At Riga Porcelain Museum from 9 June to 7 August, 2016
Beatrise Karklina (1933) was a long-term employee of the Art Laboratory of Riga Porcelain Factory – an artist who during her creative work at the factory has designed numerous porcelain items which can still be found at many homes and to a large extent have accounted for the style of Riga Porcelain Factory produce. Along with the work at the factory the artist has also created original art pieces and has been continuing the work up to now by painting porcelain at home, thus creating a kind of transition between the Soviet period, which in a popular sense is over and represents a period of the past, and the present time with aesthetic ideas and topicalities of today.
The socialism ideology and collective working methods accounted for the conditions of work where the majority of consumer goods that created the physical reality for the inhabitants of Latvia and had been designed by Latvian artists, including Beatrise Karklina, were anonymous. Along with its 15th anniversary Riga Porcelain Museum aims to increase the popular awareness about the masterpieces of the artists who created the design of Riga Porcelain Factory produce and emphasize that there are personalities behind each household item – the industrial artists. The Museum would also like to create a possibly more comprehensive and precise idea about the significant events and outstanding achievements in the industrial culture of Latvia over half a century.
Since 1953 when Beatrise Karklina started her work at the factory up to 1990s when the Factory gradually ceased its operation the artist created a range of consumer goods – sets, individual pieces - shape design as well as graphic solutions for decorating the items designed by herself and fellow artists. Along with the work on mass production Beatrise Karklina has made custom-orders – shapes and hand-made paintings on pieces which were intended for the exhibitions of industrial achievements, gifts to political and economic elite, exclusive lines with items produced in small numbers. Along with that the artist has designed applied art pieces from porcelain and porcelain paintings for her solo-exhibitions as well as group exhibitions. These pieces occupy a significant place in the history of the industrial design of Latvia.
In the second decade of the 21st century the history of Latvian industrial art or design has become an important source of knowledge and one of the edges of national culture and identity. Beatrise Karklina’s personality and art is an invaluable source for reconstructing the design history of Latvia as well as in the research of the Soviet period design and industrial culture as a whole. Her heritage that continues to get richer is a unique evidence of twisting between the artist’s individual quests and achievements with the conditions imposed by the age: the provided opportunities and restrictions.
The exhibition shows the artist’s latest works – porcelain paintings created between 2012 and 2016 supplemented with the author-pieces from the period when she worked at Riga Porcelain factory, as well as the pieces produced in manufacturing series both from the artist’s private as well as museum collection.
In 2016 Riga Porcelain Museum has intended to publish a comprehensive catalogue with Beatrise Karklina’s design and art pieces. Besides, this year the Museum has also intended to organize the exhibitions of the works by Aija Murniece and Ilga Dreiblate, the artists of Riga Porcelain Factory. There will also be an exhibition illustrating the period of 1980s-1990s which was very contradictory in the porcelain art of Latvia.