Photographs that sing praises of forms 0

Ugnė Makauskaitė, 2016-06-02

In brief: Algimantas Kezys' exhibition hosted at the Prospekto gallery in Vilnius consists of three segments: black and white photography created in Chicago, New York and Paris. Since the photographer's aesthetic and technique gradually changed, the exhibition is limited to three creative decades: from the 60s when he started photographing, to the 80's before he started using new digital technology in his work.

The Chicago series (perhaps the longest series, from 1965-1982) stand out with a contrasting use of light and dark. This can also be seen in the first photo of the exhibition The sky light of seven continents. International O’Hare airport, which suggests that it was important for the artist early in his career. In the first part of the exhibition (and later in others) the viewer will right away notice the key characteristic of A. Kezys works - refined form and a certain logic of geometric structure.

It can be said that the New York series consist of several parts: world fairs and airport images. By the way, fairs occupy an important place in the artist's oeuvre (A. Kezys photographed them in Japan, Canada, USA and elsewhere) although they were heavily criticized at the time, "On that day, when I went to Japan, Tsukuba, to photograph Tsukuba Expo'85, Chicago Sun-Times headline said "The fair idea has died."  We can call this part of the exhibition Loneliness, because photographs are transfused with a sense of loneliness, even if you see crowds depicted. This impression is created by architectural features, for example, a disorderly crowd and above it we see large buildings lined up in a messy rhythm.

Most of exhibited Paris images were captured in the 80s. Looking at them one can sense a feature characteristic of the end of modernism - "disorderly" exposition, with a cut off side of a person or only a detail of an object left in the image. Photographs themselves look like a suddenly frozen image in the bustle of the world. Of course, A. Kezys in this case, can be compared to the photographer of the same name Algimantas Kunčius, whose images often seem like a still from a film. However, A. Kezys photography lacks any signs of the Soviet period: he depicts new cars, the Eiffel Tower, a very unusual architecture for the era and that is what separates him from Lithuanian photographers.

A. Kezys exhibition at the Prospekto photography gallery (Gedimino ave. 43, Vilnius) will be open until June 4.

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