From 15 January to 3 April 2022, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (Skārņu iela 10) will host a personal exhibition by Latvian glass artist Anda Munkevica Crossroads.
Anda Munkevica is the leading glass artist in Latvia, having worked in this medium for more than thirty years. She embodies existential reflections and examines ethical dilemmas in allegorical and symbolic images. The artist’s ambitious spatial installations and extended cycles of work are characterised by philosophical contemplation. Anda Munkevica fluently applies a broad spectrum of technological treatments of glass. Glass is tinted, molten, bent, constructed, cut, torn, polished, engraved and treated in many other ways, stepping into the field of original solutions. With remarkable mastery, artist uses the material’s plastic and visual properties and composes the interplay of colour and light, creating a unique sensuality that belongs to glass alone. Sculptor Gleb Panteleyev believes that “her works vividly reveal what is sculpturally significant”.
Anda Munkevica’s personal exhibition Crossroads at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design presents compositions created over the past five years. Most of the works have been created especially for this show. The project’s main thematic motif is the moment of transition, a crossroads. These are crossroads of time and crossroads of action, when we encounter existential challenges and no external markers help us find our direction – we are forced to look inside, to ask questions from our conscience, make our choices and find the light for the way forward.
The crossroads theme in the exhibition plays out in two large compositions. The installation The Identity Path and the set Under the Spell of Time consisting of three series:The Black Horses, The White Horses and The Blue Horses. So-called Horse series juxtapose peace, reconciliation, eroticism and tender harmony with creativity, restless spirit, power, and destruction. These allegories represent the full circle of life – with its periods of stability and moments of divergence – the full cardiogram of life. The installation Identity Path depicts a sort of purgatory – a ritual that guides the viewer through an experience of a twist of fate, at first breaking you down but then, gradually, leading to a rebirth and new ascent. Other works, including Society, Sisyphi, Observers, expand on the exhibition theme, linking it to different aspects of social reality or encouraging to appreciate the timeless qualities of the artworks on display.
“For over 30 years, glass has been like a partner to me. With a special and unique communication between us. Why glass? I work, live and think in this material. It simultaneously is strong and fragile, fiery and icy. A material that does not forgive mistakes. It takes time, effort, sweat and tears, giving joy, a feeling of celebration and indescribable happiness in return. I use this material to reveal the space of thoughts and feelings, its inner structure and essence, and to fill it with light,” says Anda Munkevica about her enduring interest in this material.
About the artist
Anda Munkevica graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia’s Department of Glass Art and Design under Professor Tenis Grasis Jr. and Arnolds Vilbergs (BA, 1998) as well as Bruno Strautiņš (MA, 2001), while in 2021 she earned a second Master’s degree, graduating from the Department of Sculpture.
In the late 1990s, Anda Munkevica went to further her knowledge in the USA – at Eastlake Glass Studio and Pratt Fine Arts Centre as well as Pilchuk Glass School, founded by Dale Chihuly, under American artist Curtiss Brock and Czech glass artist Jan Mares. Having returned to Latvia, Anda Munkevica together with her husband founded the glass design company AM studio, which she has been heading for 20 years.
The artist has held 14 personal exhibitions in Latvia and abroad, having taken part in more than 60 group exhibitions, festivals, biennials and symposia in 19 countries. Anda Munkevica’s works are held in museums in the USA, Belgium, Japan, Russia, China, Ukraine, Hungary, Germany as well as in Latvia – in the collection of the Museum of Decorative Art and Design, the collections of other organisations, institutions and private individuals.
Organiser of the exhibition:
Latvian National Museum of Art / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design
Anda Munkevica, glass artist, founder of AM studio
Iliana Veinberga, art scholar
Inese Baranovska, Head of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art
Austra Stupele / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art
Eltons Kūns / Latvian National Museum of Art
Dainis Kļava / VFS
Sandra Zaiceva / Zirgzandales
Activities with sand:
Sand solutions in artworks:
Artūrs Igoveņš / Dizainstudija A
Uldis Timoško / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art
Technical solutions, construction:
Oskars Plataiskalns / Dekorāciju darbnīca Ltd.
izstādes izglītības programma:
Dārta Dīriņa / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art
Agrita Pore / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art
Anete Piņķe, Communication Specialist / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art
Gratitude for suggestions about the exhibition design:
Valentin Pyetko, Bruno Strautiņš, Dainis Gudovskis, Margarita Budze, Martins Vizbulis