Work Cycle. Exhibitions that Never Happened.  Canvas. Mixed Media. 2021-2023. Dimensions variable



2016                Art Academy of Latvia, Painting department, MA

2014                Art Academy of Latvia, Painting department, BA

2013/2014       Royal Art Academy of Antwerp, „ERASMUS”

2010                Riga State gymnasium No. 1

2007                Riga Culture secondary school



2022                PIAB Award – Grand Artist award, FIABCN, Barcelona

2021                2nd Grant from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Canada

2020                Boynes emerging artist award, shortlisted TOP 20

                        WING gallery award, shortlisted TOP 10

2019                Young Painter Prize main award

                        Grant from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Canada

                        “Latvia’s State Forests” scholarship in painting

2016                SEB bank scholarship in painting

2014                „Brederlo von Sengbusch” Art Prize

2012                Inara Tetereva scholarship in Arts



2023               Solo exhibition “Exhibitions that never happened: Thickets“, Riga Art Space, Riga, Latvia

2022               Solo exhibition “Overgrowth“, The Rooster Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania

                       Solo exhibition “Doppelboden“, SomoS Art House gallery, Berlin, Germany

2021                Solo exhibition “Better Travel/ Atvērums“, Art Station “Dubulti“, Dubulti, Latvia

2020                Solo exhibition “Exhibitions that never happened“, Saiauliai Art Gallery, Siauliai, Lithuania

                        Solo exhibition “Exhibitions that never happened“, Pamenkalnio gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania

                        Solo exhibition “Exhibitions that never happened“, LOOK! gallery, Riga, Latvia

                        Solo exhibition “Exhibitions that did not happen“, Meno Parkas gallery, Kaunas, Lithuania

2019                Solo exhibition “GETTING READY FOR WINTER“, Modern art gallery, Livani, Cesis

                        Solo exhibition “NOSTALGIA”, Riga Art Space, Latvia

Solo exhibition “CHRONICLES OF LONGINGS”, Concert hall Cesis, Latvia

2018                Solo exhibition “MELANCHOLY”, Valmiera culture centre, Latvia

                       Solo exhibition “MELANCHOLY”, Jurmala City Museum, Latvia

2017                Solo exhibition “MELANCHOLY”, Goethe Institut Riga, Latvia

2016                Solo exhibition “MELANCHOLY”, Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel, Riga, Latvia

Solo exhibition “COLLECTING”, Kalnciema Quarter gallery, Riga, Latvia

2014                Solo exhibition „PLACE 57/24”, gallery „Happy Art Museum”, Riga, Latvia

               Solo exhibition- largescale installation „IN THE FOREST IV”, Vecmilgravis, Riga, Latvia

               Solo exhibition- largescale installation „IN THE FOREST III”, gallery „Ziema”, Riga, Latvia

2013              Solo exhibition- largescale installation „IN THE FOREST II”, abandoned Egypt’s Lutheran church, territory of Latvia, Medumi, Latvia

2012               Solo exhibition- largescale installation „IN THE FOREST I”, abandoned old Cotton fabric “Boļševička”, Riga, Latvia



2022                Exhibition – project “Micēlija“, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center, Latvia

                        Exhibition “Transitioning“, Oktogon gallery, Dresden, Germany

                        Exhibition “Šeit un tālumā. Sapnī un nomodā“, Kuldīga Artists’ Residence, Kuldiga, Latvia

2020                Exhibition – project “Mycelia“, Platform, Munich, Germany

2019                Exhibition “Emerging lines“, Kunstraum Potsdamer Strasse, Berlin, Germany

                        “Young Painter Prize” finalist exhibition, exhibition hall Titanikas, Vilnius, Lithuania (awarded)

2018                Exhibition “Kunstakademie Lettland”, Kreis Gütersloh, Germany

               “Young Painter Prize” finalist exhibition, TSEKH gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania

2017                “Young Painter Prize” finalist exhibition, exhibition hall Titanikas, Vilnius, Lithuania

