Glass is a fragile, plastic and secretive material that can be used to produce traditional everyday objects, as well as innovative design objects and impressive art installations of the most unusual form. This one-man show by the artist and designer Artis Nīmanis offers a synthesis of original objects, visual effects, lights and sounds, thus opening the door to a ritual trip through the magical world of glass. The labyrinths are full of surprises, and visitors will learn about the diverse and changing nature of glass. The exhibition is based on the four basic elements of the world – water, fire, earth and air, as well as how they interact. Glass is made through the interaction of all of the elements, as well. The visual nature of the exhibition is strengthened by emotionally effective and sensuous acoustic effects – the natural sounds of water, fire, earth and air.
In recent years Artis Nīmanis has increasingly turned to innovative technologies for the processing of glass. These come from the space industry and are also used for projects at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States. The artist studied the nuances and specifics of these technologies and engaged in lengthy experiments before coming up with an original technique for his art. The process involves a vacuum in which glass is covered with a very thin layer of stainless steel, thus creating a mirror effect on the surface of the glass. To ensure greater magic in his work, the artist particularly focuses on lighting. Broken rays of glass ensure that the surface of the glass creates additional optic and illusory combinations.
The artist hopes that this will be more than just an exhibition of glass art and design objects, but also will be a space for meditation, offering visitors an experience of unique feelings and revelations.
Artis Nīmanis (b. 1978) is a designer and glass artist. He has graduated in 2006 from the Department of Visually Plastic (Glass) art at the Art Academy of Latvia and has taken part in exhibitions since 1998. Artis has taught at the Riga High School of Design and Art, where he chaired the Department of Glass Art.
Artis Nīmanis works in a wide range of artistic expressiveness. Since 2004 he has been the main designer of glass dishware for the an&angel brand. He designs glass objects and jewellery, and is engaged in various experimental projects, including kinetic ones. The artist has also dealt with more monumental projects such as glass design details for interiors and architectural objects, elegant stained glass windows, lighting units and skylight solutions. Artis’ range of expressiveness is based on his diverse experience with various advertising and design agencies such as DDB, Pieci ezeri, Sanders Ad Agency, Riga Design Studio and Prezenta International.
The aesthetic of Artis Nīmanis’ an&angel dishware is laconic and involves untraditional processing techniques for glass. It is layered with steel to create a surface with a mirror effect. an&angel collections such as Deco, Black & White, Northern Lights and In Between can be bought at a brand gallery in Riga, but also throughout the world, including Europe, Russia, the United States, South America, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. In 2013, the Deco collection received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award, followed by a German design award in 2014. The artist’s works are in the design collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art.
Artis Nīmanis has taken part in several group exhibitions and staged one-man shows in Europe, the United States, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, etc. In spring 2014, the Latvian Embassy in Washington, DC, has staged his solo exhibition Voice of a Latvian in Glass. In spring 2015, an exhibition has been presented at the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, which is one of the most prestigious art venues in the Mexican capital. The exhibition has been staged as an official diplomatic and culture event in Mexico while Latvia was the presiding country of the Council of the European Union. On 2 February 2016, Artis Nīmanis has opened a personal exhibition at one of Mexico City’s leading art galleries, Galeria Ethra.
Although Artis Nīmanis has exhibited his works all around the world, he has seldom done so in his motherland. He has taken part in a few group exhibitions, but his only one-man show was in 2009 at the A. Sūna Gallery. For that reason, the invitation from the Museum of Decorative Art and Design to organise a solo exhibition in the spring of 2016 was quite logical. The multimedia project FRAGILE will allow the audience to learn about the artist’s design and artworks. The exhibition will feature a special programme at Night of Museums on 21 May, when the interdisciplinary art studio IDEAGNOSIS will appear with a special performance.
The exhibition is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the an&angel and Glass Muse glass design brands, the Rewood Kuurkland and MD-darbnīca companies, the Pieci ezeri design firm, the Ir magazine as well as the Green Print Printing House.