The exhibition “Transition” is on view from February 8 in the experimental art space PILOT of the Art Academy of Latvia. It is created in collaboration between tutors and students in order to highlight and actualize the practice of contemporary drawing in the study process in the Art Academy.

The exhibition showcases the medium of drawing and a conversation about vision, the phenomenon of vision – the spectrum of colors and the black and white. How can it be related to the progress of contemporary drawing; how does the vision affect the creative work of each author?

“The Island of the Colorblind”, a book by the British author Oliver Sacks is relevant in addressing this subject. It is about the peculiarity of vision in which one does not see color and perceives the world only through the black and white spectrum: “You see, (..) we don’t just go by color. We look, we feel, we smell, we know—we take everything into consideration, and you just take color!”

The seeing as a hypothetically or partly culturally learned thing can be understood in comparison with the invisible or hidden information of our time, i.e. the capability to see, perceive and unravel information in its abundance.

American artist Amy Sillman says: “Drawing itself seems like an activity not founded on logic but made up of contingencies, overflow, stray parts – a process that might be described as working blind, like a mole, or like a beaver building a thatch.”

In today's digitally-influenced perception, drawing often seems to be a slow, time-consuming medium, demanding patience to the extent it becomes physically difficult to draw lines by hand anymore. However, the structure of the human eye still provides a certain perception of what is seen with the black-and-white and color sensors of the retina. Drawing is usually associated with a black-and-white or, more precisely, a monochrome imagery. The works of the exhibition's authors include a subtle border in between and the transition to the world of colors. The transition can be drawn, imagined, seen, or it just happens.

The idea of the exhibition came up in the Contextual Composition of Drawing course, which has been running since 2018 at the Art Academy of Latvia’s MA in Painting, in collaboration with the Department of Drawing. "Transition" is a collaboration between artists and lecturers at the Art Academy of Latvia Elīna Zunde, Maija Kurševa and Juris Petraškevičs, and students from different departments specializing in  The Drawing , Graphic Arts, Movement.Image.Sound as well as Scenography. The three established artists represent the Art Academy of Latvia in the NDS (Northern Drawing School – a joint project of Nordic art universities for new perspectives on drawing in art education). By participating in this exhibition, NDS announces its presence in Riga and initiates further international cooperation. NDS participates in the exhibition with a questionnaire, which was initiated in 2023 by NDS Oslo National Academy of Arts students and extended by AAL representatives in 2024. It is an interactive dialogue about drawing, in which the visitors of the exhibition are invited to participate.

Exhibition Dates:
February 8 - March 23, 2024
Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
PILOT Address: Riharda Vāgnera iela 3, Riga
Admission is free.