Coffee Cantata –
Solo exhibition by Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere
Latvian National Museum of Modern Art, LV
18.12.2019 – 02.03.2020

True Good Fabric - Woven and Embroidered Stories

Exhibition view, Photo: Andrejs Strokins

On December 18 at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design the solo exhibition COFFEE CANTATA of the famous Latvian textile artist Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere was opened. It is a dedication to the beloved artist’s Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere eightieth birthday and her fifty years of creative work.

Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere is one of the leading, most talented and also most popular textile artists in Latvia. The exhibition's seemingly unusual title, Coffee Cantata, was chosen together with the artist – as a reference to the fact that the aroma of coffee as well as music has always had a significant role in the long process of her work creation. It has another associative explanation – the artist's four part composition  of the same title is dedicated to the collection of poems Ceturtā grāmata [The Fourth Book] written by our poet Jānis Peters.

Already since the 1960s, her career has developed in close parallel with the formation of the Latvian school of textile art established by Rūdolfs Heimrāts. The artist is the most characteristic and artistically original representative of this school. Therefore it is impossible to pass them at the exhibitions without recognition and admiration. They always excell with creative thinking in terms of form, techniques and materials.

Similar to how Poland takes pride in the works of Magdalena Abakanowicz, France and the USA – in the textiles of Sheila Hicks, Latvia particularly highlights the oeuvre of Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere as a kind of cultural symbol. The "ensemble principle" established convincingly by the artist in the 1970s-80s is an innovation that has not lost its importance even today. The artist’s textile ensembles should be considered as worldwide achievements. Just like her imaginative form of expression – always emotional and poetic – irrespective of being executed in active colour or tonal moods.

The concept of the solo exhibition this time is focused on retrospective part of the artist's creative contribution, career legacy, with which Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere won over and charmed the public, beginning already with her very first extensive personal exhibition at the turn of 1978–1979 in Riga at the then Foreign Art Museum. Almost twenty large–scale compositions and textile ensambles reveal to viewers sources of artist’s inspirations and emotions. The exhibition includes all of her most important large-scale tapestries that have been inscribed in the "golden fund" (like Harmony, Riga, Germany, Sowing Time), as well textiles executed in mixed techniques (Corrida, Lifetime, The Third Generation, etc.), also large format textile ensembles (Universe, Coffee Cantata, Travel Notes) created in the 1970s-1980s. The exhibition is supplemented by works dealing with nature protection problems realized at the end of 1980s – beginning of 1990s. Also artist’s role in designing unique public interiors is of great significance.

The artist thinks and creates ceaselessly, still taking a very active part in exhibitions. She has held personal exhibitions, participated in many important international exhibitions - competitions (in Mexico, China and elsewhere), sectional shows. Her works have brought pleasure to Latvian viewers and proudly carried the name of Latvia beyond its borders in Aalborg (Denmark), Prague (Czech Republic), Tallinn (Estonia) and other places. They have been created for interiors, included in museum collections and also held in private collections. Alongside displays of public affection, Edīte Pauls-Vīgnere has received many awards, including, in 2014, the highest national distinction – Order of the Three Stars. The 1st place at the 6th Riga International Textile and Fibre Art Triennial IDENTITY in 2018 also has to be mentioned.

The exhibition holds also large-scale photos of reflecting artist’s creative work (photos by Jānis Kreicbergs, Oļegs Zernovs) and posters of her previous solo exhibitions.

 The exhibition is on view in the main exhibition hall of the Museum as well as in the both upper floor vestibules and creates decorative atmospheer. The scenography is created in tandem with the artist herself (exhibition designer Jurģis Krāsons). The artist’s works live in close bond with special light effects and her brother’s Raimonds Pauls composed music. The exhibition once again reminds us about the artist’s unique contribution to the Latvian culture. Those viewers, who already love her creativeness, for sure have a good chance to focus on her artworks, furthermore it will be a surprise to the younger generation and Riga guests.

Hopefully, the exhibition will bring pleasure to wide audience and will inspire our young artists. In the context of exhibition museum-talks and meetings with the artist take place.

more information:

text by Velta Raudzepa, curator of the exhibition, Mag. art., Latvian National Museum of Art, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design


Exhibition views, Photo: Andrejs Strokins

Latvian National Museum of Art
Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1, Rīga
LV-1010, Latvija

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