Oļgerts Krauklis. Architecture in Painting

Being versatile and achieving success in different roles is something not many can accomplish. Architect and painter Oļģerts Krauklis is among the few who stand out. Perhaps due to having been blessed with extra talents and gifts that have helped him achieve many things, maintain a broad and open worldview in the most diverse spheres of activity, retain a sense of humour, remember a wealth of events and facts and be able to reshape the strands of these experiences into unique urban and rural landscapes that delight the eye with astonishing precision of aerial and linear perspectives.

In this exhibition, it was a conscious choice of the curators to focus on landscape dominated by architecture, underscoring the artist’s architectural worldview. Beyond doubt, Krauklis is no stranger to still life or portrait, which can be seen in his other exhibition projects. In Daugavpils, the artist is clearly better known as an architect, because he is the author of the former cinema “October” whose sculpted facade still addresses us from the corner of Vienības and Kandavas Street. With this exhibition, we demonstrate a different edge to the artist-architect’s creative life and, with that, gain a different perspective on Latvian watercolour painting.

Oļģerts Krauklis was born in 1931 to stage artist Alma Ābele and actor Nikolajs Krauklis.

Occupation: architect, interior designer, watercolourist, painter

Career: Urban Planning Institute (1955-1983), leading artist at Latvian Art Foundation (1983-1991)

2012 – Commander of the Order of Three Stars

1978 – Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic Council of Ministers Construction Award winner (object – cinema “October”)

1984 – Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic Council of Ministers Construction Award winner (object – Computing Centre in Rīga)

One of Rotary Club revivers in Latvia

Decorated with “Construction Industry Grand Prix 2016” in the category “Lifelong Contribution to Construction Industry”

Member of the Artists’ Union of Latvia since 1981

Member of the Architects’ Union of Latvia since 1958

Major objects:

  • Culture Palace (panoramic cinema) in Tselinograd (1963, with Danneberg and Voegel)

Since 2008, a listed architectural monument protected by the state of Kazakhstan, nominee of USSR State Award in Construction in 1968

  • Science Centre in Jūrmala, Lielupe (1970)
  • Rīga Sports Palace (1968–1970, group of authors)
  • Rīga Vidzeme Suburb administration building in Rīga, 226 Brīvības Boulevard (1972–1980) Listed Architectural Monument
  • Cinema “October” (1970-1978), now Curiosity Centre “Zinoo”), Daugavpils, 30 Vienības Street. Specifically for this project in Daugavpils, the architect developed innovative construction materials – acoustic ceramic blocks
  • Computing Centre in Rīga
  • Ogre Culture Centre (1971–1986)
  • Numerous residential buildings in Latvia and former USSR

Krauklis currently resides with his spouse, artist Māra Rikmane, in the so-called “Raven’s Nest” – a house with a studio of the architect’s own design on 94 Valdemāra Street.

  • Interior: Main Assembly Hall at the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia

Māris Čačka, Vanda Baulina