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Jānis Murovskis

Look farther

23.09.2009 - 17.10.2009

I wouldn’t give the name ‘graphics’ to an artwork where color is dominating. However, in Janis Murovskis’ linocuts and silk-screens color has always been of great, but not of primary importance. His means of expression was line, and it helped him to create the world of images in a little primitive style which is close to naivety, and his world was simple, sincere and poetic. The artist’s work seems to have been inspired by folklore, Latvian folk-songs, legends and fairy-tales. It is there that the ethic and aesthetic qualities of Janis Murovskis’ graphic sheets come from. It recalls the remote pre-Christianity when people lived in conformity with the Eternal laws, by which I mean the philosophy, morality and ethics found in dainas (Latvian folk-songs). That imparted all-human character to his works, which at the same time were very national. Now the artist has changed. But how? The answer is given in the exhibition title: “Look Farther”. Something seems to be missing. His distinctly specific world of images has given way to intensified coloring: real orgy of colors. Usually graphic artists are considered to be the ones of intellectual art. If line can be compared to a flight of thought, then color is emotionally charged: from the subdued, hardly perceivable whisper of soul to the swelling whirlwind of passion. Color entices, excites and overwhelms. And Janis Murovskis also has yielded to it. Where are the grey, Latvian brown and green colors? The artist’s silk-screens – his latest creations in the exhibition radiate the heat of Africa, passions of Spain and rhythms of Latin America. That is him today, this moment in his solo-show “Look Farther”. The invitation to the show displays “Fuji”, the mountain: symbol of Japan, representation of which calls for black ink, a fine brush and perfect line, in a word, everything that is considered to be Japanese, but the artist preferred the color scheme more suitable for the depiction of Etna in Sicily or Vesuvius in Pompeii: something volcanic. Yet, that is how the artist sees Fuji. And it shows us how interesting an artist’s vision can be and how fascinating the world of art is.

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