Paulis Liepa (1978)
Paulis Liepa is a Latvian new generation graphic artist, who works with the most basic graphic techniques – collography and cardboard cut.
As experts and critics of modern and contemporary art point out, the works of Paulis Liepa, with their sign language that visually echoes the oeuvre of Russian (Latvian) constructivist Gustavs Klucis and in modernism based aesthetics, are outstanding from the mainstream.
The aesthetics of Paulis Liepa’s works have evolved from various influences of the modernist graphic culture of the 20th century, design, architecture and engineering blueprints, especially looking back at the visual aesthetics of the 60’s and 70’s, which the artist uses as his language of expression. To amplify this effect of “oldness”, Paulis Liepa exposes his work to direct environmental influences – coagulated layers of glue, cardboard pieces scratched with knife, layers of paint, one over another, creating a sense that the works have come from 60’s or 70’s, have been abandoned and forgotten somewhere and rediscovered today. With subtle irony about graphic artists’ obsession with perfect and aestheticized image, works of Paulis Liepa “overstep” this occupational etiquette. He’s not interested in editions of his works – it can only be two author proofs to maximum 7 exemplars, each of which will be different and unique.
Paulis Liepa, using seemingly neutral and unpretentious units, reflects on philosophical and current events in a wide range, starting from recent war collision points to simple everyday items and topics, which generally is a diary by the artist as a modern human: studio, home, street, Internet, news, advertisement…
This message is not chatty, it’s straightforward, clear, ironic and hearty at the same time, just as Paulis Liepa is in a conversation, everyday life and as a pedagogue at the Art Academy of Latvia, hiding within himself many layers as does his works.
In works of Paulis Liepa, we can distinguish only one subtle sign to a whole collection of signs, which conceptually and in their content are a search for the truth, a battle for spheres of influences, a control over geographical units, depths of the earth from their cross-sections, a cynical, cold calculation, and the humanity as an infinitely complex mechanism, where the war, unfortunately, is an integral part of its existence.
Paulis Liepa (1978) has graduated from the Graphic Department of the Art Academy of (1997-2003). He has arranged 14 solo exhibitions in Latvia, Estonia, Denmark and Russia, and since 1996 has participated in 60 group exhibitions and international projects in Latvia and abroad.
He has received prizes – Statutory Award of “International Print Triennial - Krakow 2012”, Krakow, Poland; Grand Prix of 9th Biennial of Graphics of the Baltic Sea Countries “Kaliningrad - Konigsberg 2008”, Kaliningrad, Russia; 1st Prize laureate of 8th Triennial of Graphics of the Baltic Sea Countries “Kaliningrad - Konigsberg 2005”, Kaliningrad, Russia.
Paulis Liepa works are in public collections – Latvian National Museum of Art (Riga, Latvia), Art Collection Deutsche Telekom (Berlin, Germany), KAI|10 Arthena Foundation (Dusseldorf, Germany), Simmons Contemporary (London, UK), Kaliningrad State Art Gallery (Kaliningrad, Russia).