Monograph about Latvian artist Džemma Skulme (1925).
“Džemma Skulme. Džemma. To Latvian ears, these names ring like symbols or concepts relating to public life, signifying an individual standpoint amid the political upheavals of the age. Dignified and beautiful, convinced in the rightful claim of her art and the cultural community of her nation – and, moreover, capable of expressing it convincingly in words, whether addressing a huge audience at the Days of Art in Riga’s Cathedral Square, or speaking from the podium at congresses and rallies during the time of the National Revival. Such could be the public image of Džemma Skulme, an image already embedded in Latvian cultural history.
How she managed at the same time to become a truly marvellous painter, whose rich and diverse oeuvre represents a significant contribution to classic Latvian art from the second half of the 20th century – this is a phenomenon particular to Džemma Skulme.
We may attribute it to family tradition, along with her own character and the categorical imperative of her talent.” (Laima Slava, compiler of the monograph)
This book incorporates an extensive album section, looking back at Džemma Skulme’s quests and discoveries in painting, right up to works created literally yesterday. The textual part, richly illustrated with documentary material, seeks to trace the links between the course of her life and her painting over the years (Laima Slava) as well as the rational and emotional outcomes of Džemma Skulme’s social and political activities; the recollections of Jurģis Skulme will bring to life Džemma’s early youth at Cirīši in Mālpils in the shadow of the Second World War; and Jānis Borgs will take us into the milieu of 1950s–60s Mežaparks, still today the home of Džemma and her family.
The book is supplemented with bibliography, list of images, index of persons and translation of the chapter “I think in colors” in English.