Reflections of the graphics of the past century - in remembrance of Adolfas Vaičaitis (1915 06 16–2015 03 29) 0

Kristina Budrytė-Genevičė, 2015-04-17
A. Vaičaitis. Pagan Dance, 1965. From the album "A. Vaičaitis. Linoprints." Paper, linocut, 22,2x12,8 Scanned by Edgaras Austinskas.

In brief: Now, already a historical exhibition of Adolfas Vaičaitis "Full Moon" fit all the main graphic art periods of the artist from a bygone era. At a small but spacious exposition we can trace the dotted lines of a long creative period: works from the college times, the graduations works, social didactic prewar posters and war time book illustrations. The after war periods abroad - in Germany and Australia - were also presented.


The first preserved linocuts from A.Vačaitis college days surprise with their heavy, powerful and quite abstract line and ultimate emotional areas coming from it that are being fought by figurative, thick outlines, for example "Potato-digger", 1936, "Apple Picking", "Fishermen", 1939. Gloomy and heavy works as such in which you cannot see the sky neither human figures and, in which stretches of land become alike, remind of a Van Gogh-like beginning, in which even the reflections of oil lamps emit darkness.

His graduation work "Fishermen" brought him a first place in class and a prize. After graduating and working briefly as a teacher in a province (Jurbarkas high school), during the Second World War, artist started working at the national publishing house. Thus, another field of graphics is of importance to him next to the linocut and graphic tin sheets - applied graphics. While working as an artistic editor, he illustrated books, drew didactic posters and caricatures. Two posters exhibited are interesting not so much in their technique as in their content - about cleanliness and "Read Lithuanian press."


In 1944 artist emigrated to the West, because Soviet re-occupation was approaching. While living in Germany for a few years he had created a wonderful lithograph series “Vaičaitis. Sieben Original Lithographien” and illustrations for Julius Kaupas book "Doctor Kripštukas in Hell", both of them in 1948). The illustrations for "Doctor Kripštukas in Hell" inexplicably naturally disgorge into the text, to the fairy tales located in Kaunas. However, not this work, but the album of lithographs "Vaičaitis. Sieben Original Lithographien", created in Freiburg saved the artist from mandatory hard work, under the contract in Australia.


Creative life in Australia in A. Vaičaitis biography was not only the longest but also the richest: there his style had changed. After a few series of traditional works in graphic technique, which he himself published in limited editions, artist “left” the frames of classical printed graphics and turned to a calligraphic, colorful drawing. Mostly using a handmade paper he created planar abstract landscapes.

A. Vaičaitis was indifferent to Australian art, but differently than other immigrant artists or people of culture did not shut himself in his own world but was very interested in the world-famous art events and art history in general. This can be proved by the library of art publications he had accumulated and internationally acclaimed exhibitions he had visited (Pablo Piccaso, Henri Matisse and etc.).

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