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Ilga Leimanis


  • born in 1972 in Montréal, Québec
  • parents immigrated to Canada from Latvia to Montréal, Québec after World War II
  • B.F.A. (1992-94) and an Academic Artist Degree in Painting (1995), Art Academy of Latvia; B.F.A. Art History, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec (1997-1999); M.A. in progress, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec (1999- )

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Ilga Leimanis has maintained ties with her Latvian heritage by visiting her parents' country of origin and studying art there in the 1990s, and returning to Latvia in 1997 for her first solo exhibition. Concerned with the painting of figures in landscape, and more recently with landscape alone, her series Ephemeral Landscapes (1998) and Still Ephemeral (1998) have been described in The Informer as "restrained, yet free-breathing expressions of the painted planes; and informal compositional solution and free abandonment to colour and to the rhythm of colour planes valued for exploration of their decorative potential" (Antra Klavina, 1998). Leimanis is interested in evoking internalized memory through colour and texture, saying that these recent series and Roads (1999) "focus on movement, colour, time, space, depth and memory, which are used to serve as metaphors for our inner perceptions. Everyone searches for a personal landscape, thus, my work invites the viewer to participate in the creation of a personal meaning, through intentionally ambiguous, spatially unstable colour fields" (1999). To paint her Roads series (1999) she has used video stills of one day's journey along different roads to inspire intimate views, as she puts it "revisiting my interest in the fluctuating, transitory, ephemeral perception and elusive nature of transplantation." She explains that "Derrida's concept of the 'undecidable', something that appears to belong to both, but ultimately not belonging to either [as that which] seems to manifest itself as my personal condition, therefore, I incorporate this instability in my work" (1999). Leimanis has also aided cultural exchanges between Latvia and Canada by organizing exhibitions for Latvian artists in Canada, and is a member of the American Latvian Artists Association.



1999 Celi
Gallery ModeMaksla, Riga, Latvia

Espace 414, Montréal, Québec


1998 Still Ephemeral
Espace 414, Montréal, Québec

Ephemeral Landscapes
Espace 330, Montréal, Québec

Bank of Montréal, Montréal, Québec


1997 Nepieturot
Gallery Bastejs, Riga, Latvia


1993 Gleznas
Independent Theatre Kabata, Riga, Latvia



1999 Gallery show
Gallery Bastejs, Riga, Latvia

Arsenals: Annual Autumn Exhibition
Contemporary Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia


1998 November 18th Art Exhibition
Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto, Ontario


1997 Works by Member of the American Latvian Artists Association ALMA
Beverly Art Centre, Chicago, Illinois


1996 November 18th Art Exhibition
Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto, Ontario

10th Latvian Song Festival Exhibition
Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto, Ontario


1995 Presentation of Graduation Diploma Works
Art Academy of Latvia, Riga, Latvia


1994 Latvian Art Exhibition
Gdansk, Poland


1993 Latvian Art Academy Student Work Exhibition
Gallery Centrs, Riga, Latvia

Latvian Art Exhibition
Bronislaw Koniusha Gallery, Warsaw, Poland


1992 Christmas Exhibition
Art Academy of Latvia, Riga, Latvia


1991 Fine Arts Student Graduation Exhibition
Dawson College, Montréal, Québec


1990 Artère 90 Exposition intercollégiale d'arts plastiques
Cégep du Vieux Montréal, Montréal, Québec




"BAC exhibit highlights diversity of cultural traditions." The Beverly Review (19 February 1997): 7.

Ciemite, Kristine. "Celiniece ar gleznam no Monrealas." Rigas Balss no. 139 (21 July 1999): 14.

"Fast forward." Canadian Art 15, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 24.

Klavina, Antra, and Ilga Leimanis. "Ilga Leimanis: Painting free-breathing expressions." The Informer (April 1998): 11.

---. "Isa pietura nepieturot." Fokuss (4-10 August 1997): 14.

MacMillan, Laurel. "Nepalaid garam!" Latvija Amerika (2 January 1999): 3.

"Makslinieces un vasara." Sieviete (September 1997): 34.

"Pile prieksplana." Liesma 12 (December 1993): 26-28.

Rupenheite, Ieva. "Saules aktivitates nenogurdinatie." Diena no. 166 (20 July 1999):10


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