27.04.2024. - 28.07.2024.
Latvian National Museum of Art

In the Name of Desire

From 27 April to 28 July 2024, the exhibition In the Name of Desire is on view in the Great Hall of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1), uncovering the diversity of themes of sexuality and sensuality in the history and present of Baltic visual art.

(..) my tongue is broken. A delicate fire
runs under my skin, my eyes
see nothing, my ears roar (..).”
(SAPPHO. Translated from the ancient Greek by Diane J. Rayor.
Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works (2014))

The exhibition sheds light on authors in Latvian 20th century art history who have bravely taken up the investigation of sexuality and the phenomenon of desire. Furthermore, contemporary artists participate in this project with existing or specially created works, interpreting this socially still awkward subject in the media of painting, graphic art, photography, sculpture, installation, and video art.

The exhibition critically revisits the objectification of women’s bodies in visual art, shifting the focus to the representation of the female experience and a feminist approach. For the first time in Latvia, Baltic queer art is surveyed at such breadth, demonstrating inclusive thinking and openness towards questions of self-identity regarding awareness of one’s sexuality.

“The exhibition will celebrate sexual diversity at a time when authoritarian regimes right next to us as well as in other parts of the world violently oppress and persecute people who identify and desire differently. Continuing the institutional critique began in the exhibition Don’t Cry!, curated by Elita Ansone, In the Name of Desire will for the first time in the history of the Latvian National Museum of Art present a representative selection of Latvian LGBT+ art. With the help of this project we want to encourage discussion about taboo yet existentially important subjects and to promote the acceptance of diversity among Latvian society. Since where there is no space for diversity, there is no space for freedom,” stresses one of the curators of the exhibition, philosopher Igor Gubenko.

From the collection of the LNMA the exhibition presents works by Vilnis Zābers, Rolands Kaņeps, Viktorija Pelše, Rasma Bruzīte, Arta Dumpe, Katrīna Neiburga, Biruta Baumane, Felicita Pauļuka, Hilda Vīka, Daiga Grantiņa, Amanda Ziemele, Sigismunds Vidbergs, Romualds Getaitis, Laimonis Blumbergs, Rūdolfs Alders, Tālivaldis Gaumigs, Igor Vasiliev, Boriss Bērziņš, Monika Bauere, Lê Công Thành, Arnis Balčus, Iosif Elgurt, Rūsiņš Rozīte, Konstantīns Rončevskis, Voldemārs Trejs, Burkards Dzenis, Guntars Zvaigzne, Gustavs Šķilters, Daina Riņķe, Kristians Brekte and other artists. The exposition also includes works from other institutions and private collections such as the achievements of Dace Džeriņa, Ingrīda Pičukāne, Vika Eksta, Inga Meldere, Rasa Jansone, Aleksandrs Apsītis, Ādolfs Zārdiņš, Vladimir Glushenkov, Gunārs Vīndedzis, Anna-Stina Treumund, Ivars Grāvlejs, Visvaldis Ziediņš, Andris Grinbergs, Anna Dzērve, Baiba Vegere, Rūta Kreica, Brenda Jansone, Kārlis Vītols, Mark Raidpere, Veronika (Vėra) Šleivytė, Diānas Tamanes, Jaanus Samma, Krista Zute, Mare Tralla, Adomas Danusevičius, Aija Pole, Andris Kaļiņins, Sabīne Vernere, Frančeska Kirke, Janina Sabaliauskaitė. New works specially for the exhibition have been made by artists Anna Malicka, Skuja Braden, Konstantin Zhukov, Mētra Saberova, Aksels Bruks, Annemarija Gulbe, Krišjānis Elviks and Anna Ansone, Ksenija Tarasova, Atis Jākobsons, Rasa Jansone.

Please note that exhibition artworks include motifs of erotic and sexual nature. Adults visiting the exhibition together with children take full responsibility for the possible impact of the exhibition content on children. We do not recommend the exhibition to museum visitors who are younger than 18. Museum visitors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to enter.

Exhibition curators

Līna Birzaka-Priekule (until September 2023)

Laura Brokāne
Exhibition Curator /
Latvian National Museum of Art

Igor Gubenko
Philosopher, publicist, researcher, assistant professor at the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the University of Latvia, editor of the Satori Internet magazine

Exhibition design

Hanele Zane Putniņa
Anna Ceipe

Graphic design

Eltons Kūns /
Latvian National Museum of Art


Form Art Lab

Curator of education programme

Lilita Pudule
Curator of Education /
Latvian National Museum of Art

Admission fee

Adults: 5,00 EUR
Schoolchildren, students, seniors: 3,00 EUR
Family ticket (1–2 adults with 1–4 children or family having many children): 5,00–7,00 EUR

Free admission for LNMA Annual ticket holders.
Reduced individual admission fee for groups of 10 or more people.Free admission for the person in charge of the group.


The Latvian National Museum of Art /
Great Hall
Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1, Riga

Related press releases

Duration 27.04.2024. - 28.07.2024.
Published 13.03.2024.