Painterly diversity of the summer at the A. Samuolis plein air 1

Gabrielė Kuizinaitė, 2015-08-31
Painting created by Gintautas Vaičys during the plein air

In brief: The 22nd traditional plein air dedicated to the memory of painter Antanas Samuolis was held in Kaunas, in August. Painter Antanas Samuolis (1899–1942) - one of the most prominent Lithuanian painters of the first part of the 20th century, a member of painters group Ars, a person who brought colors, expression of forms and modernity into Lithuanian art.                  

Each year, plein air was held in different spaces of Kaunas but from 2009 it takes place in Pažaislis monastery. Guests from abroad are invited to the event: last year we had artists from Ukraine and this year we have Armenian artists.


The person who came up with this idea for plein air is the chairman of Lithuanian Artists' Association, Kaunas branch Gintautas Vaičys.       

I wondered how plein airs changed during the decade and how many new participants and ideas they have attracted. According to G. Vaičys, they did change, "First I was interested in the margins of painting, meaning, what painters do after their studies, as if changing the arsenal of means they try their strength in the contemporary art: they take up films, installations, making of objects - back then it was a new artistic field in Lithuania. But tradition is stronger. While observing the global artistic life I noticed that tradition still occupies an important place, so I went back to it... Then I invited artists working within the genres of still-life, portrait or figure. Recently, I want to highlight the subtleties of Lithuanian painting school.”



It was interesting to know what makes this year's plein air different and how does the organizer see the works created during the plein air.

"I am very happy with the diligence of artists," says G. Vaičys. "Apparently, a very good atmosphere, place and conditions for work and rest yielded excellent results. I am glad that this year artists again boasted and marveled at the series of works and later they promised to continue their new ideas. For several years I am surprised by the results and I am planning to show the works created during the plein air somewhere further. In the plein air an attitude of participating artists, their diligence, ability to create a good mood and atmosphere is very important that is why I select the participants very carefully. This year, everything worked.”



Among the participants of plein air we see names of the guests from other countries. I wondered how much they blend in and complement the Lithuanian plein-air palette.

G. Vaičys says, "It is important to be open to other countries, peoples. A good artist or a good person does not depend on nationality. I think that meetings with other cultures help highlight the uniqueness of Lithuanian culture. There is the individuality of artist, but it is also interesting to notice the influence of different environment or school, which formed the artist. This year Armenian painters surprised with their colors and motifs. I could not imagine any Lithuanian artist painting like that.”

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