Raksti par mākslinieci

Ilze Jaunberga's Italian Renaissance

An encounter with a remote culture is less difficult when it occurs in a dimension of total otherness, when it does not involve us directly. But the real strength of such an encounter is when we realize there is something of ourselves in our counterpart, when we are provoked, overtaken, imitated in our most peculiar icons, so that we turn out different from what we really are. For this reason, I think, Ilze Jaunberga's exhibition can be an effective metaphor of the way we approach the Baltic world and, at the same time, of that world's entrance into Europe. The series of paintings that Jaunberga offers us are the result of her very personal journey through the most classical Italian painting and some of the great Masters that have acquired, for us Italians, an aura of solemnity, almost of sacredness. At the very beginning, the different approach is puzzling: Leonardo, Giotto, Raffaello, Botticelli's great paintings are re-proposed in a personal re-working which systematically replaces the original figures of Madonnas and Saints with aseptic dummies, bald-headed dolls devoid of recognizable personal characteristics, unisex beings. Stylized and very modern elements work their way into classical contexts, a plastic face replaces the smooth-long-haired Renaissance maidens. The contrast is deliberately clashing. Rich clothes and precious brocade gowns meticulously reproduced surround a sort of expressionless face/skull; past and present are ruthlessly matched. Certainly, it is not a wholly unprecedented operation if you consider the works of Dalì and Botero, for example; but Jaunberga's paintings are amazing for the freshness of her approach, half way between the homage to the old masters and a free and easy usage of the models, with solutions that follow a personal and quite recognizable style. We sense that the relationship with Leonardo and the other artists goes along natural lines, revealing a never-interrupted bond. There is a symbiosis of art language which gets over the screeching anachronism, almost the discovery of a shared common grammar which does not look academic but which, perhaps, runs through unknown underground channels, through centuries of history and distance, to prove that the Baltic countries have never ceased to be part of Europe. In the separation marked out by history, Baltic culture has followed a path of its own, looking as far as possible at the experimentations beyond the Iron Curtain, but experiencing independently its own ways. Nowadays the talk can start again more directly, with the vitality which is characteristic of "young" nations, free from paralysing subjections, willing to follow and enhance the lines of our modern age, made of plastic and consumerism, to get to the point where everyday contradictions and anxieties come to the surface. The problem is ours, then, since we are required to accept a fruitful challenge, which sometimes can be destabilizing, and since we are obliged to look at ourselves in a mirror which enlarges the political, economic and, obviously, artistic horizons of our Europe. Paolo Venti (from Il momento February 2005)

"Be modern, but don't try too hard

"Be modern, but don't try too hard". This is the advice that Giorgio de Chirico used to give to his artist friends and follow himself and. Ilze Jaunberga, however, has never heard about this. Her idea of modernizing the paintings of the great masters was, rather, a happy intuition. The artist never goes over the top and her reinterpretations of classical works are always immediately recognisable. In doing so, she avoids the criticism of the conservatives. Her new take on the classics started with her rendition of Leonardo's Annunciation. In her work, the figures of the Virgin and child lose all of their sumptuous details and resemble naked and bold puppets. A young student who visited one of Jaunberga's Italian exhibitions remarked: "As soon as I entered the room and looked at her pictures, I realized they were very familiar. Then I started to identify them, to associate them with some illustrations I had seen in my school art books. Some names came to me. Once back home, I matched the paintings on Jaunberga's catalogue with those of the old masters in my books. The work of the Latvian artist came out favourably from my comparison. I think she is Modern in the real sense of the word." Many artists painted, and still are painting, to exorcise their demons and to discover the magic in all things. Jaunberga, on the other hand, paints to discover the true meaning of the works of the great masters and to deal with life's daily contradictions - of today as well as of the past. Her way of painting has already given her a distinctive style, despite her young age. Her visual language can be understood universally by all … undoubtedly, as Chirico put it "modern, without trying to hard". Jaunberga's style evolves with every new painting she makes, while following her own train of thought. In fact, she is fond of the advice contained in the monologue L'homme qui a rèussi by Charles Cros (1842 - 1888), who suggested to 'find your own idea, follow it through and you will succeed'. The idea of reinterpreting the masters is not strictly new. The Colombian artist, Fernando Botero, has been blowing up the proportions of masterpieces like the Gioconda for years and in this way he acquired his own mannerisms and financial success. Going back in time, a less known and documented artist, Giovanbattista Bracelli, used a similar manner of expression in his work Bizzarrie di varie figure, which he engraved on copper for Cosimo de' Medici in 1624.How many more paintings should Jaunberg paint before finding a definite style; one which will set her apart from other contemporary artists, who are successful because they fit into the current global, aesthetic trend? I believe she has already done enough to win the appreciation and trust of her public and of the critics. She speaks an international language enriched by local influences, which will soon be recognised by Latvian art critics who model themselves on the respected Helena Demakova. Jaunberga's bold unisex anodyne [DO YOU MEAN ANDROGYNOUS? ANODYNE MEANS DULL) dolls have already inhabited the works of Giotto, Leonardo, Raphael, Botticelli and many more. We should therefore analyse her work without bias and try to isolate its peculiar elements. One could easily predict that, after having explored the world of the historical past, Jaunberga would now turn to the simple past. In order to do so, I hope the artist has a very long life, because there are still many worthwhile works to tackle. To help us to appreciate Jaunberga's art, one could find it useful to read the literary argument that took place between two professors of Russian literature at Riga University. From the pages of the literary magazine Austrums, published in Moscow, Jekabs Lautenbachs (1847-1928) and Teodoros Zeiferts (1865-1829) are debating what to look for when judging contemporary art. Zeiferts claims that one should look for ideas born within contemporary culture, while Lautenbachs takes a leap into the past and singles out Plato and his theory of eternal ideas. The true artist must create within and for his time without abiding to passing trends as this will consign his work to posterity. (Translation by Elena Ward) ENZO ROSSI-ROISS

