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  • 1910, Modernist tendencies (combining Neo-Primitivism and Expressionism with Symbolism and Post-Impressionism) following the exhibitions in Riga of the new Latvian Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, the Izdebsky International Salon, the St Petersburg group the Union of Youth and Voldemārs Zeltin (1879–1909). Vladimir Markov (Waldemars Matvejs, born in Riga [1] [2]), the principal spokesman for the Union of Youth (1910–14), publishes articles defending the group’s artistic experiments, organizes its early exhibitions and travels to Western Europe to establish links with the German and French avant-garde. His articles on the principles of the new art and his advocacy of a subjective approach through altered states of consciousness influence Kazimir Malevich, Filonov, Rozanova and Larionov.
  • Jēkabs Kazaks introduces African-influenced geometric and stereometric forms in 1916.
  • 1921, foundation of Latvian Academy of Arts with Vilhelms Purvītis as its first rector. He becomes the mentor of the great wave of 20s avant-gardists.
  • Rīga Artists Group. Association of painters and sculptors active from 1920 to 1940 (cubist period mostly in 1923-24). Oto Skulme (chairman of the group in 1923-39) exhibited the first Cubist composition in Rīga, Kompozīcija (Composition, 1920); soon after he was joined in his interest in Cubism by other members of the “Rīga Artists Group” – Romāns Suta (its first chairman), Jēkabs Kazaks, Konrāds Ubāns, Valdemārs Tone and others. These artists not only painted still lifes, but also depicted cafes, bars, scenes from the circus, vagrants and musicians. Through this a new range of the themes was introduced to Latvian art - motifs, images and the atmosphere associated with an urban environment and lifestyle. A new generation of art critics was formed. The most active mouthpiece for the spirit of the new era through his publications was Romāns Suta, who collaborated with Parisian modernists. He published his findings in not only Latvian magazines, but also in the Parisian journal “L’Esprit Nouveau”. Despite a changing membership, a relatively informal structure and internal disagreements about the specifics of a modernist agenda, the group projected a unified identity in its 13 exhibitions. Ironically, after their so-called Cubist show of 1923–4 and their joint exhibitions with the Group of Estonian Artists and the Polish constructivists of Blok (1924), realism was reappearing as an artistic force, and the members of the group were sharply berated by traditionalists who felt that their influences were outmoded. Shortly after, Suta and Aleksandra Belcova, the more liberal members, left to undertake projects influenced by Purism and Constructivism, while others turned towards realism.
  • Baltars porcelain factory (1924-1929) founded by Suta. Its ceramics combine Cubo-Constructivist motifs with Latvian folk subjects.
  • Gustav Klutsis, Aleksandr Drevin, Karl Ioganson left Latvia to participate in the Bolshevik experiment.
  • 1930s: Mūksala and Radigars (Spirit) groups. Though dependent on recent European developments, they combine decorative Cubist, Purist and Constructivist faceted and geometricized forms with an Expressionist tendency.


  • Alise Tifentale, Fotogrāfija kā māksla Latvijā / The Photograph as Art in Latvia, 1960-1969, Riga: Neputns, 2011, 166 pp. Excerpt. (Latvian)/(English)


Valdis Āboliņš, Riga Group (Rīgas grupa), Emissionists (Pollucionisti), NSRD (Nebijušu sajūtu restaurēšanas darbnīca; Workshop of Restoration of Unfelt Feelings)


Electronic music[edit]

  • NSRD, *1982, formed by Hardijs Lediņš, architect and DJ, and Juris Boiko [3], artist. Members were changing over time and included artists, architects, musicians, fashion designers, actors, etc. The group also created video installations, photography, video art. Active until 1989. Had a great influence on later generations of artists in the field of video art, video installations and performance art. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. Lediņš also had a solo act Sequi (1976-85).
  • Dzeltenie_Pastnieki, 1981–1987, 1989, 2002-present. one of the pioneers of new wave as well as reggae in the former Soviet Union. The music has ranged from guitar/bass/drums-based post-punk to minimal synthpop to experimental tape manipulation. Core members: Ingus Baušķenieks (bass, keyboards, vocals), Viesturs Slava (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Zigmunds Streiķis (keyboards) and Ilgvars Rišķis. [9]
  • Bedre, 1987-1990, synthpop/electronic punk group, Riga. Janis Sils, Jurgis Krāsons and Daniel Zaikins. [10]
  • t.u.m.s.a., *1986, minimal/synth and dark wave band. [11]
  • LLL, 1987-93, new wave / synth-pop band. Alvils Lūsis, Valdis Puriņš, Mārtiņš Rēķis, Ints Indriksons. [12]
  • Arturas Bumšteinas

Electroacoustic music[edit]

  • Rolands Kronlaks. Completed IRCAM composition and electronic music courses in Paris, where he studied with Phillipe Hurel, Marco Stroppa, Brian Ferneyhough and others (1998–1999). From 2004 to 2006 he studied composition with Hanspeter Kyburz and electroacoustic music with Wolfgang Heiniger at Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. [13]
  • Andris Dzenītis. EA works: Gutta, tape, 2001; Passia, tape, 2002; Landscape on a Dark Red, tape, 2002. [14]
  • New Music Festival Arena, *2002, Riga. In 2002, the first concert of electronic and electro-acoustic music in Latvia took place in the Latvian Radio Studio I. [15]

New media art, Net audio, Media culture[edit]




Raitis Smits, Rasa Smite, Jaanis Garancs, Ieva Auziņa, Mara Traumane, F5 group.

  • Art and Communication festival (*1996)
  • "Face the Unexpected: Media Art from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania" exhibition, Museum am Ostwall and the PHOENIX Halle Dortmund, May-July 2006, curated by Inke Arns and Kurt Wettengl [16]

RIXC electronic art and media center (formerly E-Lab; *1996)


Xchange (1997-2007), Ozone net radio (*1997), Rezone mailing list (*1997), RIXC/Net radio (*2000), server.

  • Acoustic space, 1998 and 1999. Net audio publications. Both issues are collections of net activists writtings, presentations and interviews focusing on subjects of networking, media culture theory, models of collaboation and exchanging experience in technological and creative process. Both issues are complemented by presentation of on media culture projects in Latvia and projects developed by international collaborative organisations and individuals.
  • Māra Traumane, "Words - Worlds. New Media in Latvia", Mare Articum 2 (7), 2000. Includes interview with members of E-Lab. [17]
  • Māra Traumane, "The Question of Changes: The 1990s in Latvian Art", 2002. [18]
  • Māra Traumane, "Interview with Mara Traumane on her research in Latvia". [19]
  • Face the Unexpected: Media Art from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, catalogue, 2006, [20]