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"Ernest Vitins' glass sculpture is a very unusual phenomenon in Latvian art, which visibly expands the palette of materials traditionally used in sculpture and especially enriches the possibilities of visual plastic expression. Our sculpting experience is not rich in using glass to create tectonic constructions in design and plastic objects. Therefore, Ernest Vitin's path from a straightforward memorial art object proposal in his Latvian Academy of Arts diploma thesis to large-scale design objects can be considered proof of highly valued growth in technology acquisition and craftsmanship. 

Since the 70s of the last century, several artists worldwide have been fascinated by the use of similar technological solutions in the creation of glass objects. Still, the arrival of the young artist Ernest Vitin in the search for unlimited expansion possibilities of glass as a means of expression of modern sculptural material can be recognised as a remarkable achievement. Using computer modelling, involving the possibilities of modern technology to complement the physical colouristic and refracting properties of glass with the possibilities provided by artificial light sources, Ernest Vitin's creation proves his constant growth as a searching artist. He offers original design solutions for the architectural environment of Latvia [SIENA] in a way that is noticeable to both specialists and the general public, such as, for example, pillars comparable to gigantic tree trunks in the design of the lobby of the Academic Center for Natural Sciences of the University of Latvia. The young artist has many new ideas and form-findings for creating visually attractive and metaphorical design objects for both museum and public environments.

 

The youthful maximalism and the consequent courage to face diverse risks, as well as the distinctive feel for the material and it's potential- this is what urged me to offer a unique event in the Latvian sculpture landscape, in the gardens of Manor Rumene, in 2012. A chance to tap into the unexplored...

In the layered glass artwork exhibition held in the Riga Art Space in the winter of 2019, I saw the Ernest Vitin, whom I have known for almost ten years now and the one who surprises me with innovative searches, independence of artistic thought and features of creative maturity. It is pleasing that, among the majority of today's young artists, Ernest Vitin stands out with an idealistic vision characteristic of a true artist, both on the unit of the form and content of the work of art as a goal, and a rational, even exact approach to mastering compositional and technological mastery. It can be seen that a long path of cognition and search has been walked, and the first well-deserved victory over space, material and its apparent fragility has been achieved, allowing the perceptible variety of associations in the work of art to triumph over gravity and emotionality defying verbal definition to dominate over conceptual pragmatism. Wishing Ernests Vītiņš further victories over himself and what he has already achieved..."

-Ojārs Spārītis, Professor,
Head of Doctoral Programme at the Art Academy of Latvia,  Patron of Ernest Vitin solo exhibition at the Manor Rumene 

“Great monumental art is meant specifically for public space, and a public space needs it to bring it to life. When creating university projects, the client and I had a plan - to give an opportunity to young, talented artists and designers who can realise their offer. We discussed with the rector that the university environment should be unusual, non-traditional, and beautiful, with a new, bright, transparent, "open" interior. We thought glass was the most suitable material to reflect this desire. We chose Ernest when we were looking for a glass artist. He had just finished his master's degree at the Latvian Academy of Arts a couple of years ago - a young man with unusually big goals and an extraordinary approach - exactly what we needed! Ernests created several variants of the offer, including 3D visualisations, and then, together with the customer, we chose the one that seemed the most suitable to us. Ernest created the monumental layered glass composition "In Nature", which was entirely his idea.
Those variants were adjusted within the allocated budget, but that's the case with any project in almost any field. In general, it was Ernest's opportunity as an artist to realise himself as he wanted. And he has successfully done so! The same applies to glass benches. They do not reduce the transparency of the facade, match perfectly with the interior, and are beautifully illuminated by daylight. We are delighted with what has been achieved!

 

Seeing that the young artist has so successfully coped with the creation of such a complex piece of public art, there was no doubt that we could collaborate on the second project as well, considering that the new premises are undergoing physics experiments, work with lasers and how glass could interestingly be combined with physics, we realised that we wanted to incorporate it back into the interior. Thus, by creating the stacked glass wall, "Motus", we partially opened, illuminated and revived an initially closed space - the student information centre! We got additional light in the room while maintaining the necessary 'closure' without making it completely transparent and see-through. The layered glass wall produces many different surprising effects. It has an entirely different type of stacking than the previous glass artwork - vertical and very complex in its form with its reverse slope. Looking from the inside of the information centre, there is a fascinating view of the outside - the glass takes on a completely different dimension; it becomes thick and spacious. Considering the properties of glass itself, it seemed appropriate in this house of physics that it could be illuminated with different lasers. When we tried the first tests, its beam refraction was simply fantastic! Unfortunately, it is impossible to realise it right away because the rays are unpredictable. Still, with the efforts of scientists, it may be possible to achieve controllable dispersion. That would be very beautiful.”

