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Ilze Jaunberga’s personal exhibition of paintings opens in October in Riga

BC, Riga, 21.09.2011.Print version

Ilze Jaunberga’s personal exhibition of paintings, “EVVIVA CARNEVALE!” will open on October 1 at the INTRO hall of the Riga Art Space. As a good friend of fascinating people from the Compagnia de Calza “I Antichi” group, which does the most to uphold the authentic traditions of the carnival, the artist paints the carnival “from the inside.”


The title of the exhibition, “EVVIVA CARNEVALE,” means “Long Live the Carnival!” in Italian. It is the first personal exhibition which Ilze Jaunberga has staged in Riga.


Since receiving her master’s degree in painting from the Latvian Academy of 2005, Ilze Jaunberga (b. 1978) has each year, late in February or early in March (depending on the Lenten calendar of the church), taken part in the carnival in Venice. Ilze says that she loves the experience of this “hypnotic crowd, this phantasmagorical atmosphere,” and she enjoys them together with Compagnia de Calza “I Antichi.” Later, she produces paintings on the basis of what she has experienced. People from the company are seen in the paintings. They are, for instance, the ones who organise the most elegant ball at the carnival, “La Cavalchina.” It is held at the conclusion of the carnival at the Venetian opera house, “La Fenice.”


“It is a world with its own rules of the game. Ancient masks have individual codes of behaviour. There are paradoxes, illusions, improvisations and theatricality. Aesthetics at the Venice carnival are always flirting with death and engaging in infantile merriment,” says Ilze Jaunberga, adding that when she meets “the truest Venetians,” that is a fateful issue for her. The fact is that the aesthetics of the carnival have tempted her since childhood, and once she began to travel to Italy, a childhood friend reminded her: “You have been talking about Venice and the carnival there as long as I can remember.”


Curator Inga Steimane says that the criteria for Ilze Jaunberga’s oil paintings are close to an understanding of quattrocento colours, which means that the games of colour are not the main thing in paintings. Of importance instead is to demonstrate form and mood.


“The artist’s approach toward colour is similar to that of Leonardo (1452-1519), who wrote in his Tractate „[..] but colours honour only those who manufacture them, for in them there is no cause for wonder except their beauty, and their beauty is not to the credit of the painter, but of him who has made them. A subject can be dressed in ugly colours and still astouned those who contemplate it, because of the illusion of relief.” The use of white, which is also typical in Ilze Jaunberga’s paintings, is a reference to the architect and humanist Alberti (1404-1472), who argued that one-third of each artwork should be white so that the entire object might appear to be happy and easily perceived (comparascente),” Steimane writes in the catalogue of the exhibition.


The curator has found ready-made elements in Jaunberga’s paintings, thus including her painting in the broader context of contemporary art. Steimane also writes that all of the wandering dolls in Ilze Jaunberga’s paintings represent her alter ego, arguing that this is not just a formal ready-made element, but also an image which points to various aspects of influential discourse in an emotional way. This is something that was criticised by Karl Popper (1902-1994), who said that he saw the greatest danger in pessimism, in “long-lasting attempts to convince young people that they live in a bad world.” Popper insisted that “in historical terms, we (as far as I am concerned) live in the best world that there has ever been. Of course, it is a bad world because there is a better one, and life forces us to seek the better world. This search for a better world is something that we must continue.”


Since 2004, Ilze Jaunberga has developed her professional career in Italy, thanks to the support and production work of art manager Enzo Rossi-Roiss (Associazione Culturale ITALO-BALTICA). The personal exhibition at the Riga Art Space has been supported by the Benergo Studio arts centre in Murano, the Fondazione Museo Venanzo Crocetti in Rome, and the Compagnia de Calza “In Antichi,” which upholds the authentic traditions of the Venetian carnival.


The following is a press release from "Rigas nami"

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