Three faces of “The Break Generation” 0

Edita Gruiniūtė, 2013-07-01

In brief: Three exhibitions open at Kaunas Picture Gallery at the moment: “5th Solo Show” of Arvydas Brazdžiūnas-Dusė (until July 14), “I am Doctor Love” of Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė (until July 14) and “Names of the Break generation: Yellow of Eglė Velaniškytė” (until September 1) could be described by three phrases – one school, three different faces, three unique roads.

All three exhibitions are quite different but the authors of all of them are united by belonging to “The Break Generation”. Kaunas artists who completed studies in the Soviet Vilnius Art Institute and who experienced the requirements of ideological art are attributed to this special period. When Lithuania liberated, they returned to Kaunas and had to adapt to a number of challenges: the changing economical and cultural situation, they had to start working independently and often to discover things anew as the rules of the regime learned during the studies could not be applied. E. Velaniškytė, A. Brazdžiūnas-Dusė and E. Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė reacted differently to new challenges, and this is reflected in their works.

The painter E. Velaniškytė presents works of various periods and genres in the exhibition “Yellow”: portraits created from 1983 to 2013, still-lifes created in the same years. Dark colours, cold red, dark blue and black backgrounds with some yellow are typical of works created in earlier and later periods. The man pictured by E. Velaniškytė is sad, longing and waiting for something. The penetrating sadness is so deep that long decades of years do not erase it.

Meanwhile, still-lifes of E. Velaniškytė are lighter in colour. Yellow predominates in them, but this colour also expresses pain and sorrow. Gloomy mood in works of E. Velaniškytė are most probably determined by the outlook and experiences of the artist. Evidently, the changes of the liberating Lithuania left the trace on the artist who closed in her individual world and disassociated from the changing life.

The exhibition of E. Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė “I am Doctor Love” presents the newest works of the artist painted in 2012–2013. The artist pictures the lack of love, the search for it, discovery and loss. Similarly to E. Velaniškytė, E. Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė does not avoid cold tones in her works – greenish, bluish and brownish colours. The artist also loves leaving spaces, empty surfaces with some strange scratches on them.

Novelty and unpredictability is typical of works of E. Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė. The artist pictures some new character in her paintings – an undefined, non-detailed person similar to a child or a mature woman or man. The barely visible characters should remain secondary in canvases of the artist; still, they become important as the continuation of a character emphasised in the foreground. E. Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė combines the past and present in subtle manner and seems to enjoy and analyse the turn taking place around us without any fear.

A. Brazdžiūnas-Dusė displays works created during the latter five years in his exhibition “5th Solo Show”. Among them there are winners of the annual exhibition of the Picture Gallery of the National M.  K. Čiurlionis Art Museum “The Best Artwork of the Year” that enjoyed recognition of viewers and professionals. The artist who paints realistic works in the classical technique of oil painting states that he does not create beauty. For him it is important to speak out truth, existence and react to issues of today.

A.  Brazdžiūnas-Dusė paints every detail precisely in his works. No unnecessery elements, disorder and chaos will be found in his canvases. On another hand, similarly to E. Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė, he chooses not to finish the idea and to leave much place for interpretation. Philosophy, many meanings and post-modernistic play is typical of works of A. Brazdžiūnas-Dusė.

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