Embassy of Latvia in Egypt Launches a Cultural Project Featuring Renowned Contemporary Plein Air Painter Aleksejs Naumovs

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Embassy of Latvia in Egypt is proud to announce a cultural project featuring the esteemed Latvian contemporary painter, former rector and current Professor of the Art Academy of Latvia, Aleksejs Naumovs. The aim of the project is to promote Latvian landscape painting and traditions in Egypt, to foster artistic exchange and cultural enrichment.

At the heart of the project are series of masterclasses led by Aleksejs Naumovs, renowned for his mastery of plein air landscape painting. Against the historic backdrop of Cairo’s panoramic views, participants will have the unique opportunity to learn from Naumovs’ expertise as they explore the art of capturing landscapes in open air using acrylic colors.

Naumovs’ hands-on approach and dedication to working directly in natural environment are sure to inspire. This familiarity with the exterior as a working environment, has allowed Naumovs to develop a unique appreciation and portrayal of natural light in his art, instrumentalising the sun’s rays, or their absence, to convey a mood, an atmosphere, a moment.

In addition to the masterclasses, Naumovs will share his insights and experiences in a special lecture at the Faculty of Arts at Helwan University. Titled “Latvian Landscape Traditions and the Use of Art in Animation,” the lecture will give an introduction of Latvian landscape painting traditions, with a particular focus on Latvian artistic heritage. Moreover, A. Naumovs will explore the intersection of art and animation, offering insights into the creative process and the integration of artistic techniques in animated storytelling.

Highlighting the significance of this cultural project, the Ambassador of Latvia H.E. Andris Razāns, will participate in the lecture, emphasizing the importance of cultural exchange and cooperation between Latvia and Egypt.

The project is organised by the Embassy of Latvia in Egypt in collaboration with Faculty of Art, Helwan University and Art Café Maadi. For inquiries, please contact the Embassy of Latvia: [email protected]

Aleksejs Naumovs graduated from the Department of Monumental Painting of the Latvian Academy of Arts. Had scholarship of the French government (Sorbonne Art Plastiques, L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts dе Paris), studying painting in Paris. From 2007 to 2017, he was the rector of the Latvian Academy of Arts, where he currently works as a professor. He was the initiator, manager, curator of exchange programs and exhibitions in various cooperation projects in Italy, France, Japan, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Russia, the USA and elsewhere. Has held more than 60 personal exhibitions since 1977.

He mainly paints landscapes both in Latvia and abroad. He is often referred to as the best contemporary Latvian plein air artist. He works consistently in the landscape genre, as well as in book graphics, and this year he received the Latvia’s national cinema award for the “Best animation artist” for film “The Law of the Heart”. Reference video https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=EEEnmZz0ZQs&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.delfi.lv%2F&source_ve_path=Mjg2NjY&feature=emb_logo

The artist’s vitality in life is also reflected in his pictorial language – stroke, composition and color palette. With amazing talent, tonally subtle sense of color, light, space and atmospheric lightness, the artist reveals the magic of cities.

For several years, Aleksejs Naumovs painting cycles have been created in many European and world cities – in a specific place, painting in nature. The author cares about each specific place, time and feeling that transforms into a painting, so as a momentary note, on the lower edge of the painting, next to the signature, you can also read the name of the place and the time.

Artist works a lot in nature and it is not only because he can appreciate it and knows how, it is necessary for his painting, because such colors and lights cannot be “composed” in the workshop, they can be seen, observed and painted only in nature. That is why our and the world’s classics of painting already worked in the open air, like bees collecting honey for the paintings that were composed in the workshop.

His painting can be described as spontaneous, emotional, full of moods, but it is not determined by the motif of the painting, the specific place that the artist focused on, but by the light of the moment captured in the painting, its effect on color and form. The blue, green, pink, red strokes, as if spontaneously placed on the canvas, there are very few coincidences.

In addition to painting, Aleksei Naumov is a brilliant illustrator of children’s books and in 2021 has received a worldwide nomination for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for his work in children’s book design. The artist is very active in Latvian culture science, a member of many jury commissions, was the cultural ambassador of the Republic of Latvia in France and visiting professor at several European universities of art.

Aleksei Naumov’s contribution to art has also been appreciated by the State of Latvia, in 2009 awarding the artist the highest award – the Order of the Commander of the Cross of Merit. In 2004, he received the Order of the President of Italy (Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. Commendatore), and in 2016 he was awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).

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