Elaborated from an eponymous exhibition held at the Latvian National Museum of Art in 2020, Family examines the visual, autobiographical, and theoretical strands that inform Ēriks Apaļais' practice, featuring texts on his work by the curator Katerina Gregos and Latvian art critic Santa Hirša.
Apaļais draws from fields as diverse as psychoanalysis, literary theory, psycholinguistics, structural linguistics, and semiotics to pose pointed picture-form questions about the nature of memory, language, representation, and the self. Linked to these inquiries are the uncanny childhood experiences that seem to permeate his work. As Gregos notes "the strength of his work lies in his power of allusion, of understatement and enigma." The effect achieved is liberating, lending audiences a fresh pair of eyes with which to examine a variety of experiences. As Hirša puts it, Apaļais' investigations of the links between language and visuality amount to "an emancipation from the conventional ways of looking and thinking that have shaped…our relationship with the visual arts, images and practices of representation."
Ēriks Apaļais (born 1981) is a Latvian painter. The artist produces paintings that fall between abstraction and representation, featuring non-narrative scenes taking place in ambiguous and unidentifiable settings.