Art Collection 2020

From December 1, 2021, the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) offers to view more than 300 contemporary artworks from the museum’s collection at the online platform “Art Collection 2020“. The platform represents the unique procurement of artworks in 2020 – contemporary visual works created by Latvian artists during the last 30 years.

As a result of the procurement program, the museum’s collection was supplemented with artworks by 107 currently active Latvian artists of all generations. The collection represents a wide range of visual art forms – painting, sculpture and objects, photography, video, as well as mixed media installations, interdisciplinary projects, and design works. It would not be possible to show the entire Art Collection 2020 in the exhibition hall at the same time, but now it can be viewed on the online platform by anyone who is interested.

The presentation event for this project took place on December 1, 2021. Among the participants were Māra Lāce, director of the Latvian National Museum of Art, Annija Sauka, head of the communication department of LNMA, Nauris Puntulis, minister for culture of the Republic of Latvia and Liga Merwin, managing partner at Ellex in Latvia.

About the project

With the aim of “reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the culture sector, giving support to actively working artists affected by the crisis and simultaneously qualitatively adding to the museum’s collection” (Cabinet of Ministers Order No 339 of 18.06.2020), in the summer of 2020, the Latvian National Museum of Art was granted 550 000 euros from the state budget for acquiring artworks.

To ensure a qualitative and transparent artwork selection process, the museum established an Expert Committee comprising five specialists from the museum and five experts invited from outside. Based on the Statutes, the experts appraised the art scene of the last 30 years as reflected in the museum’s collections to determine which artistic trends and artists of the period are completely unrepresented or only have a handful of works in the LNMA collection.

Through a unique acquisition programme, 325 works by 107 currently active artists of all generations were added to the museum’s collection. A broad spectrum of visual arts spheres is represented in the collection, including painting, sculpture and objects, photography, and video, as well as mixed-media installations, interdisciplinary projects, and design artworks. The works cover a wide range of subjects and moods, from universal, globally articulated values to evocations based on personal experience, and neutral observations to ironic or provocative messages.

In addition, four video series are available on our YouTube channel where the panel of experts share their views on the project:

  • Iveta Derkusova, deputy director for collections at LNMA, head of the Collection Committee of the LNMA tells about the initiative, goals and challenges of the project.
  • Vilnis Vējš, art critic, member of the Latvian Council of Visual Arts tells about the nineties in Latvian art.
  • Solvita Krese, director of Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, head of the Latvian Council of Visual Arts tells about the selection criteria for the procurement of artworks and the dynamic Latvian art environment.
  • Elita Ansone, head of Collections and Scientific Research Department ARSENĀLS (2nd Half of the 20th – 21st Century) tells about the boundaries of the 21st and the transformed museum.

Since it would be impossible to simultaneously show all the artwork of “Art Collection 2020” in an exhibition hall, it will be available online for everyone. The digital catalogue provides information about the circumstances of creation and concept of each work, as well as technical information and images.

This project continues the series that were started in 2017 with the initiatives of the “Story of a Painting” (season 1 in 2017 and season 2 in 2019), “Story of a Photographer” (2019) and “Art Restoration in the Museum” (2020).