Photo by Dasha Trofimova

Accompanying the exhibition Where to hide! about artists’ efforts to preserve freedom despite the Soviet regime, the Zuzeum Art Centre offers silk scarves designed after the sketches of the artist Zenta Logina (1908–1983), a pioneer of abstract art in Latvia, and her sister Elīza Atāre (1915–1993). Emphasising the themes of modernism and space, the scarf designs were chosen by the exhibition’s curator, artist Sandra Krastiņa.

Stories Editorial April 18, 2024

Zenta Logina was a Latvian painter, sculptor, and textile artist who can be considered a pioneer of contemporary art in Latvia. Defying the Soviet regime and resisting the shackles of social realism, Logina experimented with abstractionism in her work throughout her life. She could not exhibit her paintings, as this art form was the most strictly monitored by the Soviet authorities, but after being readmitted to the Artists’ Union in 1953, Zenta was allowed to participate in exhibitions with textile works. In applied art and design, the grip of the authorities was not so ironclad, so Logina was able to turn to more contemporary forms and themes. Thus, in the 1960s, she introduced the theme of space into her work, which is also present in artists’ most recognisable pieces — tapestries made by her sister Elīza Atāre, based on sketches by Logina.

To earn a living, Zenta and Elīza had been drawing sketches for the textile industry since the 1950s. It is known that some of these designs were used for the vast Soviet market, but there is no precise information about this. When choosing the design sketches for the Zuzeum scarves, the artist Sandra Krastiņa wanted to depict the modernist tendencies characteristic of the 1960s, which could be seen as an expression of freethinking. She points out that the modern and laconic style of the scarves also means that the industry of the time, and therefore society, was ready for new ideas.


In 2019, the works owned by Zenta Logina Foundation were included in the Zuzāns Collection, and until May 19, the artist’s scarf sketches can be seen in the exhibition Where to Hide! at the Zuzeum Art Centre, where silk scarves based on sketches by Zenta Logina and Elīza Atāre are also available.