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The seventh Purvitis Prize exhibition opening is going to take place at the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art (Riga, Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) on Friday, June 4, featuring the Atmospheric Forest (2020) artwork by RIXC artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits.

Listen to the interview with the Purvitis Prize 2021 nominees, RIXC artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits in the LR1 broadcast here.

The exhibition consists of a set of paintings, installations, and porcelain and video artworks, created by eight artists and artist collectives nominated by independent experts for the seventh Purvitis Prize for the most outstanding performance in the visual arts in 2019 and 2020: Skuja Braden, Valdis Celms, Krista and Reinis Dzudzilo, Kaspars Grosevs, Ieva Kraule-Kuna and Elina Vitola, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, Aija Zarina, Amanda Ziemele. Eighteen artists and artist collectives had been nominated for the final selection of the Purvitis Prize 2021 whose creative performance had been recognized as a significant event in the Latvian visual art scene in the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020. The curator of the exhibition is Daiga Rudzate.

Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits are nominated for the Purvitis Prize for the Atmospheric Forest (2020) artwork at the virtual Critical Zones – Observatories for Earthly Politics exhibition organized by the ZKM Center for Art and Media (22.05.2020.–28.02.2021).

"The Atmospheric Forest artwork by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smots, which is exhibited in the Critical Zones – Observatories for Earthly politics exhibition by Bruno Latur and Peter Weibel, represents the next art spiral in technological neospiritivism, marking at least three notable qualities: Firstly, it is artistic research. Respectively, artistic means of expression have not only been used for some kind of reflection, but for the creation of new knowledge. Its object of research is the Swiss Alpine coniferous forests, which are currently suffering from drought, and the "living observatory" created by them. Secondly, because of virtual technology, it is at the same time a global and local project, it focuses on exploratory and political ecology, it forces us to reassess our attitude towards our planet, and it contributes to the debate over the decolonization of the earth (Gaia). Thirdly, it is simply the best known example of modern landscape art created by virtual technology. It is aesthetically enriching. It is meditative. It allows you to regain lost harmony and balance. It brings peace," the choice is explained by Dr. Andris Teikmanis, Professor and Vice-Rector of Studies and Research at the Art Academy of Latvia (LMA).

This is not the first time that Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits have been nominated for the Purvītis Prize. In 2019, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits were nominated for the Purvītis Prize for their exhibition Fluctuations of Microworlds.


The winner of the Purvitis Prize 2021 will be determined by the jury who will evaluate the performance of eight finalists in their joint exhibition. The laureat will be chosen on June 11. While the exhibition is on view, the visitors have an opportunity to vote for their favorite, which will be announced at the closing of the exhibition. The audience vote is organized in cooperation with the "Delfi" portal.


Founded in the early 2008, the Purvītis Prize was launched to amass regular and systematic information about the latest visual arts events in Latvia, promote development of new projects and original ideas, acknowledge the best achievements in Latvian professional visual arts and popularise the success of Latvian artists both in Latvia and abroad.

The Prize is awarded biennially to an artist or a group of artists representing Latvia with an outstanding work, which is deemed to be deeply connected to the developments of the era and forming a bridge between contemporary life, spiritual ideals and intrinsic values. The author rated highest by a panel of experts and a special international jury is selected as the winner. The Prize is the most prestigious and the most substantial art award in Latvia.


The Purvitis Prize 2021 exhibition is on view from June 4 to August 8, 2021.

The Purvītis Prize competition in visual arts is organised by the Latvian National Museum of Art in collaboration with the Museum Patron, SIA Alfor, and SIA Culture Project Agency ‘INDIE’ (Kultūras projektu aģentūra “INDIE”). The Purvītis Prize organisation is assisted by association Art Platform (Mākslas platforma) and P.R.A.E. Public Relations (P.R.A.E. Sabiedriskās attiecības).


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