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Blumbergs Ilmars

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Ilmars Blumbergs (1943-2016)

Ilmаrs Blumbergs can be considered as the most powerful representative of mythological thinking in Latvian art. He is always concerned with the subject of human being and the “unbearable fragility” of his/her existence experienced by everybody during the course of one’s life. Life and death are objects explored in Blumbergs’ art, including stage design, easel works, book illustrations and prints.

Ilmārs Blumbergs has participated in important art exhibitions around the world - in 2001 his film "Magic Flute" (director Viesturs Kairišs) presented Latvia in the 49th Venice Biennial, Blumbergs' artworks have been exhibited in the exhibiton "Baltic Time" both at Galerie im Taxipalais and Galerie des Landes in Insbruck / Austria (2002), as well as in the exhibition “Testimonio de la Fe” at Museo de la ciudad de Madrid in Spain (2002) ect. Important solo exhibitions of the artist were held in Germany (Lichthof des Auswartigen Amtes, Berlin), France (Orangerie du Senat - Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris), Norway (Vigelan Museum, Oslo).
In 2004 there was Ilmārs Blumbergs' solo exhibition "A Prayer for Seeing" at Oratorio San Ludovico in Venice which received the Great Prize of the Year 2004 of the Artists’ Union of Latvia.

Education
1963 - 1972     Latvian Academy of Arts, Department of Painting.
1958 - 1963     Riga  Secondary School of Applied Arts, Department of Stage Design.
Field of activity: graphics, painting, stage design, installations, graphic design, book illustrations, film production, photography, sculpture.

Selected Awards
2007 – Dante Alighieri award for the “Venetian Books” project
2005 – Grand Prix of the Latvian Union of Artists for the personal exhibition “Prayer for seeing” in Venice, Italy, in 2004.
2003 – Silver Medal of the Prague Quadrennial for the concept of set design and costumes for Mozart’s “Magic Flute”
2001 Award of the Baltic Assembly for the set design and costumes for Mozart’s “Magic Flute”
1998 Gold Medal “Artist of the Year” of the Artists’ Union of Latvia for scenography and costume design of Verdi’s “Aida” at the Latvian National Opera
1998 Award of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia for the artistic realisation of Verdi’s “Aida” at the Latvian National Opera
1993 Award of the Latvian Ministry of Culture for great investment in the development of the national culture
1992 “Prix Octogones 1992” at the Book Art Exhibition "Octogones 1992" in  Ardennes, France
1990 Grand Prix at the Book Art Triennial of the Baltic Republics in Vilnius, Lithuania
1989 Grand Prix at the 8th Tallinn Graphic Triennial in Tallinn, Estonia
1988 Prix de la Ville Volvic at the Minigraphics Triennial in Chamaliere, France
1987 Grand Prix at the 2nd Minigraphics Triennial of the Baltic Republics in Riga
1985 First Prize at the 4th Stage Design Triennial of the Baltic Republics in Riga
1985 Honorary Award of the Artists’ Union of Latvia
1981 Special Award at the Poster Triennial of the Baltic Republics in Vilnius, Lithuania
1980 First Prize at the Stage Design Triennial of the Baltic Republics in Tallinn, Estonia
1977 First Prize at the Stage Design Triennial of the Baltic Republics in Vilnius, Lithuania
1975 First Prize at the Poster Triennial of Baltic Republics in Tallinn, Estonia

