Aušra Barzdukaitė-Vaitkūnienė , 2008 01 15

In brief: “... All arts are speaking about the same. Only the form of expression is different. One is going to the same centre from different points.” This was what Arūnas wrote on November 13, 1988 for the art critic Alfonsas Andriuškevičius who wrote a book “72 Lithuanian Artists about Art”, published in 1998 by Vilnius Art Academy Publishing House.


There is such a thought of Arūnas in the interview taken from him by Živilė Ratavičiūtė in 1993 in Kultūros barai 93/11, page 32 (“Longing for Truth and Archaic Subjects”): “What is art today? It is completely different from what it was ten years ago. One has to feel those new ideas. I believe there exists a certain atmosphere, aura, which gathers artists closer. Let’s say Orvydas made his sculptures and was heading in the common direction. He does not fall out from the modern context even though he worked without seeing those novelties and he did not need them. Of course, one cannot look so primitively, one has to feel the context of the world but one has to do one's own thing. Even though such a statement is banal, it is the only way and chance to be modern. If you are going to follow somebody, you will lose yourself. To put it in other words, sometimes one needs to avoid tradition – perhaps one will be more modern in this way rather than by following modernism which one does not understand.”


These thoughts of Arūnas reveal the importance of the search for own way in his creative works as well as the interest in world tendencies.


Objects and installations appeared in his creative works sometimes. Was it a response to new art directions or distancing from painting? Or perhaps the beginning was in author's books of the painter which looked like original plastic notes? These books of the painter are the non-exhibited part of Arūnas’ creation. This is where he registered artistic ideas, accords of colours, plastic ideas of paintings adding his perceptions and thoughts about art, descriptions of dreams. Perhaps some objects and several installations of Arūnas appeared from these books-diaries?


Installations of Arūnas mark the points between which a new creative stage starts or ends. This field of creation is helpful while analysing his paintings. Installations replenish his works, serve like “introductions” and “conclusions” among those creative stages.


Several years after “broom” works in 1994, Arūnas created an installation and called it “Pyniažas”. It was exhibited at Kaunas Picture Gallery in 1998 during the exhibition “Thought, Information, Civilization”. The reproduction of the Virgin Mary’s painting, copies of notebooks with memories and paintings of friends of Arūnas’ mother were used for the work. They were composed in a glazed square painting hidden under the main work, woven from pressed strips of brown cardboard. Philosophically the work represents the fabric of life, the sign of belief under which fragile memories and sentiments of people disguise.


The installation “Process” created in 1996 was exhibited at Kaunas M.Žilinskas Gallery. Presently it looks like an introduction to his future painting works created in Alytus and Margionys in 1997-2004. It is the connecting chain of already painted "broom" works and an indication about future works lingering somewhere around. Everything is only a process and happening, the rhythmical change.


In 2000, the installation under a strange name “Sezeram” was exhibited in Angis group exhibition celebrating the tenth anniversary of its existence. The installation is formed of collected things, and the table of A.Martinaitis makes the essence of this installation. Arūnas remained faithful to himself – he loved collecting old and unneeded or lost things travelling across Lithuania.


“Heavy Plane” was created in 2004. The old fence was dismantled in the homestead and it became a painting object for Arūnas. He wanted to create a physically heavy work literally. Heavy as life soaked with information. He repeated the intertwined structures in the work. The work was exhibited in Kaunas and Klaipėda during the exhibition “Unbearable Reality” in 2004. A sack was exhibited along with the work.


Was Arūnas going to leave this world? Perhaps it was an indication that we are all passengers carrying our load? It was a sign of creation that we have to leave all the heaviness and boredom of life here and to fly away on a painted kite of creation.

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