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08.09. - 11.09.2022 VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2022

08.09. - 11.09.2022

Kursalon Vienna

Johannesgasse 33, 1010 Vienna, Austria

Maksla XO Gallery  -   VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2022

Artists: Ieva Iltnere, Kristaps Zarins, Paulis Liepa, Peteris Sidars

Booth - A 06

For VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2022, Maksla XO Gallery took inspiration from Ieva Iltnere’s latest series of works “Embroidered Selfie”. Ieva Iltnere’s new works are about the confirmation of faith of an individual, of her as a painter – “I paint, therefore I live”.
The same notion applies to the works of other three exhibited artists, Kristaps Zarins, Paulis Liepa and Peteris Sidars. Confirmation for themselves and what they want to say to others. On the material side, there seems to be very little, but from the mental – a huge amount.

Artworks from Ieva Iltnere’s latest exhibition „Embroidered Selfie” attest to her ever-changing nature and passion for experimentation. Combining the seemingly incompatible, Ieva Iltnere documents this age with the means of subtle irony, social commentary and paradoxes, simultaneously revealing stories about her own artworks and personality. She asks – why am I here, what is the mission of an artist? On this occasion, for the technique of her expression Ieva Iltnere has chosen a thread-drawn line.
“A line can be created with a pencil; it can be done with a brush and paint. It can be ploughed with a tractor or by placing 100 cubes in a field… In my new works the line is created with needle and thread, sometimes just with a needle. One could say they are needle works. They gave me a feeling of equilibrium and solace.” - Ieva Iltnere, 2022.

Through his works, Paulis Liepa reflects on a wide range of philosophical questions and current events - starting from recent war collision points, to simple commonplace items and topics: street, internet, news, advertising. From one subtle character or sign, to an arrangement of characters that conceptually and substantively reveal the search for the truth, the struggle for spheres of influence, the control of geographical entities, the depths of the earth from their cross-sections, cynical, cold calculation, and humanity as an infinitely complex mechanism, where war, unfortunately, is an integral part of its existence.
The latest works from the series “Changes in Landscape Elements” talk about the movement of tectonic plates that slowly, but surely changes the order of things around us, causing us to change along them - both by accepting the natural course of things and impulsively reacting to external irritants. The disintegration and rebirth of matter, the oscillation of electrified waves in the air, or the convulsions somewhere nearby that awaken primal instincts, the senses are heightened and the world soon becomes almost black and white, sunsets turn blood red, and the evening breeze brings the smell of gunpowder.
The elusive moment of twilight, when the elements of the landscape turn into silhouettes, the details gradually disappear, the night birds start hunting; but somewhere over the horizon, new territories are occupied and new ranks assigned.
In his latest works Paulis Liepa has turned away from printmaking, creating a signature technique instead - using a plywood base, a layer of typography paint fits into the texture of the surface created with acrylic paint, highlighting details and accentuating the surface relief; thus turning these pieces into unique artworks that closely resemble paintings.

Kristaps Zarins’ painting always addresses the viewer with a form based on realism – a figure, body curves, turn of the head and facial expression, richness of colours and artistic provocation. The artist believes that in the present day and age art for art’s sake has disappeared. His art speaks and is created through dialogue, not monologue. The characters and imagery in Kristaps Zarins’ paintings, function like letters that make up the words and text of his paintings. Painting techniques help breathe life into the text. Kristaps Zarins believes, that an artist should endeavour to create a good comedy; in Plato’s “Symposium” artists also competed with each other to write the best comedy. In his opinion, a good example to strive for would be Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, which is a perfect balance of equal parts tragedy and comedy. In the period of the last two years the artist has created fourteen paintings in which there are incorporated elements from the works of several world renowned artists and sculptors. Each separate element embodies the culture and world view of a particular author, which Kristaps Zarins has absorbed and re-interpreted in his own artworks. He can recall being engulfed in art history since earliest childhood years, and this experience has manifested itself in his compositions. In a way, it is passing on the history of art through paintings to the viewer. Kristaps Zarins says: “If Haruki Murakami can write about an artist, even though he is not one himself, then I can also endeavour to explain my works in text so viewers can better understand my thought process behind every piece”- Kristaps Zariņš.

Peteris Sidars has been titled as one of Europe’s most innovative textile artists, the discoverer of new techniques, an avant-garde artist. Peteris Sidars is really a multi-skilled artist, fuelled by raw creativity. In his work, the artist uses clay, fire clay, wool, linen, textile-liquid waste, copper wire, parts of children metal constructors, optical fibre, compressed peat pots, hot glue, lamination technology, plastic alloys, natural materials – lush grass sea sponges, plant figures, feathers, snake skin, crow manure, paper, and plastic. He works in ceramics and tapestry, paints, creates objects, installations and digital graphics. Movement – it is the process of creativity, it needs dynamics and change. For Peteris Sidars, it was racing at discovering new textures of the world, constantly being surprised about them, a necessity for changes and movement of events. He is captivated by structures and materials, not narratives of substance. The artist avoids conceptualisation, remaining detached from constructions of artificial theories, but maintaining the openness to the process of “movement”.

On the 18th of April 2016 Mākslas galerija Māksla XO Ltd. has signed an agreement Nr. SKV-L-2016/57 with Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA)  for the project "International competitiveness promotion", which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.