Zemdega, Karlis Ianovich
(until 1935, K. J. Baumanis). Born Mar. 26 (Apr. 7), 1894, in Gaili, present-day Liepaja Raion, Latvian SSR; died Nov. 9, 1963, in Riga. Soviet sculptor. Honored Art Worker of the Latvian SSR (1947).
Zemdega studied in Riga under K. Ronchevskii in the Latvian Academy of Arts from 1921 to 1927. He taught in the Academy of Arts of the Latvian SSR from 1940 to 1941 and from 1947 to 1962, becoming a professor there in 1947. Zemdega’s sculpture, which includes monuments, is characterized by a stately simplicity of form and an intricate symbolic arrangement of images. At times these images are derived from Latvian literature and folklore. His works, which were all executed in granite, include Short Night (1928; the Art Museum of the Latvian SSR in Riga), a monument to J. Rainis in Rainis Cemetery, Riga (1934, granite; architect A. Arend), and a portrait of J. Rainis (1957; the Art Museum of the Latvian SSR in Riga). Zemdega also sculptured the tombstone of E. Zalita (1958, in Rainis Cemetery, Riga) and a monument to J. Rainis (1958–65, Riga, architect D. Driba). He was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor.