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Izsoļu nams/galerija Jēkabs
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Karlis PADEGS

(1911 - 1940)

Painter, graphic artist

 

Works of K. Padges, both thematic and formal, with his expressionist images, in the interwar period in Latvia, was a peculiar phenomenon. Of the famous 80 paintings, only about 30 remained. Most works of the artist are made in the technique of graphics. K. Padges are characterized by masculine drawings, which often replenished with watercolor paintings. The artist did not attempt to create aesthetic works in his work - he was interested in the shadow sides of the world and, it would seem, disgusting. He basically displayed the life of the prevailing life of the twentieth century, which was mainly reflected in his graphic cycle "Red Laughter", with an emphasis on military horrors. KM himself Padges said that: "... not a Baptist preacher in art, but I represent life, no matter what it was," Gunars Vindezis says from his memoirs. K. Padges also worked a lot in the genre of portrait, especially often creating expressive self portraits accompanied by deeply ingrained carved figures. All the themes are viewed through the ironic and skeptical thinking of the artist. Distorted expression, fragmentation of the composition, grotesque, paradoxes, hyperbolization and deformation of the parts, combined with virtuosity of the line, can characterize the work of the artist. Art of K. Padegs was also highly praised by art historian Julius Madernieks of the time: "K. Padges is an extravagant, temperamental modernist with huge and specific artistic abilities ... The true art writes to itself the rules of internal content that only the chosen ones can do. [..] Works K. Padges, shown at exhibitions, show that this way is light and playful for him. "

 

K. Padges entered the Latvian Academy of Arts after graduating from high school, demonstrating his drawing skills. Because of disagreement with R. Zarins he did not finish his workshop of painting, where he initially was studieng, but he graduated from the workshop on natural painting of V. Purvitis with a diploma "Osta" (Port). In 1933 and 1934, personal exhibitions of K. Padegs were held together with artist V. Kalnrose, but the only fully independent exhibition in the life of K. Padges took place only once in 1936. In parallel with the painting of K. Padges did newspaper ads, worked short time in the humorous magazine "Svari" (Libra), and also designed shop windows. However, for the most part, the artist was very poor, since he could not find a suitable and independent job. "K. Padges remained a freelance person until the end of his life, he never took positions and did not receive well-paid orders. It's even hard to understand what he sometimes ate, "commented Janis Kalnacs. Bad diet and unhealthy lifestyle undermined the tuberculosis, which caused the artist's early death. K. Padges is widely known not only for his vibrant creativity, but also for his personality - an extravagant dandy and woman's lover As a legendary image, he wandered along the streets of Riga in a black coat, a hat and a red scarf, shocking the audience with his extraordinary thinking.

 

References:

Art and architecture in biographies, Encyclopedia of Latvia, Riga, 1995

Kalnacs Janis, "... the figure of a dream of Karlis Padegs", Riga: Flame 1993

Kalnacs Janis, "Variations on the theme of Karlis Padegs", Riga: Jana Seta, 1996