The artist JĀNIS PURCENS (1973) presents an exhibition of his new works “The Same Yet Different” in the gallery Daugava, Alksnāja St. 10/12 from July 29 through August 29. According to the artist the name of it suggests that there is something ordinary as well as something different to be seen. And the ordinary exceeds what is different. Or more precisely: the commonplace is considered to be more significant than the unusual. Therefore, what is significant in terms of quality in artworks? Is it the quality of the materials or precision in additional work? Does it really matter whether the canvas edges are folded so that the threads don’t show?
While in the historic town of Vidzeme a few years ago, the artist visited its exhibition hall. The walls were covered with a strip of paintings spaced 15 cm from each other. All were still lifes in various shades of brown and similar in color to the ochre colored floor – hard to imagine anything more boring. And yet he wasn’t bored when standing in the middle of the hall. The brown paintings had something about them that deserved to be considered high quality art. Of course, all brown paintings in the world aren’t masterpieces. At present Purcens has only one brown painting; not enough for any kind of conclusive test. And only two pink ones and those with the slanting small houses. But there is a quality test we can conduct: a gallery full of works from different years painted by Purcens.
The test with the brown paintings leads us to a logical conclusion. It isn’t the color, size and other visible attribute that matter in terms of quality. This makes us wonder if what is visible, tangible, hearable or measurable or recordable on complex devices is sufficient to determine quality.