What artists spoke about in 2013 1

Miglė Munderzbakaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2014-02-19

In brief: The phrase of the competition organisers “All are accepted” makes it understandable to any visitor of the exhibition “The Best Artwork of the Year 2013” organised at Kaunas Picture Gallery that there are no criteria – one theme or idea, concept, performance technique or any other frames that artists should lean upon. The only condition for the participants is that the artwork should be created in 2013.

The opinion about the most favourite artwork may be expressed by each visitor, which determines that the exhibition is among the most visited ones in the city. Artists who have courage to offer their works to the title of the best artwork present their works. Therefore, it is possible to see how artists value themselves and which works they consider to be the best, how much self-critical they are in this exhibition. The exhibition “The Best Artwork of the Year” is organised since 1999 and enjoys much attention and many artworks each year. This year 113 works were displayed.

The event as well as some of its participants are traditional. For instance, the textile artist Ona Staskevičienė, whose work “There are Days…” was elected the best artwork of the year last year, displays the work “Rolling Widely” performed in unusual technique. The artist Vilius Ksaveras Slavinskas who participated in all exhibitions “The Best Artwork of the Year” presented the diptych of figure abstraction “Unknown I-II”. More familiar names could be noticed in the exhibition too.

As the exhibition is open to everyone, young artists also use the chance to present themselves. One of the more interesting works of a young artist is “Circle of Time” of Rasa Vilčinskaitė (supervisor J. Jarulytė). Another outstanding, ironic and bold work is “Layers of Sub-consciousness” of Donara Manukian (curator A. Vaitkūnienė).

The author also tries to review the genres and themes actual to the artists of the exhibition. Painting predominates in the exhibition, textile works, a few photographs and sculptures enjoyed attention too. Monika Požerskytė (photograph “Four: R. Požerskis, R. Rakauskas, A. Sutkus, A. Macijauskas”) received the award for attention to Lithuanian art. The author of the huge sculpture “One of One-offs” Augustinas Kluoda was evaluated for the powerful sally. The sculpture “Flag” of Evaldas Pauzas also received attention of visitors.

Themes of the exhibition works vary from attempts to turn back to nature, native country, history, position of a human-being in the society to Greek mythology. One more theme is time.

Works exploring history were valued by the audience and the evaluation committee. The persuasive work of the artist Pranas Griušys “Klaipėda Region. 1923” was evaluated by the nomination “For newly rethought patriotism”. The title of the Best Artwork of 2013 was awarded to Lina Jonikė. Her work “Old Man I-II” speaks about the partisan war in Lithuania.

The work of L.Jonikė consists of a path created from cartridges which leads to the work picturing the traditional symbol of partisans, white cotton shirt lying in the forest. Everyone can step on this path, which creates an impression of instability. This work was displayed on the second floor of the gallery, in a separate slightly darkened space, and its impact was stronger therefore.

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