                JCE biennale, gallery Le Beffroi, Paris, France; 9 exhibitions in 9 countries

                        Exhibition “Netveramā robeža”, Art festival of Cesis, Cesis, Latvia

            Exhibition “Bikini zona”, Jurmala City museum, Jurmala, Latvia

                      Exhibition “Non existent sound”, Culture hall of Carnikava, Carnikava, Latvia

                      Exhibition “Non existent sound”, Art Academy of Latvia, Riga, Latvia

2016                Exhibition “Art Future/Future Signs”, gallery “Crous de Paris”, Paris, France

                        Exhibition “BBX”, Liepajas Latviešu biedrības nams, Liepaja, Latvia

                      Exhibition “Tension. The Young in Latvian painting III”, Latvian National Museum of Art, exhibition hall Arsenals, Riga, Latvia

2015                Exhibition ‘’MARK ROTHKO 2015’’, Daugavpils Mark Rothko art centre, Daugavpils, Latvija

Contemporary art festival “Survival K(n)it 7”, Centre for contemporary art of Latvia, Riga, Latvia

2014                Exhibition „Lynoja”, gallery „Akademija”, Vilnius, Lithuania

                      Exhibition „What happens there in Riga?”, gallery „NOORUS”, Tartu, Estonia

                      Exhibition „Frag.1.,2.,3.”, Press house, Riga, Latvia

2013                Exhibition „Chemin de fer” Art Academy of Warsaw, Poland

                      Exhibition „Location and dislocation” Kaņepes Culture Centre, Riga, Latvia


2022                FIABCN, Barcelona, Spain

2020                Fasade paintings for kindergarden “Mežrozīte”, Riga, Latvia

2019                JCE biennale residency in Montrouge, Paris, France

2017                Fasade paintings of kindergardens “266” and “Kadiķītis”, Riga, Latvia

                        Participation in KUNO organized workshop “Building up a phantasmagorical memory”, Aarhus, Denmark

2015                Internship at the 56th Venice Biennale, Latvian National Pavillion

               Participation in the international visual arts residency at Glo’art art center, Lanaken, Belgium

               Participation in the international art residency “Mark Rothko 2015”, Daugavpils Mark Rothko center, Daugavpils, Latvia

2014                International workshop „Make your own press”, organized by KUNO, Bergen, Norway and Tallinn, Estonia

2013                International residency “The wall of Europe”, Sardinia, Italy

International workshop “Illegal aesthetics”, Tallinn, Estonia

Exhibitions that Never Happened

Text. Dr. Phil. Lily Fürstenow

In her works Sandra Strēle represents space  like a stage similar to a sort of spectacular theater spreading in front of the viewers eye. We encounter figures or groups of figures on flat planes. Contours of human bodies are painted in a style that gives dynamic movement to their action framed within the frames of pictures from “the exhibitions that never happened” which is a signature motive with Sandra. Almost arabesque anatomies  of the painted bodies within the spaces where they interact during the illusionary exhibitions are deformed as if on fantasmatic screens vanishing within the receding perspectival space. Distorted imaginary exhibition areas are criss-crossed with columns, furniture fixtures and painted canvas images.

Schematically modelled segments of human anatomy sometimes stand in the dramatic contrast to the background geometric shapes of the picture frames. Human figures and objects add up into paradoxical environments made up of gallery or museum interiers dissected by the modular picture grids and inner architecture geometry. The frontal arrangements of figures and objects communicate the isolation of human beings that are captured in the endless motion of the feverish arabesque-like imagery. Strele’s decorative compositions are almost swirling out of the frame. Decenterdness of the composition gives the genre scenes depicting art shows with exhibition visitors in museum halls a sweeping movement.

Her nature views expose lush vegetation with vivid hues of greens. It’s almost tropic universe in expansion executed in monochrome colours. The pulsating repetition of the motives blurring the demarcation lines and contours has an almost hypnotic effect on the viewers. One confuses levels of reality. The interiors of the exhibition halls are overlapped and intertwined with the motives of the imaginary pictures hung all over the walls interrupted by the fixtures and columns decorating the fantasmatic interiors. The syncopated rhythm of bodily contours although different in scales creates an intricate ornamental fabric on the flat canvas surface. The gestures of the human figures rhyme with the arabesques of the framed picture screens decorating the imaginary art spaces. “Exhibitions that never happened” cycle comes as a critical reference to the situation existing before the pandemics and aggravated during the crisis taking as a reference the immensely complicated contemporary arts establishment that makes it impossible for most of the young artists to get represented in the career-relevant exhibitions. 

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