Conceptualism in Latvia: Preconditions of Thinking

The book by Jānis Taurens is the first comprehensive study on conceptualism in Latvian art. Art historian and reviewer of the book, Stella Pelše, notes the unusually wide scope of the survey of the spheres of visual art, philosophy and literature that the author has taken motivated by passion for research, education and personal interest.

The material included in the two parts of the book allows the reader to follow up peripeteias of Western conceptualism as well as to focus on the analysis of the situation in Latvia, which, as Stella Pelše indicates, is „the intriguing basic focus of the publication. Was (is) there conceptualism in Latvia? Are the universal standards authoritative enough to legitimate the local experience, or maybe the local specifics can change the very perceptions about canonical directions of art? The selected phenomena and conclusions do not claim to be self-evident and universal truth, instead they express the specific vision of the author, and this allows to foresee a resonance that would stimulate discussions in the culture space of Latvia.”

Jānis Taurens writes on philosophy, aesthetics, contemporary art and architecture. He has studied architecture at the Riga Polytechnical Institute (now the Riga Technical University) and philosophy at the University of Latvia, earning his Dr. phil. in 2005. Since 2006 he is an associate professor at the Latvian Academy of Art.