- Architect Vita Polkovnikova, architect office "Sestais Stils"

"Ernest is a unique phenomenon, an artist - a hermit. He has mastered the stacked glass technique and has turned it into sculpture art. His works, without any discounts and conditions, can be accepted as sculptural works. These works are remarkably effective in the environment, as the material itself is visually highly vivid and powerful. Ernest perfectly knows how to use all these properties of the material. Besides, his stacked glass sculptures are exceptionally durable, no special maintenance is required. 

Ernest, as a sculptor, is a lone wolf who does not belong to any herd and dedicates all his time to glass art in his workshop. This is what makes him unique and exotic. The advantage of Ernest is that he started practising this technique a long time ago. He works very consistently and, so to say, 'digs deep', and does not give up. It is for a reason. For the moment, it has seriously taken over all the visual plastic art. Ernest has also consulted me on this technique for my project, where glass plays an auxiliary function."

- Gļebs Panteļejevs, Head of the Department of Sculpture, Professor at the Art Academy of Latvia

Ernest is the only person in Latvia who professionally devotes his full time developing technical and aesthetical aspects of glass stacking technique. All  glass art students study this technique during their first year at the academy, however only Ernest has taken it up as his main vocation. Besides, there are not many graduates who continue in their specialty, and even less who do it with any success. My best wishes to Ernest, may he never loose his enthusiasm!

- Inguna Audere, Professor at the Faculty of Visual Plastic Arts, Department of Glass Art at the Art Academy of Latvia. Founder of Glass Art Study Centre 

Great visit to the Glass Labyrinth My husband, glass artist Kari Kuisma, and I, visual artist Raija Kuisma, had a fantastic opportunity to visit a Latvian contemporary glass artist Ernests Vītiņš in Riga Art Space. We knew about Ernests Vītiņš`s art before, but to see it actually alive and be inside it, be part of the installation, was a truly superb experience. It was almost surreal to stand inside the labyrinth and see the monumental glass sculptures reflect almost endlessly through the waste glass panels hanging from the ceiling. Since the panels were hanging freely and the sculptures were standing in a stable position, the experience was hilarious! One almost jumped to save the art piece, because of the image of it moving, when actually it was only the reflection on the glass panel that was floating in the air. Kari Kuisma has used the same technique of cutting glass with diamond edged glass cutter by hand for almost twenty years, so it was a huge point of interest for him to see a young Latvian artist´s development towards great big monumental size glass pieces. We also went to the two university buildings and could see the endless possibilities of using glass art in a creative way to make our mundane surroundings and environment both visually beautiful and serve the purpose of hiding and revealing. We thank the artist warmly for this great experience and wish that many more people would have a possibility to feel this fantastic Glass Labyrinth!"

- artists Kari Kuisma and Raija Kuisma, Pori, Finland

It's impossible to put all the emotions down to words. Thank you for giving such an amazing gift to the word - the artwork "In Nature". On their wedding day, our lucky couple Liga and Arnis spent a few wonderful moments "In Nature". They are keen travelers, both nature and city environment are dear to their hearts, wanderlust has taken them to some extraordinary places. The artwork "In Nature" brought back memories from their adventures in tropical forests and trips across wilderness of the ocean. Thank you for the fortune you have given them to capture and keep these feelings as vibrant memories from their wedding day!

Seeing the glass artwork "In Nature" in the University it felt like it's alive! It felt like something supernatural, like it had a thousand images inside it, because whatever angle you are looking at it, it looks different all the time, through shadows and light... so there's always something to see there!

-Kaspar Korjus, Managing Director of Estonia's E-Residency Programme

The monumental stacked glass artwork "In Nature" brings life to the University! It renders a natural feeling within the massive concrete building. It is big and beautiful with the lights on, and the changing colours greatly brighten up the quite monotone space.

-Karen Korjus, entrepreneur

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