Latvian expressionist Ilgvars Zalāns
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Latvian expressionist Ilgvars Zalāns

Ilgvars Zalāns is Latvia’s most famous expressionist, performance artist, action painter, citizen of the world. In his creative works Europe meets Asia. Impulsiveness and lyricism, explosions of color and a tender love for the beauty of life – this is all about Ilgvars Zalāns.

Born in 1962 in a small town, Ilgvars graduated from the Latvian Academy of Art rather late, at the age of thirty. At that time, contemporary art was booming all over the former Soviet Union, and Ilgvars began to look for his own style in the new open world. He was influenced by the Japanese Gutai art movement and the American-European Fluxus movement. Both of these movements emerged in the second half of the century as a symbol of the transformation of art and society in general.

Ilgvars brought this idea of free creativity on a global scale to life amazingly courageously and brightly in 2007 – he held a series of short performances in 33 countries and entered the world art space at lightning speed. His exhibitions take place in different parts of the world, he takes an active part in art residencies, his works are kept in prestigious collections, including The Collections of Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko.

Through Ilgvars’ creative work and lifestyle runs the idea of the unity of humanity. He is a citizen of the world, who travels and lives in different countries, absorbing the characteristics of different cultures. His art is based on the traditions of modernism, first and foremost on figurative and abstract expressionism. However, Ilgvars has enriched this stylistics with Eastern motifs: Indonesian, Japanese and others. He found new colors, new subjects, new moods and thus, through personal experience, connected Europe and Asia.

Ilgvars Zalāns is an expressionist not only in his painting style. His creative style, action painting, is a real show: emotion and movement, active action, when the artist’s body becomes a tool to create a canvas. The coloristic richness in his works is born from the confidence in the diversity and unity of all living things. Ilgvars’ charismatic painting is a miracle of creation here and now. The artist’s specifically attuned eye sees complex connections, the master creates harmony out of them.

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