Odeta Bormaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2011-12-01

In brief: Everyone who is interested in Lithuanian art associates the name of Adomas Galdikas (1893-1969) with Kaunas Art School and the ARS group. This artist‘s contribution to Lithuania‘s art history is indisputable. His innovations inspired many younger generations; his originality could be an example of a development of an individual style. Such thoughts are supported by A. Galdikas‘s retrospective exhibition ‘Odyssey of Colours’ held in Vilnius, the Kunstkamera Gallery.

Colour is the most fundamental quality of A. Galdikas‘s work: he plays with it skilfully, modelling clear compositions, expressing emotions. Nostalgic and expressive aspects of the personality are reflected in the display. Portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, works of scenography and abstractions in pastel, watercolour, oil, tempera and graphic techniques are displayed in the show.

The majority of the displayed works were created in the 10s and 30s. They represent folk art motives, scenes of work, mythologized subjects, still-lifes, landscapes; a realistic style remade in the artist‘s own way by deconstructing images. However, the real odyssey of colours is seen in his later works, where colours are purified at the maximum.

A vivid turn is visible in works of the 40‘s – the brushstroke and flight of colour are liberated in painting, influenced by A. Galdikas‘s life in Germany, Berlin. Galdikas realises himself through colour, conveys the loveliness of nature and personal emotions transparently and elementally.

His works of the 50‘s combine qualities of Abstractionism and Expressionism perfectly.  It could be stated that only in the USA Galdikas found his place in the world of painting and revealed his real style. Using daring colours he depicted his stormy character (e.g. Composition with Woman’s Profile, 1951) and blazing temperament (Autumn Landscape, 1960). The symphony of bright colours invites us to liberate our inner animal and experience sincere emotions.

The climax of the retrospective is A. Galdikas’s pure abstractions that have no allusions to any stories or memories. One could guess that the artist still paints passionate landscapes and lyrical Lithuanian girls but in harmonious variegations objects lose their materiality. Observing the abstract works one can imagine, how A. Galdikas fought against the canvas without any strategies or sketches – just armed with a palette of paints.

The display of the ‘Odyssey of Colours’ lets us get acquainted with the reserved, lyrical, mystical and passionate master of colours A. Galdikas. The exhibition is as if a colourful time travel with paintings of expressive and abstract colours.

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