TUESDAY – FRIDAY 12 – 18, SATURDAY 12 - 17
The unusual personality and vivid talent of MAIJA TABAKA, after 40 years
of active contribution to Latvian painting, still gives rise to debate as
intense as it was at the beginning of her artistic development. Provocatively
alien to the mainstream of Latvian painting of the 1970s, her art retains to
this day its aureole of an off-beat phenomenon.
The artist had formed her own independent style of painting in the
seventies when appeared characteristic figural compositions with portraits of
the main heroes, detailed depiction of the environment, interiors and costumes.
The people in her paintings personified the urban culture of the new age and
demonstrated that which officially endorsed art was careful to hide: interest
in the private world and social escapism. Maija Tabaka was interested in young
people who stood completely aloof from the ideals of the ruling ideology and
were instead attracted more by the achievements of Western capitalism in rock
and jazz, in contemporary design, art and undeniably also fashion. Glamorous
figures, use of cinematic techniques: spotlighting the faces and attaching
great importance to details, special costumes, staged unreal situations, the
simultaneous representation of many layers of reality were characteristic to
the images of Maija Tabaka’s paintings.
Success came to Tabaka surprisingly soon, most demonstratively in the
international context. Thus, she participated in the 40th Venice
Biennale, won German Academic Exchange Service DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer
Austausch Dienst) scholarship competition (1977), judged by the jury of the
Kassel Documenta of that year, and also became friends with the Fluxus artist
Wolf Vostell and Valdis Āboliņš, an activist of the movement and important
figure in West Berlin art structures, entering into a long-lasting
correspondence with them.
Many times the artist has participated in exhibitions representing
Latvian art abroad (exhibition „Riga – Lettische
Avantgarde” in Berlin (1988), 3rd
International Art Exhibition “20 Realists from the Soviet
Union” in Düsseldorf (1973) etc.)
1979 saw an exhibition of Maija Tabaka’s work at the West Berlin
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, in 1984 there was a solo exhibition at the Central
House of Artists in Moscow, in 1992 – a solo
exhibition at the State Museum of Art in Riga.
The artist’s works were shown in numerous solo exhibitions at
Maija Tabaka’s works are found in collections of the State Museum of Art
(Riga), the Artists’ Union of Latvia Museum (Riga), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow),
Berlinische Galerie (Berlin, Germany), JaneVoorheesZimmerliArt Museum in RutgersUniversity (New Brunswick, New Jersey,
USA) as well as
in many private collections.
Artworks which have already become iconic, such as „Wedding in Rundāle”
(1974), „Women” (1974), „Artist Wolf Vostell with His Family” (1978),
„Basketball. TTT” (1980), „Self-Portrait” (1981) were shown at the White Hall
of the State Museum of Art. These paintings demonstrate the influence of
photorealism because in the distant 1970s Maija Tabaka and a group of
like-minded fellows – Bruno Vasiļevskis, Imants Lancmanis and others – had
stable interest not only in Western European painting but also in American
photorealism and its different manifestations.
The tone of the exhibition is set by an artwork known only from
reproductions – „Portrait of Maija Tabaka” made in 1978 by the world-famous
German artist Wolf Vostell. The artist characterizes precisely the personality
of Maija Tabaka and her artistic interests, combining the image of a Romantic
beauty with a cool analytical gaze and a symbolic photo camera at the centre.
Riga Gallery will exhibit fourteen large-size paintings by MAIJA TABAKA. Several
important artworks painted during the Berlin Period will be on view, such as „Jungle”
(1977), portraits of the Latvian actress Regina Razuma, some paintings from the
Gypsy series that got lost for a variety of reasons or ended up in important
private museums and collections.
Exhibition curator and exposition concept author – art historian, Riga
Gallery Director Inessa Rinke.
2000 - Three-Star Orden of the Republic of Latvia
-Ministry of Culture
Republic of Latvia Award for lifetime contribution to national culture care
2004 - Freeman of the Jurmala city
1984 - Artist of Outstanding Public Service of
the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
Selected Public collections:
Museum of Art, Riga / Latvia.
Union of Latvia Museum, Riga / Latvia.
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow / Russia.
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin / Germany.
Museum, Cologne / Germany.
Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick / New Jersey /
Greatest Private collections:
Gulbis’ private collection, Riga / Latvia.
TABAKA.Solo exhibition in the State Museum of Art. Riga: Riga Gallery, 2004
TABAKA. PAINTINGS. Riga: LIESMA, 1983
Latvijas sievietes kultūrā un politikā. Riga: Latvijas Universitāte, 2008
of teh Baltics: The Struggle for Freedom of Artistic Expression under the Soviet,
1945-1991.Ed. by Alla Rosenfeld, Norton T.Dodge. London: Rutgers Iniversity
Glezniecība: 1945-1985 Plus [catalogue]. Ilze Konstante. Riga: Doma, 2000
The Joy of Being [catalogue]. Riga: Valsts
Mākslas muzejs, 2000
Art: Contemporary Paintings and Sculptures: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
[catalogue]. Washington, USA:World Premiere Baltic Art Exhibition, 2000
Art. The Soviet experience, 1956-1986. The Norton and Nancy Dodge
Collection.Ed. by Alla Rosenfeld, Norton T.Dodge. London: Themes and Hudson.
Aija. Latviešu jaunākā glezniecība. Riga: LIESMA, 1981
– latviešu avangards [catalogue]. Berlin: 1988. — 80.
M o r e a b o u t e x h i b i t i o n:
LTV : http://www.ltv.lv/zinas/kultura/maksla/m.tabaka-atgriezhas-pie-pazudushajam-gleznam.a16016/
Первый Балтийский Канал: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DdWP1fBDao&list=UUn3q3cjJySiU4d3NiGDse2g&index=6&feature=plcp
LA.LV / Video: Katrīna Krīgere: http://la.lv/index.php?option=com_avizevideo&id=1286&Itemid=197&limitstart=182
KULTURA DELFI http://kultura.delfi.lv/news/art/fotoreportaza-regina-un-citi-maijas-tabakas-izstades-atklasana.d?id=42776748 APOLLO.LV http://www.apollo.lv/zinas/foto-maijas-tabakas-izstades-atklasana/537328