Reflections of the Era. Latvian art in the collection of Rietumu Bank

29 March 2023, 13:15

An exhibition of paintings by Latvian artists from Rietumu Bank’s collection will be open at the Art Museum Rīgas Birža from April 28 to May 28. The exhibition will feature around 50 artworks created in the period from the 1920s to the 1990s, including some that will be exhibited for the first time.

The upcoming exhibition closes a series of events marking the 30th anniversary since Rietumu Bank started servings its first customers in the autumn of 1992.
“We will be glad to show to fine art lovers and experts the best works from our collection that have been selected in collaboration with the museum’s specialists. The bank is justifiably proud of its collection, which has long become part of our identity. And works by Latvian classical artists take a central place in it.

Rietumu Bank’s collection is well-known in our country, but until now only the bank’s employees and customers have had the practical opportunity to see its best part, and they know that the paintings and sculptures have been placed in our offices – they work alongside us, creating an atmosphere for creative intellectual work.

Many of these paintings have not left the walls of the bank’s building for years, and the upcoming exhibition makes them accessible to a wide range of Latvian fine art lovers. On behalf of Rietumu Bank, I wish them to enjoy the exhibition and get a shot of creative energy, which is so necessary for all of us in our everyday life and work,” says Jeļena Buraja, Chairman of the Board of Rietumu Bank.

“For the exposition of this exhibition, a selection of 20th century paintings by Latvian artists has been chosen, because it depicts the existential reality of this age, which is reflected in the European art tradition, but with a Latvian perspective and touch. It melds the emotions felt by the artist and the viewer, and it is about the passion to live, thanks to or despite the age.

Landscape and still life are among the most popular subjects of the paintings in the collection, which also describes the cultural environment. Just like objects and flowers, forest horizons, river coves, the seaside and urban scenes have the power to actively manifest the spirit of a creative personality. These motifs inspired Konrāds Ubāns, Aleksandra Beļcova, Ludolfs Liberts, Eduards Kalniņš, Leo Svemps, Rūdolfs Pinnis, Valdis Kalnroze, Imants Vecozols and many others. In turn, people in all their guises have always fascinated Jānis Ferdinands Tīdemans, Jānis Pauļuks and Džemma Skulme. As tends to be the case with private collections, the link that connects these works is personal and subjective, where pragmatic considerations go hand in hand with irrational impulse – I like it, and that is all that matters. At the same time, it is an important part of Latvian art history, which is now temporarily publicly accessible, because ordinarily these works of art are located in the bank's working premises.

The decision to accent cultural values on the occasion of its anniversary is logical – Rietumu Bank is a long-standing supporter of various art projects. In collaboration with the bank, the Latvian National Museum of Art has organised major exhibitions and published catalogues including Metaphysics of Light. Paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky (2021), The Times of Léon Bakst (2016), the biggest exhibition in Latvia to date of works of jewellery from the House of Fabergé (2012), Belgian Art. Early 20th Century. Collection of the Museum of Foreign Art (2010), 19th– 20th Russian paintings from the LNMA collection Truth and Beauty (2009), Indonesian Cultural and Crafts Days (2009), Sèvres Porcelain. 18th-21st Century under the auspices of the French Spring Festival (2007) among others,” specialists from the Art Museum Riga Bourse say in the annotation to the exhibition

Article by Jelena Buraja in Forbes

Forbes magazine have published in its Latvian March printed issue and on its website an article written by Chairman of the Board of Rietumu Bank Jelena Buraja.

24 March 2023, 12:00 Charity & Sponsorship