Double portrait of painters couple whose artistic heritage is still to be assessed by contemporary art historians.
It is so easy in the age of global information exchange to look at some local phenomenon – say, the painting of Vija Maldupe or Juris Baklāns –, accuse it of being an anachronism, or unoriginal, and file it among the background events against which some “more contemporary” trends may shine. But it should be remembered that in the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s it was figural, more or less realistic painting that was considered worthy among both artists and art critics, and to an even greater extent, also in the general public opinion. Due to their expressions of compositional and colouristic effects and content specifics, in the opinion of their contemporaries, now a retrospective view, Vija Maldupe’s and Juris Baklāns’s works were like keystones that hold together a complex building – an arch, for example. Their painting echoes the pictorial liberation of their teachers’ generation – people of the “Soviet thaw” – and holds a premonition of the following generation’s manifold ways of playing with painting as a medium.Pēteris Bankovskis