporary Art. Purvītis Prize (56th Venice Biennale).–
Exhibition catalogue (Commissioner of the exhibition Daiga Rudzāte, Curator Viktor Misiano). – Rīga: INDIE, 2015. – 50.–53., 87. p.
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Purvītis Prize 2015. –
Exhibition Catalogue (the Exhibition Hall Arsenals of the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga / Latvia). – Rīga: INDIE, 2015. – 26.–29., 48. p.

 

 

Purvītis Prize 2015. –
Exhibition Catalogue (the Exhibition Hall Arsenals of the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga / Latvia). – Rīga: INDIE, 2015. – 26.–29., 48. p.
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Nord Art 2013. International Art Exhibition. –
Exhibition catalogue. Kunstwerk Carlshütte, Schleswig-Holstein, 09.06.–06.10.2013). – Germany: Kunst in der Carlshütte gGmbH, 2013. – 45. p.

 

Nord Art 2013. International Art Exhibition. –
Exhibition catalogue. Kunstwerk Carlshütte, Schleswig-Holstein, 09.06.–06.10.2013). – Germany: Kunst in der Carlshütte gGmbH, 2013. – 45. p.

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Grafik aus Lettland. – Exhibition catalogue (Grafik Museum Stiftung Schreiner, Bad Steben, Germany). - Bad Steben: Grafik Museum Stiftung Schreiner, 2012. – 20.–23. p.

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KRISTAPS GELZIS ” PACKED/ UNPACKED”

Normunds Naumanis.                    2012. gada 12. marts

http://www.diena.lv/sodien-laikraksta/izpakots-iepakots-13936254


For Kristaps Gelzis 2011th year has been busy and productive. For his large scale water colour paintings in the personal exhibition „Maybe” artist received the most prestige and major award in Latvian art world “Purvītis Award 2011”, presented Latvia in 54th of the Venice Biennale with a great large scale paintings in acrylic technique which was lighted up with a fluoroscent lamps. Also, artist has finished the black drawing collection for prospective Lipkes` memorial in Riga, Kipsala, which is planned to open this year and

Kristaps Gelzis lates achievement - eight new artworks in the gallery ”Māksla XO”. Again large scaled ”paintings” created in that sort of way and with that kind of means of expression that this method deffinetly could be caled an author technique. Insted of canvas and wood these frames are disposed with a plastic polythene, but on them are spread different synthetic materials ”colours” or structures. In some kind of way it is an incitement which makes to ask this uncomfortamble question - but whether it is an art? However, Kristaps Gelzis message is powerful - surprisingly quickly a head is transfusing an associations with classic Ginter Iker and his ”nail art” or American garbage art.

Artist admits that exchibitions are set up by himself and that he has this professional  ”click” that makes to control all of the process from beginning till the end. Kristaps Gelzis accents: ” But in this exhibition is no such a urban message – only crtics have one. These works are result of my contemplations – how I have done things untill now and how I would like to continue. I could make draw or paint a new pictures just like that - in a snobbish, glamorous way, carefully, so if the painting would be haning on the wall everbody would understant immediately - yes, this is a painting! But the thing is that I like to speek with spectators right away, operatively and fast – if I can not do it with oil colours than I will take an other material. It is necessary to speak with spectator and it is necessary to do it actively because art is also a fight for a public attention. Therefore, I created a pictures which are made of plastic compleatly. Great pictures. I could not take a picture for one in my workshop, there was no place enough. Five multiply two, three multiply two meters – such measures. And it is not an oil colour painting or a good looking water colour painting.

Speaking about the imporatnce of these paitings in a longer period of time artist tells: ” While ago in my contry side I was diging a ground and I found some polythene – for more than 20 years it had lain under the ground, but when I took it out it stil looked like compleatly new. Therefore, the material of these paintings will be eternal, there is no reason to be worred about that. There is no way how a painting could decompose, but all the defects – crumpling, remants will be and will benefit the pictures. I like the fact that pictures are ”incomplete” the look that the picture itself is coming out of the frame.”

But in the same time artist makes public to think widely: ” Take a look on enviroment in wich we live! Everything is spoiled – everthing is plastic, chemicals, garbage mountains. However, I like the beauty of this terrible material. I only carry on what I started, there is no any tremendeous technological surprises for me. I used to make a works out of shiney metal wires, very esthetic. When I was in a process of making believe me I was not thinking of starving children who are dying beyond a barbed wire entanglement – that is the first association which would come up for everybody if they hear a word wire. Now this beauty of life goes on with plastic paintings, with Rimi, Maxima and Sky plastic bags, black plastic polythenes for greenhouses from the gardening shop Depo, scotch, drawings with a marker. Red, blue, black, green markers, as needed.

I know it sounds a little bit heartless. People will walk in the gallery and think that pictures still are not unpacked, there still hangs some paces of scotch...The approach is only one – I am looking for nowadays facture. Facture that testify the time, so that form of expression is typical to this period. Also, in a thematic everything conforms – ”artificial peace” this misleading feeling that something is not really okay. As a human in this pictures I find pure state of mind – world and enviroment like an eternal repair which serrounds us. Eternal noise. Everthing is not really packed or unpacked, someting like a life on trunks, interim existence. But technologically these paintings are created with a look at least for fifty years, I quarantee. Still, for so long period of time nowbody is investing at least in Latvia.

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  Artist Kristaps Ģelzis winner of  2011 Purvītis' Award

 

Kristaps Ģelzis was selected for the second biannual Vilhems Purvītis' Award out of eight equally-gifted Latvian artists for his solo exhibition at "Māksla XO" Gallery (15.10.-03.11.2009.) titled "Varbūt" ("Maybe").

The jury of 10 experts noted Ģelzis' "ironic game for the intellect combined with virtuoso command of technique. ... He proves the significance of water-color and drawing in an era where everyone considers them anachronistic."

The outstanding achievement of eight finalists in 2009/2010 - Ģelzis, Ilmārs Blumbergs, Kristīne Kursiša, Imants Lancmanis, Kaspars Podnieks, Mārtiņš Ratniks, Inta Ruka un Krišs Salmanis, was judged by the jury, and their works can still be viewed at the competition's exhibition at LNMA's "Arsenāls" in Riga, Torņa ielā 1, through April 10.

The exhibit's curator is Daiga Rudzāte.

The previous and first winner of the Purvītis Award in 2009 was Katrīna Neiburga for her video installation "Solitude".

 http://www.kultura.lv/en/actualities/1681/

 

 

Kristaps Gelzis will represent Latvia at the 54 La Biennale di Venezia.

 www.biennale.lv

Kristaps Ģelzis. Artificial Peace. Contemporary Landscape”, the Latvian Pavilion at the 54th La Biennale di Venezia.
Exhibition Catalogue (Commissioner Daiga Rudzāte, Deputy Commisioner Paivi Tirkkonen, Curator Astrīda Rogule). – Riga: INDIE, 2011. – 39 p.

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Iltnere, Anna. Kristaps Ģelzis. – Rīga: Studijas Bibliotēka, Neputns, 2010. – 144 p. 

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The 2009–10 Sovereign European Art Prize
(Exhibition catalogue). – London: The Sovereign Group, 2010. – 34.–35. p.

 

The 2009–10 Sovereign European Art Prize
(Exhibition catalogue). – London: The Sovereign Group, 2010. – 34.–35. p.