SSE Riga has been a home for a unique collection of contemporary Latvian art of the early 90s. Launched in 1995 this collection and its display was and still is the living proof of the most progressive wave of Latvian avant-garde art of the particular generation.
The collection is comprised of several pieces of art specially made for the school – the Latvian artists Aija Zariņa, Kristaps Ģelzis, Ojārs Pētersons, Andris Breže, Juris Putrāms and Ieva Iltnere and the Polish painter Leon Tarasewicz have made their artwork exclusively for the school. Other artists like Oļegs Tillbergs, Ilmārs Blumbergs, and Barbara Muižnieks, have all adapted previously created pieces of art for the environment at SSE Riga.
The majority of the collection was acquired during SSE Riga’s first year. Hence, the school has become a home for artwork that in the mid-1990s represented the most progressive wave of Latvian art.
The exposition of modern art at the school was one man’s vision, the late Staffan Burenstam Linder (President of the Stockholm School of Economics) and founder of SSE Riga. As he put it after having had meetings with some of the Latvian artists and showing them the school: “Each of them has been invited to make a piece of art for the school. … The theory for this effort is … to provide an environment which gives a broad frame of reference thus stimulating creative thinking; to tell the students that they should cultivate interests which could never be part of our curriculum; to signal to them – and to society in general – that economics and business should be conducted with a responsibility to the wider community”.
The school is still faithful to this idea and continues to expand its collection through acquisitions of works by young Latvian artists.