(1911 - 1991)
Kurts Fridrihsons is one of the most exquisite draughtsman in the second half of twentieth century Latvian art. Important part of his creative work is watercolour technique and later felt-tip pen. Main theme of his art is Latvian folklore, ancient legends, literature and art of the world. In 1960’s Fridrihsons was called an abstractionist – his art was characterized by synthesis of decorative areas and graphic rhythm. Later he intensified metaphorically imaginative accent, exquisite colouring and elegance of a line in his work even more. Since 1974, he mainly worked in felt-tip pen technique, achieving multi-layered colouring and intangible airiness at the same time.
He studied at the University of Latvia, Department of Architecture (1931–1938, with intermissions), where he attended painting lessons at the Vilhelms Puvitis workshop. In 1938 Fridrihsons attended the studio of Andre Derain in Paris.
From 1938 until 1941, he worked at the foreign literature department of the bookstore “Valters and Rapa”, from 1941 at The Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. He also has worked as a teacher in the J. Rosenthal Riga Art School (1947–1948). During this time, he attended meetings of so-called “French group”. He was arrested in 1951 and exiled to Siberia. He was imprisoned at the Omsk oblast until 1956 and rehabilitated in 1991.
After returning to Latvia, he worked with publishing, painted watercolours and illustrated books. He continued to work at The Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, worked as stage designer in The Daile Theatre (1967–1972) and combine “Art”.
Kurts Fridrihsons participated in exhibitions since 1932 and was a member of The Artists’ Union of Latvia since 1946. Solo exhibitions: Honolulu, USA (1939), Riga (1943, 1967, 1974, 1975 with Janis Spalvins, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990). Memorial exhibition (1992), exhibitions in Riga (1997, 2006, 2012) and Liepaja (2007). Kurts Fridrihsons has participated in group exhibitions in Latvia, former Soviet Union, Europe, USA, Australia and elsewhere.
Kurts Fridrihsons was granted title of the Latvian SSR Honoured Art Worker (1989) and title of honorary member of Latvian Academy of Sciences (1990).
Vilsons A. Māksla un arhitektūra biogrāfijās, part 1. Riga: “Latvijas enciklopēdija”, 1995, P.158.