The Hotel La Forcola in Venice has drawn up an agreement with the Associazione Culturale Italo-Baltica to give a 25% discount on the hotel services, to all the customers introduced by this Association or any members and to the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian citizen


6 febbraio 2011




Periodo: 28 febbraio – 8 marzo 2011

Città dell'esposizione: Venezia

Sede: Caos Gallery in Calle Lunga San Barnaba 2687

Patrocini: Carnevale di Venezia - Associazione Culturale Italo-Baltica

Organizzazione: Carnascial ART esca - Associazione Culturale Compagnia De Calza “I Antichi”

Critico curatore e presentatore: Enzo Rossi-Ròiss

Info: 339.6918363

Nuove opere dipinte a Riga in Lettonia

al seguito di “Ad majorem Saturnalia

gloriam” del 2009 (Circolo “I Antichi”

in Campo San Maurizio) e “Ad majorem

Compagnia De Calza gloriam” del 2010

(Foyer del Teatro La Fenice)

in concomitanza col Carnevale veneziano.

La Jaunberga ha concepito i suoi dipinti a Riga in Lettonia, dopo aver soggiornato a Venezia durante tutti i giorni dei Carnevali 2006-2007-2008- 2009 - 2010, familiarizzando con i Compagni De Calza e partecipando a ogni loro iniziativa.

Costituiscono un ciclo pittorico, made in Latvia, intitolato “Ad majorem Saturnalia gloriam”, esaminando il quale la fantasia di ognuno riceverà stimoli e genererà sorrisi, anche alle prese con ciò che raffigura l’Apocalisse sbeffeggiata ed esorcizzata: poiché sono dipinti portatori di sana provocazione e santa amoralità, permeati di poesia con o senza l’eros di Giorgio Baffo, eseguiti con rigore rispettosamente per quanto riguarda le costanti poetiche e cromatiche connotati fantasmatici di uno stile personale inconfondibile.

La Jaunberga ha già esposto in più occasioni e location le sue opere a Venezia: spettacolarizzandole con una expo allestita nella Sala Visconti dell’Hotel Des Bains al Lido (1-15 agosto 2998), dopo aver esposto le opere del ciclo “Venezia picta in Latvia” in una sala del Palazzo Priuli Bon in San Stae, nel periodo della 52esima Biennale Internazionale d’Arte (giugno-novembre 2007). Nella fornace di Silvano Signoretto a Murano ha realizzato le sue prime sculture in vetro, che risultano esposte in permanenza e commercializzate negli spazi veneziani del Berengo Studio. In  concomitanza con la 54esima Biennale d’Arte  allestirà una esposizione personale in una location veneziana non ancora prescelta.

(Immagini e bio-bibliografia nel sito web: www.ilzejaunberga.com)

 Ms Jaunberga conceived these works after having spent the whole of the Carnival period in Venice in the years 2006, 2007,2008,2009, and 2010 getting to know the Compagnia De Calza and taking part in their initiatives. The works, painted in Latvia, make up a cycle entitled “Ad majorem Saturnalia gloriam”. Looking at them stimulates the imagination and generates smiles - even the depiction of the Apocalypse being mocked and exorcized - as these paintings are carriers of a healthy provocation and a holy amorality. Permeated by poetry, sometimes possessing eroticism in the manner of Giorgio Baffo and sometimes not, they have all been painted with precision and strongly uphold the constant imaginative features of form and colour that characterise the artist's unmistakeable personal style.

The Latvian artist work has already been exhibited in various locations in Venice. The best was at the Sala Visconti of Venice Lido's Hotel Des Bain (1st - 15th August 2008) and before that her “Venezia picta in Latvia” cycle was on display at the Palazzo Priuli Bon, San Stae during the 52nd International Art Biennial (June – November 2007). She created her first glass sculptures at Silvio Signoretto's glass workshop on Murano and her work is on show and for sale at the Berengo Studio. She will have a personal exhibition in Venice during the 54th Biennial of Art, at an as yet unknown location. - (Translation: Sarah Lane)