Karlis Neilis: 1906-1991




Winter Landscape 1973 | 45x35 oil on linen | 251.15.09

In 1932 graduated Art Academy at Latvia, G. Eliasa Figurative master class, with diploma work “Annunciation”. He was invited by Vilhelms Purvitis and Latvia’s Culture Fund to participate in representative shows of Latvian art abroad (London, Paris, Vienna, Prague and Warsaw).
Neilis at the earliest period paintings interested about local colors and ornamental, decorative compositions, at the same time retaining Northern restraint in his works. From his student years he was excited by experimentation and search for new expressive means. At his paintings is free dynamics of rhythms and potential of various textures. Horizontal and vertical bands are emphasized in still life and landscape, and compositions are balanced by background fragments of windows, buildings or landscapes.
In 1944 the artist emigrated and settled in Salzburg. During years of emigration Neilis has created a particular coloring and freely treated, plane form, getting rid of spatial depth and materiality of things. Compositions are arranged from fragments, sometimes as pictographs. Neilis works contain some echoes of stylistically more ancient layer, of different ages and cultures, when figures and other compositional details are dematerialized to the extent of turning into ornament.

Abstracted, ornamental compositions endowed with the author’s spiritual energy generate an atmosphere of imaginative polysemy.

© 2015 Inland Empire Museum of Art
All Art © by The Artist