Yesterday, A. Suna Gallery (Riga, Latvia) and Swedbank Private Banking announced the winner of the Painting of the Year contest. The Latvian pop-art painter Ritums Ivanovs was announced to be the winner with his blue painting of his 8-year-old sleeping son, "Rasmus dreaming". This year, the competition entries were evaluated by artist Vija Zarina.
The painting of the year was announced yesterday in a formal ceremony held at Agija Suna Gallery in Riga Old Town. As underlined by Irīna Pīgozne, the Board Member of Swedbank, the bank is now one of the key patrons of art in Latvia. Currently its headquarters house around 500 works of Latvian artists, including some of Ivanovs works, and the collection is expanding.
The blue 60 x 70 cm painting was mastered 2013 in Ritums Ivanovs self-invented linear technique, depicting his son while in sleep. The work is based on a photo made during a trip back from a Latvian snowboarding hill.
Submissions to the “Painting of the Year” competition were limited to professional artists only and the works had to be made this year. The evaluation principle relies on a Japanese tradition: every year, the best painting is picked by a different widely acclaimed artist. This year, Vija Zariņa was invited to do the job, she is one of the most sophisticated Latvian painters with nuanced paintings based on the fine relations between the tones and the half-tones. Her paintings radiate peace and harmony, reflect the artist's inner world and have a certain metaphysical peace.
The painting of the year was selected from among 89 works submitted. Also the viewers' favourite will be selected and awarded. Until January 8, 2014, visitors can cast their vote in Agija Suna Gallery for works submitted to the “Painting of the Year” competition.
The “Painting of the Year” competition, held jointly by Swedbank and Agija Suna Gallery for 20 years now, has been in place since the foundation of Swedbank (formerly Hansabanka) in 1992. This year the ceremony was conducted by Irīna Pīgozne, Swedbank Board Member and experienced banking executive.
Euromoney, the world's leading finance magazine and the author of respectable studies in the banking industry, has given the main award to Swedbank Private Banking as the best private banking service provider in Latvia in 2012.