14 January 2007

Auseklis Baušķenieks, 1910 - 2007

One of the leading figures of Latvian avant-garde painting, Auseklis Baušķenieks, died on Saturday at the age of ninety-six. He was attracted to visual art as a student of architecture at the University of Latvia in the 1930s and graduated from the Academy of Arts in 1942. After serving in the Latvian Legion and being held as a prisoner of war by the English, French, and Americans, he returned to Latvia in 1946. His first individual exhibition was in 1975. The target of Auseklis Baušķenieks' works, subjected to a warm but acerbic irony often suffused with strong, sad social commentary, quickly switched from homo sovieticus to consumerism and our troubled transitional democracy once independence was restored -- in "Pikets" ("The Picket," 1993), for example, the sign says "yes to us"... the banner behind it, "no to those and these." The painting above, entitled "Māte Eiropa" ("Mother Europe"), is from the Latvian Artists' Society -- other works by Baušķenieks can be found at his pages there and at Mans's Gallery. Auseklis' son Ingus Baušķenieks founded the then underground music group Dzeltenie pastnieki in the 1980s ("The Yellow Postmen" -- under the Soviets, the color of mailboxes was blue... the postal color is again yellow); the group still exists (a track can be heard here).

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2 Comments:

Blogger jams o donnell said...

Strange I am sure I posted a comment here yesterday! I gad never heard of him befdore but I will seek his work out. Thanks Peteris

15 January, 2007 22:31  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Unfortunately, Jams, all of the images available on the Internet that I could find are of woefully low picture quality -- I'll have to dig my scanner out of its box... er, once I find the box... and scan some of his work from a book.

16 January, 2007 04:23  

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