Installations / Sculpture / Objects
In the 1990s, installation entered Latvian art with great energy as a new medium. As this period was the most unfavourable for acquisitions in the museum’s history, installations, particularly from the 20th century, are only minimally represented. As there are few surviving installations from the 20th century, they must be reconstructed. It has been possible to obtain works by artists from the legendary first generation of conceptualists – Oļegs Tillbergs, Sarmīte Māliņa, and Andris Breže . Their installations stand out for their imagery and poeticism. Tillbergs’ installation “Plūdi” (Floods, 1994) is currently displayed in the LNMA’s permanent exposition and is accessible to viewers. An object from an even earlier period in art history is associated with the pioneers of Latvian kinetic art. The oldest acquired work dating from 1972 is Valdis Celms’ kinetic sculpture “Rotējošie cilindri” (Rotating Cylinders), which was reconstructed in 2017.
The boundary-expanding process begun by the first and second generation of conceptualists led to the eradication of media boundaries in the 21st century. Today, any artists design their exhibitions as a unified installation in a specific space. These installations may include a range of media as well as materials and techniques previously never employed in the art. These works are usually technically complicated, which hinders their preservation, installation, and restoration. This leads to a range of problems from the museum’s point of view, requiring large investments of expertise, space, and funding for many installations and objects in the coming years. Despite these issues, a large number of 21st-century object sculptures and installations have been acquired for the collection, reflecting the central place held by contemporary art in today’s artistic landscape.