Aušra Barzdukaitė-Vaitkūnienė, 2008 01 15

In brief: “The brush should be managed by a disciplined mind” or “things disguised behind the brushstroke are more important than the brushstroke itself”. These two thoughts of eastern painters most probably suit while describing the “broom” works of Arūnas the best.


Mind and emotion, an attempt to look what is there behind the brushstroke and the courage to sweep off the entire surface of painting in search for the essence. The repetition of the artist means his/her death.


Why did Arūnas take a strange path in 1994? Admirers of painting knew him and evaluated as the painter or “staircases”. Arūnas noted once: “Everybody likes whatever I am painting?”.


After the exhibition of “broom” works was organised at Kaunas Picture Gallery in 1994, the majority of people were shocked and even outraged as they were used to feel the joy of recognition viewing the paintings of Arūnas. And here the colour was eliminated, only the vital rhythm of large brushstrokes was left suddenly.


Arūnas rejected the cherished colour painting and searched for the primary, primordial essence then, in 1994. The articulation of language of painting was important for him. “Broom” works were not created spontaneously, the turn was thought of. The works are formed of strokes made by a human hand, but the hand was affected by intention. It is possible to understand these works when you know the author’s intention.


Arūnas used self-made brushes, brooms, large ripples. The thickness, length and curve was important for these magic tools. The secret of future works, the thinking about them took a long time. However, one evening after returning from the workshop he spoke: “You do not imagine how I am painting now”. One could sense the joyous enthusiasm and the thrill of the untested, the unrecognised in the revealed secret.


Actually, when Aušra Barzdukaitė-Vaitkūnienė saw the works for the first time, she felt astounded. He swept off the entire surface of painting, flayed the skin and muscles. Only the skeleton was left in search for the essence. Painting developed and improved by Arūnas up to this time was destroyed; however, only in order to give even more importance to painting itself.


He was extremely concerned of pure painting, its articulation. The paintings had no names, it was Painting.


Arūnas: “Still, I am trying to write a name so that it would give direction. I am trying to help a man who will be viewing these paintings, so that a dialogue would be born. By the way, what if you are wrong yourself sometimes?.. To be exact, one should write names as poems…”


Arūnas carried and moved these large paintings around and asked his wife to name them. This was how “Beginnings”, “Here”, “Limit”, “Vital”, “Chinese”, etc. appeared.


He enjoyed the names of the paintings and put them down on the other sides of canvases.


In 1994, Arūnas presented the “broom painting” for the judgement of viewers at Kaunas Picture Gallery.

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