This article is dedicated to the “Baltars” collective porcelain painting workshop (1924–1930), founded in Riga, Latvia by three modernist artists: painters Romans Suta (1896–1944) and Aleksandra Beļcova (1892–1981) and graphic artist Sigismunds Vidbergs (1890–1970).The “Baltars” phenomenon is significant because of the innovations that the artists brought to the landscape of Latvian porcelain manufacturing and its exhibition activities in the 1920s and the early 1930s, both local and in the Baltic Sea region—Lithuania, Estonia, and Sweden. The article investigates “Baltars” foundation and closure, artistic activities of the company, its attempts to enter the international art and trade scene, and its accomplishments. Special attention is paid to the amalgamation of modernisation, nationalism, and state-building manifested in their paintings on porcelain. Due to the present growing interest in porcelain art in Latvia, triggered by numerous exhibitions and publications, discourse on the “Baltars” phenomenon has become topical.
The numerous plastic approaches of form in the 20th century are characterized by creativity and innovation. Form, as expression of an artistic language, is the cause and effect for the cultural evolution of a particular spatial-temporal area. The invention of forms depending on the factors which will impose them in a particular socio-cultural context and location environment is not everything. The challenges of the act of creation are far more complex. For the art of the 20th century, the role of the type of expression in visual or gestural language proved much more convincing and meaningful as to the data or phenomena occurring in immediate reality. The personality of the artist, his cultural character, his media coverage and exterior influences of his inner world, his preceding experiences and receiver’s contacts in a specific area are the factors that influence the relation between the work of art and the audience against a particular spatial-temporal background. The psychological and sensory processes in works of plastic art are spatially configured in structures, which leads to self-confession. The artist filters the information and the elements of exterior reality through the vision of his imagination and power of expression specific to his inner self, and turns them into values through the involvement of his state of mind. Constantin Brâncuşi is the sculptor whose role was considered exponential as he revolutionized modern artistic vision by integrating and creating space-form relations through symbol. Throughout his complex work - the Group of Monumental Sculptures of Tg. Jiu, the artist renewed the language of the sculpture-specific means of expression, though archaic forms, by restoring traditional art. Archetypes often make reference to the initial and ideal form and they represent the primitive and native models composing it. Form attracts, polarizes and integrates the energy of the matter outside the human body, and art acquires a unifying function for the senses of our spirit. We identify the forms developed by the junction between fantastic forms, the figments of the imagination of artists who communicate deep human meanings. They invite us in a world of constructive forms and mysteries, truly innovative and elaborate creations, by underlying different directions in the compositional space with symbolic value.
The process of questioning the authority of academic history—in the form in which it emerged at the turn of the 19th century—began in the 1970s, when Hayden White pointed out the rhetorical dimension of historical discourse. His British colleague Alun Munslow went a step further and argued that the ontological statuses of the past and history are so different that historical discourse cannot by any means be treated as representation of the past. As we have no access to that which happened, both historians and artists can only present the past in accordance with their views and opinions, the available rhetorical conventions, and means of expression.
The article revisits two examples of experimental history which Munslow mentioned in his The Future of History (2010): Robert A. Rosenstone’s Mirror in the Shrine (1988) and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s In 1926 (1997). It allows reassessing their literary strategies in the context of a new wave of works written by historians and novelists who go beyond the fictional/factual dichotomy. The article focuses on Polish counterfactual writers of the last two decades, such as Wojciech Orliński, Jacek Dukaj, and Aleksander Głowacki. Their novels corroborate the main argument of the article about a turn which has been taking place in recent experimental historying: the loss of previous interest in formal innovations influenced by modernist avant-garde fiction. Instead, it concentrates on demonstrating the contingency of history to strategically extend the unknowability of the future or the past(s) and, as a result, change historying into speculative thinking.
After December 1989 in visual art from Iasi were produced numerous changes which have contributed to a new approach of the artistic phenomenon. That was the moment when a new generation of artists appeared and who, unshackle by the rigors of the communist regime, they have created artworks by experimenting the most varied ways of visual expression. An important aspect of this transition period is the place which visual art has it in the culture from Iasi and the aesthetic trends learned by the new generation alongside older artistic directions define the value of the contemporary cultural heritage from Iasi. Also, an important role in the presentation of the visual art from Iasi is the artistic education, which it‟s in a constant development with the advent of new specializations within the Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, highlighting the artistic and scientific potential of the professors and the students of „George Enescu“ Național University of Arts from Iasi.
In the diverse space of contemporary music, the fascinating and controversial personality of the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, which is surprising from several perspectives, stands out. Open to assimilating and processing music from various sources (academic, liturgical, folk, entertainment, oriental, exotic), the all-round musician Karl Jenkins impresses the public with unexpected artistic choices, giving up the hypostasis of instrumentalist of the jazz-rock band Nucleus and of the group Softmachine in favour of the postmodern creator he has become today, synthetizing trends from musical compositions of the last decades of the 20th century. Once with the return to the functional system, either through minimalism or through neo-romanticism, the artist has successfully covered a potential sonority path of modern opposites, also evoking references to creative models of the past. We are referring to the musical valorizing of the sacred in a synthetic vision between tradition and innovation, in the works included in the Adiemus cycle, in the opus choir Missa for Peace and, more particularly, in the Requiem (2005), a significant score in the contemporaneity. The manner in which the composer, while resorting to a musical genre originating from the Roman Catholic cult and drawing on the liturgical text of the Mass for the dead, inserted Japanese poetry, written following the structure of haiku, belonging to representative authors - Gozan Koshigaya, Issho Kosughi, Hokusai Katsushika, Kaga-no-Chiyo, is highly surprising. This study aims to highlight the interweaving imagined by Karl Jenkins between the two cultures as well as to conduct a semantic analysis of an opus in which the relationships between music and words entail a highly emotional response.
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