The monograph by Dr.art. Jānis Kalnačs is a captivating and comprehensive story about the life and works of the most stylish and challenging artist of 1930s Riga Kārlis Padegs.
Being an outcome of more than 30 years of meticulous research the book includes a detailed life story of the artist, history of the development of the collection of works by Kārlis Padegs at the Latvian National Museum of Art, descriptions of lost works and works in private collections, recollections about the artist’s activities at Lūcija Kreicberga’s photographic studio, his work in book illustration, portrait photographs of Kārlis Padegs, analysis of his art in the context of Latvian and European art of the time.
The author of the monograph has tried to unravel the conventional and superficial albeit glamorous legend consciously shaped by Kārlis Padegs himself, by revealing his contradictory personality through documents and recollections of the artist’s contemporaries.
The author has made use of all the materials about Kārlis Padegs collected during the decades of research, including the unpublished diaries by Margarita Kovaļevska, recollections by Erna Geistaute as well as materials from Latvian state archives and depositories as well as private archives.
The book comprises more than 400 illustrations, among them dozens of Kārlis Padegs’ photographic portraits which can be regarded as predecessors of happenings in Latvian culture, and the artist’s works – paintings, drawings and sketches, including many works, recently found in private collections in Latvia and abroad, that have not been published before.