(Exhibition of graduates of the Painting Studio of Kaunas Art Institute of VAA “10 + 1”, Kaunas Picture Gallery) Kotryna Džilavjanaitė, 2006 11 15

Jūratė Jarulytė-Weiss, "Reality of Virtuality", 2002, Master’s work (supervisor - Pranas Griušys).

Aurelija Pranckevičiūtė-Draugelė, "My Text", 2005, Master’s work (supervisor - Aleksas Andriuškevičius).


Irena Bagušytė - Kalėdienė, "A II Rh - "Negative", 2006, installation.

General view: from the left – artwork of Weiss, centre - Ausma Bankauskaitė "Nordic Night", 2006, from the right - Gabija Trutnevytė "Tops", 2003 (Master’s work, supervisor - P.Griušys).

Jovita Aukštikalnytė, "Portrait in Dead Zone", 2006; under it - "Nameless People", 2006.

Neringa Krivičienė, "Algis", 2003, Bachelor’s work, supervisor - Laima Drazdauskaitė. Photos by Rimantė Ropytė

In brief: As the Painting Studio of Kaunas Art Institute celebrated its tenth anniversary, the exhibition “10+1” was opened at the Picture Gallery in Kaunas. The participants are 15 artists who were conferred the Master’s degree at the Art Institute. Graduation works (since year 2002) are exhibited mostly in the exhibition; there are also some new artworks created after finishing the studies.


A visitor is met by the following phrase of Justinas Vienožinskis in the gallery: “It is difficult to divide artists into categories – every work, no matter if it is primitive or if it reveals endless horizons, may be valuable aesthetically” (1939). It sounds as an attempt of organisers of the exhibition to insure that the works should not be evaluated critically. However, this should not be avoided as graduation works are the point from which artists are considered professionals.


Two works of the head of the Painting Faculty of the late Arūnas Vaitkūnas are presented purposefully in the exhibition – “Improvisation with a Pawn” (2000) and “Wooden Mannequin” (2002). They are not the best works of the professor but represent the Lithuanian painting school in general. Meanwhile, the entire exposition reveals that the charm of abstract expressionism, which inspired Lithuanian painters for a long time, has vanished with the new generation. Young artists are searching for new inspiration sources and other possibilities of artistic expression.


Perspective Kaunas painters Jovita Aukštikalnytė, Ausma Bankauskaitė, Agnė Jonkutė store much more valuable artworks than the ones presented in the exhibition. There are also many works performed “without mistakes”; still, they do not open those endless horizons. Of course, the situation is not hopeless - some artists attempt to find new forms and special moods. Saulius Paliukas further develops the topic of video painting (“Horizontal Pink”, 2006). The diptych of

Jūratė Jarulytė-Weiss “Reality of Virtuality” (2002) attracts by the original manner of putting paint and psychological, unreal, very close faces.

Aurelija Pranckevičiūtė-Draugelė creates a finished artistic text of several layers (“My Text”, 2005). The work of Agnė Deveikytė – Liškauskienė “Through the Window” (2005) presents the advantages of minimal language. However, some artists seem to present works painted in half a day. Such artists risk to lose their admirers who value the knowledge of artists’ craft – the ability to control the painting professionally, to choose meaningful colours and perfect composition.


Still, puzzlement felt in the exhibition is not the problem of Kaunas Painting Studio only. Contemporary painting experiences a crisis in the entire Lithuania, young painters are not sure whether they should continue the experience of tradition or turn to post-painting. Anyway, the author ends that it is too early to generalise the possibilities of painters; however, their exhibition of graduate works did not differ much from intermediate reviews of students’ works.

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