(above: Winter Solstice Celebration, by Evalds Dajevskis, Acrylic, 1989)
The artwork of Latvian artist/scenographer Evalds Dajevskis will be exhibited at the Embassy of Latvia Art Space from October 4 - November 18, 2012.
OPENING RECEPTION, hosted by Amb. and Mrs. Razans and Mr. Peteris Dajevskis, will be held on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. at the Embassy.
As part of the opening day program, Peteris Dajevskis will present a lecture describing his personal journey of discovery as he sought the stories and the places where his father once lived and worked over the course of the 20th century.
HOURS THE EXHIBIT WILL BE OPEN:
The exhibit will be open 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Thursdays: October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 8, 15
Saturdays: October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3, 10, 17
Tuesdays: October 9, 16, 23, 30 and November 6, 13
and Sunday: November 18
Embassy of Latvia Art Space
2304 Massachusetts Ave., NW
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT AND THE ARTIST
The retrospective exhibit Evalds Dajevskis: “Place, Art and Identity” developed by his son Peter Dajevskis, is part of a "farewell tour" before it becomes a part of the permanent collection of the Liepaja City Museum in Latvia. The opening of the exhibit at the Latvian Embassy is the “kick-off” for the two-year final tour of Evalds Dajevskis’ art in the United States. Peter Dajevskis’ collection of his father’s work on display in this exhibit, along with other original paintings, will be donated to the Liepaja City Museum. The exhibit will move to Philadelphia in January 2013, and later on to New York. The development process for this exhibit has been ongoing for over two decades, since Evalds Dajevskis’ passing away in 1990.
The exhibit interprets Evalds Dajevskis’ career from a cultural geographer’s perspective, addressing 34 pieces from Peter Dajevskis’ personal collection of paintings and spans work painted between 1938 and 1989. In May of 2014, a major retrospective exhibition including 75 works and a personal archive of the artist’s own photographs, personal documents, and other items will be presented at the Liepaja City Museum as part of a 100th-birthday commemoration.
Evalds Dajevskis worked professionally as a scenographer for the Liepaja Opera, Drama and Ballet Theater from 1941 to 1944, before the events of World War II caused him to emigrate to the United States. He considered Liepaja to be his home town. Bringing the full complement of his works together in the place he held dear will not only support the museum’s effort to present the life and work of this Latvian artist, but will make his work available for the enjoyment of a wider audience.
The exhibit explores Evalds Dajevskis’ artistic roots in the ancient traditions, vernacular architecture, and folkways of the ancient Baltic peoples. The exhibit also presents the Latvian experience of displaced persons during the 20th century through the artist's eyes. It focuses on Evalds Dajevskis' role in creating a traveling theater that performed throughout western Germany at displaced persons camps during the post-World War II era. It addresses the struggle of the Latvian community to maintain its identity as thousands of Latvians were stranded for six years in refugee camps, and then immigrated to the United States and other countries. Finally, the exhibit looks at Evalds Dajevskis’ career in film and theater as a scenic artist working on Broadway and for Lincoln Center productions. Dajevskis’ artistic documentation of the variety of locations where he lived in Latvia, Germany, and the United States provides a distinctive visual exploration of the places he called home and their impact on the shaping of his own identity.
The exhibition will include an interpretive mobile phone application to offer visitors a very personal account by Peter Dajevskis of the artist’s motivation and stories behind many of the 34 works of art on display. One of his main goals is to offer wider audiences, both in the United States and Latvia, the opportunity to gain insight on Evalds Dajevskis as an artist and on the socio-historical context in which he grew up. The accounts go back to Evalds Dajevskis’ childhood days living outside St. Petersburg, Russia, and moving to his grandfather’s farmstead near Valka, located in northern Latvia close to the border with Estonia.
The exhibit offers an opportunity to enjoy Dajevskis’ work on an artistic level but also in terms of his contributions to sustaining Latvian heritage within the multi-cultural American setting in which he lived for over half of his life.