Solo Exhibitions:
2005 – “A prayer for seeing”, Rīgas Galerija, Latvija
2004 -  “A prayer for seeing”, Oratorio di San Ludovico, Venezia, Italy. (cat.)
2003 – “Drawings are in the Box”.- Riga Gallery, Riga; State Museum of Art, Tartu, Estonia (cat.)
– Prague Quadrennial of Scenography.- Prague, Czech Republic (cat.)
– “Sound Systems”.- Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (cat.)
2002 – “Ilmars Blumbergs: Aida, Magic Flute”.- Orangerie du Sénat – Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (cat.)
– “House-keeping”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga (cat.)
2001 – “Magic Flute”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
2000 - “Terskel. Threshold”.- Vigeland - museet, Oslo; together with Gļebs Panteļejevs (cat.)
- Regional Museum of Talsi.- Talsi, Latvia
- “Windows”.- State Museum of Art, Riga (book)
- “Endless”.- Gallery Daugava, Rīga
- Drawings.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
- “Costumes”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
1999 - “Heil-Bhop Comet Behind My Window on 27th March 1997”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
1998 - “The Gray Works”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
- “The Love Mystery “Aida””.- Theatre Museum, Riga
1997 - “Signs”.- Exhibition Centre, Cēsis
- "All from Hesiod”.- Gallery of the International Institute of Practical Psychology, Riga
1996 - “Atlantīda”.- Gallery Kolonna, Riga
1995 – “All from Hesiod”.- Riga Gallery (book)
- “The Small Solo Exhibition”.- Cafe Andalūzijas suns, Riga
1994 -  UNO Headquarters, New York
- Art Museum, Zwolle, The Netherlands
1993 -  Riga Gallery
- State Museum of Art, Riga (cat.)
1992 -  State Museum of Art, Riga (cat.)
1991 - together with Juris Petraskevics.- Musee Provincial Felicien, Namur, Belgium
- together with Juris Petraskevics.- Galerie De L’Arbitraire, Goux, France
1990 -  Architects Centre, Riga
- Gallery Jana seta, Riga
1989 - together with Peteris Martinsons.- Lakeside Gallery, Michigan, USA
1984 -  Museum of Contemporary Art, Pori, Finland
1981 -  Mikolajus Konstantinas Ciurlionis Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania
1980 -  Theatre Museum, Riga
1974 -  Daile Theatre, Riga

