THE OTHER AND THE SAME VLADIMIR GLUSHENKOV, SON OF BORIS (Cits un tas pats Vladimirs Glusenkovs Borisa dels)
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The exhibition 'AND OTHERS. Movements, Explorations and Artists in Latvia 1960 - 1984' was on view at the Riga Art Space from 17 November to 30 December 2010. It examined the marginal aspects of Soviet cultural life and searches for alternative means of expression in the art of this period. Vladimir Glushenkov (1948-2009) was among the artists represented in this show; until now his name was known only among the small circle of connoisseurs. Although Glushenkov had received a typical professional education for an artist of Soviet Latvia, his entry onto the art scene was a relative failure. The diploma of stage designer allowed him to take a creative, state-paid job at Latvian Television where he worked as an artist-producer from 1976 to 1996. Alongside this state job and several stage-design projects for Latvian theatres, throughout his life he was an enthusiastic painter as well as engaging in verbal forms of expression such as writing journals and poetry. Attempts to take part in official exhibitions, submitting his compositions to the shows of thematic painting, were usually criticised and turned down by the jury; this was related to the style and theme, which was far removed from the requirements of that time and also the insufficient 'quality' of execution. The originality of Glushenkov's individual approach became especially manifest in the 1970s and 1980s when his stylistically diverse painted compositions (tempera) and graphic works (mostly ink drawings) revealed his interest in Western art history from the Renaissance to post-modernism. He had been interested in figural art but not in the traditional manner based on academic traditions or the canon of Socialist Realism. His images of the early 1970s, anthropomorphic rather than realistic, were joined in absurd combinations, works with a hardly readable spatial structure and subject, creating a painting endowed with surreal moods.
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