From 11 February to 23 April 2023, a solo exhibition entitled Sun Has Teeth by the Purvītis Prize 2021 winner Amanda Ziemele is on view in the Cupola Hall of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1). The project focuses on the diverse potential and expressiveness of the art form of painting as it transforms through interaction with space into an installation that invites the visitor’s gaze in.
Amanda Ziemele (1990), who won the Purvītis Prize 2021 for her show Quantum Hair Implants at the Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, is one of the most vivid and unconventional figures on the current Latvian art scene. At the time, the panel of experts singled out the author’s skill for creating an open space where there was “neither too much nor too little of anything, noting that it exudes a certain feel of freedom for everybody and everything”.
Space still holds a significant place in Ziemele’s art. Kaspars Groševs, the curator of the show, explains: “The solo exhibition by Amanda Ziemele in the Cupola Hall of LNMA opens with a compelling point of departure – the architecture of the room, its beam structure and multiple levels, engaging these elements in a conversation or a collaboration within a multi-layered installation that reveals the artist’s enthusiastic interest in kneading, stretching, twisting and expanding the formal and ‘informal’ means of expression of painting. Revealing themselves to the viewer from multiple angles, catalysts of the exhibition – paintings of various sizes and shapes – will interplay to question and unravel the distinctive features and character of the underlying structure of the space, while simultaneously creating a seemingly levitating layered painting installation that comes alive when viewed from numerous different vantage points and invites the viewer to immerse themselves, to navigate and carefully pick their way, building a new chapter in their viewing experience and ways of experiencing art events. Alternative vantage points and potential paths through the exhibition become a vital binding medium that allows for hypothetical nonlinear narratives of shapes, brushwork, gestures, strategies, which, set in the architecture of Cupola Hall, reveal refreshing independence from the conventional ways of viewing painting through their punctuation marks, footnotes and paragraphs. The playing field is laid out as a multi-level ascent, observing its rise through layers and divisions, following the red threads of colours, textures, brushwork, shapes.”
Amanda Ziemele does not limit herself to the traditional two-dimensional rectangle / square plane, striving to expand her field of expression beyond the conventional framework of painting. The artist arranges her works as a kind of jigsaw puzzle where every little scrap of colour, the rhythm of the interplay and distance between the individual pieces are all essential within this cohesive whole.
According to Amanda Ziemele, she is genuinely interested in the body of formal means available in painting, the materiality and viscosity of paint, the dust of pigments that she “mixes with her own thoughts”. The author makes a point of stating that art does not exist separately from life; her art is her commentary on events and the world. “What matters to me are elements of play and surprise. The show contains certain hints that serve to help the viewer discover cues and follow my train of thought,” Amanda Ziemele reveals.
The exhibition is produced by the INDIE culture project agency with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and SIA Alfor.