Group Exhibitions:
2004 – The Rape of Europe, Latvian Contemporary Art exhibition, Eskilstuna Art Museum, Sweden
2004 – “Art Moscow”, 8th Intl Art Exhibition, Russia
2004 – “The Dream Island”, Intl Contemporary Art exhibition, Gallery Noass, Riga, Latvia
2004 – Tallinn Print Triennal, Estonia
2003 – “Wild Photographers”.- Communication Centre “Sapņu fabrika”, Riga
– “Set Designers outside the Theatre”.- Gallery Čiris, Riga
2002 – “Nothing Personal”.- The City Gallery of Bremen, Germany
2001 – “Mask”.- Gallery Bastejs, Riga
- “The Face of Graphics”.- Riga Gallery
- “Riga 800 Magic Flute” – Latvian exposition in the 49th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennial.- Chiesa San Lio, Venice, Italy (cat.); film “ The Magic Flute” (together with Viesturs Kairiss)
- “Drawing”.- Riga Gallery
- “Interval”.- Exhibition Hall Arsenāls, Riga
2000 - “Baltic Art. Contemporary Paintings and Sculptures”.- National Arts Club, New York; Gallery of the International Monetary Fund, Washington (cat.)
- Exhibition of the Gallery Bastejs in the Bastejs Passage, Riga
- “Kaliningrad – Kënigsberg 2000” – Graphics Biennial of the Baltic Sea countries.- Kaliningrad, Russia (cat.)
1998 – “Columbarium”.- Gallery Melnais balodis, Riga
- “Painted Wooden Horses”.- Rainis Museum of Literature and Art History, Riga
- “Miniature”.- Riga Gallery
- “CDH ‘98”.- Central Artists’ House, Moscow, Russia (cat.)
- The 2nd World-wide Latvian Contemporary art Exhibition.- Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga (booklet)
- Latvian Art Exhibition.- Architects Hall, Rathaus, Prague, Czech Republic
- “Bath”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
- 11th  Tallinn Graphic Triennial.- Roterman Salt Storage Gallery, Tallinn (cat.)
- “Life. Game. Freedom”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
1997 - “Artists’ Self-Portraits”.- Gallery Melnais balodis, Riga
- “Summer Reminiscences”.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
- “Latvian Contemporary Art”.- Grande Salle de l’Aubette, Strasbourg; Maison du Danemark, Paris, France
1996 - “23 Artistas de Letonia”.- Sala Millares, Madrid, Spain (cat.)
- “Les Journēes Baltes” - Baltic States Art Exhibition.- UNESCO Exhibition Hall, Paris, France (cat.)
- “Geo - Ģeo” - the 4th annual SCCA-Riga.- Pedvāle Art Park, Sabile, Latvia (booklet)
- “Personal Time. Art of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 1945 - 1996”.- The Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland (cat.); Central Exhibition Hall Manezh, St.Petersburg, Russia (cat.)
- Gallery’s Autumn Exhibition.- Gallery Daugava, Riga
- Latvian Contemporary Art Exhibition.- Exhibition Hall of Estonian National Library, Tallinn, Estonia
- “Art After a Century” - within the framework of the international conference “Art Nouveau and the Baltics”.- Riga Gallery
- “The Other Picture”.- Riga Gallery
- “Art. Music. Furniture”.- Gallery of the Latvian Artists’ Union, Riga
1995 - “Urn I” - Poster Exhibition .- National Library, Riga
- "Artists from All Over the World" - Exhibition of the 14th General Assembly and Congress of the IAA/AIAP (UNESCO).- Tlaxcala Culture Palace, Mexico
1994 - "Lettische Künstler stellen sich vor" - Contemporary Art from Latvia.- Deutsche Aerospace, Munich, Germany (cat.)
- The 15th Chicago International Art Exhibition.- Chicago, USA
- "Pro Natura Baltica" - Travelling Exhibition of the Baltic Sea Countries.- Helsinki, Tallinn, St.Petersburg, Gdansk, Lübeck, Rostock, Copenhagen, Stockholm
-  "Les Artistes Lettons - Riga".- Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Chamalieres, France (cat.)
- “Künstler aus Riga”.- NDR Studio, Hamburg, Germany (cat.)
- Exhibition of Riga Gallery
- “Lettland ist Europa” - Five Artists from Riga.- Galery Im Margarethenhof, Bonn, Germany (cat.)
- “State” - the 2nd annual Soros Center for Contemporary Arts-Riga exhibition.- Museum of Art Arsenāls, Riga (cat.)
1993 - All-Latvia Art Action “ep!” - graphic exhibitions in 33 towns (cat.)
 - "Peintures Lettonnes du XXeme Siecle" (20th Century’s Latvian Painting).- Paris, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, France (cat.)
1992 - Print Triennial of the Baltic States.- Stockholm, Sweden
- The 9th Baltic Print Triennial.- Artists Centre, Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
- “Art as Activist” - Exhibition of the Revolutionary Posters of the Central and Eastern Europe.- New York, Puerto Rico, Washington, USA; Holland (cat.)
- “Zeitzeichen” (Signs of Time) - Latvian and Georgian Art.- Gallery Im Margarethenhof, Bonn (cat.)
- Book Art Exhibition "Octogones 1992".- Ardennes, France (cat.)
- Latvian Art Exhibition.- Bradford University, London, UK
1991- “Der Kampf um die Unabhängigkeit” - Baltic Art Exhibition.- Köln, Germany (cat.)
- Group Exhibition in Museum Sahut, Volvic, France (cat.)
- Baltic Poster Art Exhibition.- Lahti Art Museum, Finland (cat.)
- Minigraphics Triennial.- Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Chamalieres, France (cat.)
- “Side by Side” - Exhibition of Latvian Artists.- National Gallery, Canberra, Australia (cat.)
- “Kunst Europa”.- BBK Galerie  and Gallery Artothek, Oldenburg, BRD (cat.)
1990 - Exhibition of Baltic Artists.- Bielefeld, Germany
- Book Art Triennial of the Baltic Republics.- Vilnius, Lithuania (cat.)
- “Latvian artists - Side by Side” (as part of the Australian Latvian 40th Cultural Festival).- High Court of Australia, Canbera, Australia (cat.)
- The 1st World Latvian Art Exhibition.- State Museum of Art, Museum of Foreign Art, Museum of Art Arsenāls, Riga (cat.)
