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Latvian National Museum of Art Presents Padegs and Madame of Bourgeois Society

The Latvian National Museum of Art presents Padegs and Madame of Bourgeois Society. Open 4. NOVEMBER. 2011 – 15. JANUARY. 2012.

In the works of Karlis Padegs (1911–1940) that have become familiar to art lovers over the years, there is no place for subjects flattering bourgeois taste or for the academic canon. Nevertheless, as we await the artist’s centenary, it is worth looking back at his student years at the Latvian Academy of Art. To what extent was Padegs restricted by the academic programme and when did he give free rein to his spirit and the creative flashes of his already extraordinary persona. This is revealed in the work he did during his studies from 1928 to 1934.

The exhibition is based on a surprising discovery – some 30 drawings (portraits and sketches of figures) that until the end of the 1970s had been stored in the kitchen cupboard of a Riga apartment next to a potato basket. Alongside these study exercises, the exhibition features his “free” drawings that especially shocked his fellow female students. On show too is Padegs’ diploma work “Dock” (1934), challenging at the time and sharply differing from most of the works of the other students in Vilhelms Purvītis’ landscape masterclass.

Image: Karlis Padegs, Madonna of Marijas Street, 1932, Oil on canvas.

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