Zigurds Kampars is perhaps best known for his work as the creative director for the “Draugs” magazine and illustrator in the Latvian State Publishing house where he started working in the 1950s. While working in the editorial office he gradually developed his own style which is characterized by a careful choice of colours, a drawing that accurately describes the characters and freely composed fields of illustration. In addition to the creative director duties for “Draugs”, he also illustrated many children’s books and wrote small essays on culture and arts for young people, but the possibly most interesting part of his creative work – painting – has fallen into oblivion.
Zigurds Kampars was born in 1927 and spent his childhood in Torņakalns, but from 1937 lived in Anglikāņu Street, Old Town Riga. Originally he planned to study architecture, but in 1946 he entered the Department of Painting at the Art Academy of Latvia where he had the chance to learn from prominent latvian painters, such as Leo Svemps, Kārlis Miesnieks and Eduards Kalniņš.
Landscape painting turned out to be the closest to his heart – the ability to emotionally perceive nature had accompanied him since childhood, and can be seen not only in his landscapes but also in portraits and still lives. The works displayed in the exhibition show not only his emotional interpretation of nature, but also the impact of french modern art, which, at the time, had left a strong impression on young latvian artists.
Curator Elza Kampara