post_img

Painting "Person Entering the Room", 1927, by Niklāvs Strunke (1894–1966)

Niklāvs Strunke (1894–1966) was not only a painter whose legacy includes conceptual works in the spirit of classical modernism, but also an outstanding graphic artist, book illustrator, and set designer, one of those artists who created a strikingly recognizable “Latvian style” in book design. At the same time, owing to his contacts with the Italian Futurists and his own attractive and creative personality, Strunke was an organic participant in the European international avant-garde.

Son of an army officer, Strunke acquired his first artistic education in the provincial town of Valmiera with the graphic artist Teodors Ūders, then moving to St Petersburg where he joined the sophisticated “Mir iskusstva” circle of graphic artists and set designers; among his teachers was the master illustrator of Russian fairy-tales Ivan Bilibin and the explorer of ancient cultures Nikolai Roerich.

After serving in World War I as a volunteer, Strunke returned to the now independent Latvia and joined the Riga group of progressive artists. In the 1920s he visited Berlin where he collaborated with the November Group, participating in their exhibitions, and got acquainted with the ideas of Italian Futurists. Later he went to Italy to further pursue his contacts with Marinetti and artists in the Anton Julio Bragalia and casa d’arte circle as well as to study the 12th – 14th century Old Masters. Unlike most of his contemporaries who spent extended periods in Paris to soak up the spirit of its art scene, Strunke was inspired by Rome, Florence, and Capri.

In fact, Italy became his second home where Strunke spent many months every year even after becoming a refugee in Sweden after World War II. Strunke was even buried in Rome’s Testaccio cemetery where his artist son, Laris Strunke, put up a marble cross with an inscription in Latvian: “Māksla ir mūžīga” (“Art is eternal”).

The 1927 painting “Person Entering the Room” is a striking result of the artistic search of its time, combining the cubist forms characteristic of the Latvian avant-garde with the Futurist penchant for bringing movement into the two-dimensional space and the surrealism of Italian metaphysicians, contemplating the mysterious existence of space.

Laima Slava

Sorry, this entry is only available in Latvian. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Laima Slava par Niklāvu Strunki Latvijas kultūras kanonā, 2008.

(Latvian) Andrušaite, Dzintra. (1988). Niklāvs Strunke savās vēstulēs un ārpus tām. No: S. Cielava (sast.). Latviešu tēlotāja māksla (93.-115. lpp.). Rīga: Liesma.

Andrušaite, Dzintra. (2002). Niklāvs Strunke: versija par Palmēnu Klāvu. Rīga: Valters un Rapa.

Bērziņš, Arturs. (1947). Niklāvs Strunke. No: Pazīstamas sejas. II daļa (165.–221. lpp.). [B. v.]: Pētera Mantnieka apgāds.

Brasliņa, Aija. (2008). Latviešu modernisti Berlīnē un Romā 20. gs. 20. gados. Saskare ar secondo futurismo. No: Latvijas mākslas vēsture 21. gs.: pieredze, novitātes, eksperimenti. Letonikas kongress, 2: 2007: Rīga, Latvija (53.-[77.] lpp.). Rīga: Latvijas Zinātņu akadēmija; Latvijas Mākslas akadēmijas Mākslas vēstures institūts.

Brasliņa, Aija. (2008). Latviešu modernistu saskare ar secondo futurismo 20. gs. 20. gados. Mākslas Vēsture un Teorija, Nr. 10, 32.-45. lpp.

Brasliņa, Aija. (2011). Latvian Modernists in Berlin and Rome in the 1920s: Encounters with secondo futurismo. No: Günter Berghaus (ed.). International Yearbook of Futurism Studies. Vol. 1: Futurism in Eastern and Central Europe (231.-261. lpp.). Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter.

Brasliņa, Aija. (2012). Niklāvs Strunke – vecmeistaru māceklis Itālijā (1923–1927). No:  Gundega Cēbere (sast.). Latvijas Nacionālais mākslas muzejs: Muzeja raksti 4 (99.-108. lpp.). Rīga: Latvijas Nacionālais mākslas muzejs.

Lamberga, Dace (sast.). (2002). Kubisms Latvijas mākslā = Cubism in Latvian Art. Rīga: Neputns.

Lamberga, Dace. (2004). Niklāvs Strunke. No: Dace Lamberga. Klasiskais modernisms: Latvijas glezniecība 20. gadsimta sākumā (101., 128.-132. lpp.). Rīga: Neputns.

Niklāva Strunkes 25 gadu darbības atceres izstāde: no 25. februāra – 10. martam 1940. g. galvas pilsētas Rīgas Mākslas muzejā. (1940). Rīga: A. Gulbis.

Pastore, Luīza. (2015). Svešinieka atnākšana: detektīvstāsts bērniem. Rīga: Neputns.

Pelše, Stella. (2003). Latviešu futūrists un tradīciju noliedzējs Niklāvs Strunke – jaunatklātās teorētisko uzskatu liecības. No: Inguna Daukste-Silasproģe (sast.). Materiāli par latviešu un cittautu kultūru Latvijā (101.-109. lpp.). Rīga: Zinātne.

Pelše, Stella. (2016). Niklāvs Strunke un viņa glezniecība. No: Eduards Kļaviņš (sast.). Latvijas mākslas vēsture. 5. sēj.: 1915-1940 (159.-162. lpp.). Rīga: Latvijas Mākslas akadēmijas Mākslas vēstures institūts; Mākslas vēstures pētījumu atbalsta fonds.

Pourchier-Plasseraud, Suzanne. (2013). Niklāvs Strunke et le cubo-futurisme. No: Les arts de la nation: constructionnationale & arts visuels ne Lettonie 1905-1934 (286.-287. lpp.). Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes.

Siliņš, Jānis. (1993). Niklāvs Strunke. No: Jānis Siliņš. Latvijas māksla, 1915-1940. 3. sēj. (70.-78. lpp.). Stokholma: Daugava.

Siliņš, Jānis. (2001). Niklāvs Strunke. No: Rūta Kaminska (sast.). Latvijas mākslas un mākslas vēstures likteņgaitas (142.-174. lpp.). Rīga: Neputns.

Strunke katalogs, 1989. g. okt. Rīgā Valsts Mākslas muzejs. (1989). Rīga: Latvijas Mākslas muzeju apvienība.

Tepfers, Verners. (1963). Niklāva Strunkes grāmatu zīmes. No: Verners Tepfers. Senatnei un mākslai: pētījumi un apcerējumi Andreja Johansona sakārtojumā (107.-124. lpp.). Stokholma: Daugava.