Catalogue The Style of Madernieks Receives Annual Award in the Nomination Art Publications in the Competition Zelta ābele 2021
On 11 March, the winning books of the competition Zelta ābele 2021 were announced at the Latvian National Museum of Art, with the award in the nomination Art Publications won by the substantial and lavishly illustrated bilingual catalogue dedicated to the art of Jūlijs Madernieks (1870–1955), The Style of Madernieks. Designer of the book – Mārtiņš Ratniks.
The book The Style of Madernieks is an opportunity to discover the conclusions and discoveries of a range of researchers. Rūta Rinka looks at the story of the artist's personality as well as surveying and analysing a lesser-researched aspect of the master's work – interior and furniture design. Inta Pujāte delves into the ornamental metamorphoses of Madernieks' graphic art, while Gatis Vanags focuses on the phenomenon of typefaces. Inese Sirica studies his textile sketches and the history of textiles made “à la Madernieks”, Ilze Martinsone evaluates the artist's contribution in the context of global art and design processes of the time. Meanwhile Stella Pelše has compiled a fascinating overview of Madernieks' vivid contribution to art criticism.
Following the master's death, only one scholarly publication has been made about Jūlijs Madernieks' multi-sided work – Ināra Novadniece's monograph Jūlijs Madernieks, published by Zinātne in 1982. In reflecting on the paths of development of art and design in Latvia from the beginning of the 20th century until today, analysing the codes of national identity, searching for parallels and analogues in contemporary trends in other countries, it is important to build a complex panorama of past heritage. The aim of the catalogue was to shed new light from a 21st century perspective on the work of design pioneer Jūlijs Madernieks – this very important yet not fully discovered page of Latvian cultural history.
When talking about the paths of development of decorative applied arts and design in Latvia, the name of Madernieks is frequently mentioned yet only through careful study of his legacy it is possible to grasp what infinite depths and unexpected surprises it contains. We may never cease to wonder how one man was capable of embodying so many talents, of seeing across time to merge past, present and future.
Compiled by Inese Baranovska, Rūta Rinka. "Madernieka stils". Designer – Mārtiņš Ratniks; Photographs – Normunds Brasliņš, Ansis Starks; Printing house – Jelgavas tipogrāfija; Publisher – Latvian National Museum of Art; Museum of Decorative Arts and Design.
The book is in Latvian and English, length – 399 pages. Printed by Jelgavas tipogrāfija.
The publication was made with support from the State Culture Capital Foundation.
The catalogue can be purchased by filling the invoice request form https://forms.gle/3emJSBW6TjFdfDkP6 (price – 28.00 EUR). After submitting the request, you will be contacted by a museum's employee. Limited availability.
The publication accompanied the major Latvian Centenary exhibition The Style of Madernieks which was opened in late 2020 in the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Skārņu iela 10, Riga) and marked the 150th birthday of the founding father of Latvian applied art and design, Jūlijs Madernieks. The book The Style of Madernieks has already earned recognition – the annual prize of the Public Broadcasting of Latvia, Kilograms kultūras 2020, in the category Heritage.
Book design competition Zelta ābele is organised annually by the Latvian Publishers' Association, and this year saw its 29th edition. For the competition, Latvian publishers were invited to submit the best-designed books published in the previous year. The jury evaluated the design concept, its suitability to the publication's content, the book's layout, choice of paper and typographic execution. Meanwhile readers of the portal LSM.lv were invited to make their choice from the nominees for the best-designed book of 2021 from.