1989 – “Riga - Latvian Avantgarde”.- City Art Gallery Im Sophienhof, Kiel; Exhibition Hall Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (cat.)
- “New Art Forms” - International Exhibition.- Chicago, USA (cat.)
- “Artist and Religion”.- Academy of Sciences, Riga (cat.)
- The 13th Republican Print Exhibition.- Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga
- The 8th Tallinn Graphic Triennial.- Tallinn/Estonia; Grand Prix (cat.)
- Fine Art Exhibition “Autumn 89”.- Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga
1988 - Minigraphics Triennial.- Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Chamaliere, France (cat.)
- “Riga - Latvian Avantgarde”.- State Art Hall, West Berlin (cat.)
- Contemporary Latvian Sculpture and Graphics.- State Museum of Art, Tbilisi, Georgian SSR (cat.)
- “Incident – 4”.- Gallery Jana seta, Riga (cat.)
- “The Contemporary Soviet Poster”.- David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, USA (cat.)
- “Lettische Kunst heute”.- Spandauer Zitadelle, West Berlin (cat.)
- “Litography in Latvia”.- State Museum of Art, Riga (cat.)
- The 2nd International Poster Triennial.- Toijama, Japan (cat.)
- Exhibition-Auction of Art Contributions for Memorial of the Cult Victims.- Latvian Academy of Arts, Riga (cat.)
1987 – “Latvian Printmakers”.- Cardiff, England (cat.)
- “Baltic Poster ‘87” - Poster Triennial of the Baltic Republics.- Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga (cat.)
- The 9th Republican Poster Exhibition.- State Museum of Art, Riga (cat.)
- The 2nd Minigraphics Triennial of the Baltic Republics.- Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga; Grand Prix (cat.)
1986 – “Theatre Posters”.- Osnabrück, FRG (cat.)
- The 7th Tallinn Graphic Triennial.- Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
1985 – The 4th Stage Design Triennial of the Baltic Republics.- Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga; First Prize (cat.)
- The 6th International Poster Biennial.- Lahti Art Museum, Finland (cat.)
- “5”- Latvian Poster Exhibition.- Riga (cat.)
- The 9th Republican Poster Exhibition.- State Museum of Art, Riga (cat.)
- “5 Latvian Poster Artists”.- Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
- Latvian Set Design Exhibition.- Budapest, Hungary (cat.)
1984 – “Nature. Environment. Man”.- St. Peter’s Church, Riga
- “Art of the Soviet Latvia”.-  Central House of Artists, Moscow (cat.)
- The 6th Baltic Poster Triennial.- Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
1983 - Latvian Poster Exhibition.- New York, USA (cat.)
- Exhibition of Latvian Set Design.- Helsinki, Finland (cat.)
- “Stage Costume”.- Theatre Museum, Riga
- The 6th Tallinn Graphic Triennial.- Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
1982 - Poster Exhibition.- Culture Centre of Balvi, Latvia
- Poster Exhibition.- Riga (cat.)
- All-Union Exhibition “Artists for People”, dedicated of the 60th Anniversary of establishment of the USSR.- Central House of Artists,  Moscow (cat.)
1981- Poster Triennial of the Baltic Republics - Vilnius, Lithuania (cat.)
- Stage Design Exhibition - Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (cat.)
- "Theatre Poster Art" - from Riga by 7 Latvian artists - Institute of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (cat.)
- The 4th International Poster Biennial - Lahti, Finland (cat.)
- The 3rd Baltic Set Design Triennial - Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
1980 - Exhibition, dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the Latvian SSR State Museum of Art.- State Museum of Art, Riga
- The 5th Tallinn Graphic Triennial.- Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
- Stage Design Triennial of the Baltic Republics - Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
- The 7th Republican Poster Exhibition - Exhibition Hall Latvija, Riga (cat.)
- Soviet Latvian Graphic and Poster Exhibition.- The Netherlands
1979 - "Our Theatre Artists”.- Museums of Kuldiga, Aluksne, Saldus, Stucka, Culture Centre of Dobele, p/s Zemgale, Latvia
- “An Invitation to Performance”.- Culture Centre of the collective farm Zemgale; Museum of Stucka, Latvia
- International Graphics Biennial.- Bredford, Great Britain
1978 - The 12th Republican Young Artists’ Exhibition.- Museum of Foreign Art, Riga (cat.)
- Exhibition of Latvian Set Designers.- Rostock, Berlin (cat.)
- Poster Exhibition.- Museum of Regional Studies and Art, Valmiera, Latvia
- “Baltic Poster ‘78”.- St. Peter’s Church, Riga (cat.)
- The 3rd Print Exhibition “Science and Science Fiction”.- Republikāniskais zinību nams, Riga (cat.)
- “Invitation to Performance”.- p/s Zemgale; Museum of Stučka, Latvia
1977 - The 4th Graphic Triennial of the Baltic Republics.- Artists’ Center, Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
- Stage Design Triennial of the Baltic Republics.- Tallinn, Estonia (cat.)
1976 – The 3rd International Scenography Quadrennial.- Prague, Czechoslavakia (cat.)
- The 5th Republican Poster Exhibition.- Riga (cat.)
1976, 1978, 1980
- The 6th, 7th, 8th International Poster Biennale.- Warsaw, Poland (cat.)
1975 - Poster Triennial of Baltic Republics.- Tallinn, Estonia  (cat.)
1974 - Interrepublican Stage Design Exhibition.- Riga (cat.)
- Exhibition of Set Design.- All-Union Theatre Society, Moscow (cat.)
1973 - The 4th All-Union Poster Exhibition.- Moscow (cat.)
1962 - The 5th Republican Young Artists’ Exhibition.- State Latvian and Russian Art Museum, Riga (cat.)