Sometimes painting occurs without a brush 2

Kristina Budrytė-Genevičė
Eugenijus Varkulevičius-Varkalis' painting and video exhibition at the Kaunas Picture Gallery, 2016-08-24
Fragments of E. Varkulevičius-Varkalis' exhibition. Rymantas Penkauskas' photo.

In brief: As far as I remember, Eugenijus Varkulevičius-Varkalis was always traveling - with words, on foot or mystically painting (mystically, as it is unlikely that he uses the brush as often as other painters). All his oral narratives revolve around the road. And they started a long time ago, probably, during the childhood years, when he would model cities, towns or battle fields out of plasticine, in detail, to the "very last tile." The imagined world later on moved to the West, where he went in order to return back home.

Often emphasizing the emotions triggered by landscape, even repeating that word on purpose, E. Varkulevičius confesses his art philosophy. It is dominated by the creations of nature: forest, river, lake, shore, land and snow, where traces left by human are not captured - they are simply too small and merging with the element, the natural material.

Here, spontaneity connects with reflections: the canvas is specially primed to "receive" the paint falling and splashing in various directions. The artist wants the painted blots not to touch but to connect with the special thread, the line guided according to the author's wishes. Flowing and non-angular lines turn into extensive spills, again returning to the similar state. According to E. Varkulevičius, it is possible to express everything in nature with such amorphous and bizarre forms.

The author always chooses a confusing space, as large as possible. In nature there remain only the reserves and national parks (Čepkeliai, Žemaitija National Park and etc.) mentioned by the artist, as well as the river bank that takes more than a day to pass. And in painting, the artist creates this territory from small segments - small square canvases, which he sets as a mosaic. From the larger canvases he forms elongated, multiplane compositions.

The exhibition contains a separate room where you can find many video works. It is similar to the racks full of paintings that are impossible to cover in one instant. It is more like a presentation of the visual archive from the New York phase when E. Varkulevičius collected the various artistic experiences, events, openings, entertainment and conversations with world-renowned artists.

One of the video films The Cinema Without Camera differs from the long and meaningful documentary fixations. This video work represents E. Varkulevičius’ painting. It gives the impression that not only film is possible without a camera, but the painting itself sometimes occurs without a brush.

E. Varkulevičius-Varkalis' exhibition at the Kaunas Picture Gallery can be visited until the 28th of August.

Rymantas Penkauskas' photos

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