Pēteris Martinsons. Line and Form - First satellite exhibition of the project JUST ON TIME. Design Stories about Latvia

Pēteris Martinsons. Drawing from the sketchbook. 30.07.1986. Ink on paper.
Pēteris Martinsons. Drawing from the sketchbook. 30.07.1986. Ink on paper.

Pēteris Martinsons. Line and Form, the first satellite exhibition of the project JUST ON TIME. Design Stories about Latvia, will be on view at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (Skārņu iela 10) from 6 September to 14 October 2018.

The opening of the most ambitious project of the 2018 autumn-winter season in the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design – the exhibition JUST ON TIME. Design Stories about Latvia – is set for 7 November. Already in September the museum gives the opportunity to visit the satellite exhibition, Line and Form, which will show the works and drawings of ceramicist Pēteris Martinsons (1931–2013), providing a unique occasion to get to know the master’s creative ideas and their realisation in ceramic material.

Pēteris Martinsons acquired an architect’s education. Working as a teacher of composition and design at the Riga Secondary School of Applied Arts, he learned the basics of ceramics. Artist’s early works – clay candle-sticks, jugs, shallow flower vessels, as well as decorative figural groups – dream birds, horses, devils – in the 1960s attracted public attention and were initially met with his colleagues’ incomprehension with their unusual approach: the author consistently worked with unglazed clay, foregrounding the material’s natural qualities and the plasticity of freely modelled forms, which was highlighted by a layer of black lines.

Around 1976 the artist initiated a tradition – every day to create at least one completed sheet of drawing. For Pēteris Martinsons these were like hours of active fantasy or meditation. His abstract compositions capture ideas for plastic forms and decorations, as well as the different stages of development of these ideas. At the same time, these compositions can be seen as the author’s reflections about global or even cosmic processes of form creation and relationships.

Pēteris Martinsons was an innovator, who brought a considerably more relaxed approach to the task of form creation in Latvian ceramics and thus demonstrated a link with current trends and creative endeavours in Western art, participating in more than 100 international exhibitions and 70 symposia. He is the only Latvian artist, who already in the 70s earned four gold medals at the prestigious Competition of Ceramics exhibition in Faenza (Italy) and in 1971 was admitted to the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva (Switzerland).

Pēteris Martinsons is the internationally best-known Latvian ceramicist, whose oeuvre for almost half a century has inspired artists of many countries and different generations, spurring creative, daring experiments with clay, chamotte and porcelain. In order to preserve the master’s memory on an international scale, the Mark Rothko Art Centre in his native Daugavpils has established the Latvian International Ceramics Biennale and the Martinsons Award competition, which this year selected works of 94 authors from 29 countries.

The intimate exhibition in the 3rd floor vestibule of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design will for the first time show part of Pēteris Martinsons’ family’s – his godson Indulis Leinerts’ – gift to the museum. The drawings are arranged according to the principle the artist himself used in 1988 in Tallinn, preparing the exposition of his personal exhibition at the Museum of Applied Art. Several groups of ceramic objects from the 1980s have been selected for the exhibition from the collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art, which most clearly demonstrate the next creative stage – the artist’s outstanding ability to create a graphic composition on a spatial volume, when line follows each curve of the surface, highlighting the transition from one part of the object to another.

In an interview, Pēteris Martinsons reflected on his work: “Just like in any other field – you can do anything, it’s just – how you do it. You must work so hard as you are dead on your feet. And you must draw on porcelain as though you had ploughed a furrow or dug a ditch, with the same kind of bodily exertion. [..] Naturally, the viewer must believe that everything was made in a single breath, as though by itself. If I myself am like a peasant, my works strive for refinement...”.

Text by Irēna Bužinska

EXHIBITION ORGANIZED BY:
Latvian National Museum of Art / Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

EXHIBITION CURATOR:
Irēna Bužinska
, Exhibition Curator of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design /
Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 65 802006, E: Irena.Buzinska@lnmm.lv

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The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Skārņu iela 10, Riga, Latvia

OPENING HOURS:
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays 11.00–17.00, ticket office 11.00–16.45
Wednesdays 11.00–19.00, ticket office 11.00–18.45
Closed on Mondays

The museum is closed on all public holidays: 1 January, Good Friday, Easter, Midsummer Eve and Day (23–24 June), Christmas (25–26 December), 31 December.

ADMISSION:
Reduced individual admission fee for groups of 10 or more people.
Free admission for the person in charge of the group.
Adults: 1,50 EUR
Schoolchildren, students, seniors: 1,00 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.

Free entry is also for: pre-school children; orphans or children not under parental care (valid status identification card required); children with a disability up to 18 years, 1st and 2nd group disabled persons (valid status identification card required) and one person accompanying either a child with a disability up to 18 years or a 1st or 2nd group disabled person; pupils of Latvian art schools or professional secondary art schools (valid status identification card required); full-time students of the Art Academy of Latvia (valid status identification card required); students attending institutions of professional secondary education or colleges who are studying or receiving training in visual or applied art, design, cultural history, museology, architecture, restoration as part of their studies or training (on submission of a written application to the museum director at least one day earlier); employees of Latvian museums (valid status identification card required); members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM, valid status membership card required); members of the Latvian Artists’ Union (valid status identification card required); Friend of the LNMA card holders; media representatives who are covering museum events (valid status identification card required); group (no less than 10 persons) leaders – guides or teachers; everyone on the international event Museum Night from 19.00; all visitors to the permanent display on the last Sunday of every month and on International Museum Day – 18th May.

Press release prepared by:
Natalie Suyunshalieva
Head of Press
The Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 67 357527
F: (+371) 67 357520
E: pr.service@lnmm.lv 
I: www.lnmm.lv 
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