First Art for the LMM Collection Selected

December 15, 2005 / Banking

With the help of an international council of experts, the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (LMM) has selected the first four artworks which will become a part of the museum’s collection. The purchase of the art is to be financed by Aizkraukles Banka, which is a leading supporter of the collection. The museum has also received its first gift of artworks.

The four works to be selected by the commission were «Granary of Kaleti II» and «Granary of Kaleti III» by Imants Lancmanis, the video installation «Time Will Show« (2003) by a group known as the Famous Five or F5 (Ieva Rubeze, Liga Marcinkevica and Martins Ratniks), and the video installation «Diagnostics of Karma» (2003) by Kristine Kursisa.

Astrida Rogule, a consultant for the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is being built by a state agency called the «New Three Brothers», is also a docent at the Latvian Academy of Culture and a special in museum sciences. She says that «this is the first time that a special collection of modern art is being put together. The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be an important component of the arts world in the Baltic Sea region. The collection is to be based on valuable works of modern art, those which confirm and reflect the present day.»

The aim of the museum’s collection is to become known as a collection of international importance. Rogule: «collection has a European view. The international commission of experts has leading art experts from Estonia, Finland and Germany. They represent different views, but they are all recognised professionals is their field.»

The expert council also has approved statutes for the museum. As chairman of the museum council, it elected Ernests Bernis, co-owner and board chairman of Aizkraukles Banka.

The collection has also been supplemented by the first gift which the museum has received — six photographs by the internationally renowned artist Tuomo Manninen. These can be seen on the Internet. The photographs feature residents of the Latvian capital city of Riga and were taken in the 1990s. The photographs were exhibited at the Venice Biennale of 2001 under the supervision of curator Harald Szeeman.

The LMM has already selected more than 200 artworks from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland for its collection. The next meeting of the expert council will take place in two months’ time.

Members of the international council of experts include Helena Demakova (Latvia), Raminta Jurenaite (Lithuania), Sirje Helme (Estonia), Maaretta Jaukkuri (Finland), Norbert Weber (Germany), Leonards Loganovskis (Latvia), Raitis Smits (Latvia), Gints Gbarans (Latvia), Ernests Bernis (Latvia) and Astrida Rogule (Latvia).

As is known, Aizkraukles Banka signed a co-operation agreement with the Latvian Ministry of Culture on September 23, 2005, undertaking to become the chief supporter of the new LMM, providing ongoing financial support of LVL 1 million over the course of 10 years — until 2015. A key part of the agreement is a document which speaks to the international expert council of the LMM, as approved by the minister of culture. The commission has been working since June 2005.