Rūta Marcinkevičiūtė, 2010 05 11

A.Burneika. "Relax"

In brief: After deciding to write about the situation of Lithuanian sculpture on the basis of the exhibition-competition “Sculpture of the Year’09” organised in Vilnius St. John’s Street Gallery recently, the author of the article was caught in the same trap as the initiator of the exhibition, sculptor Marius Zavadskis.

Even though the principles of the exhibition were the most democratic – no selection committee, every sculptor could choose his/her own best work of the last year, it became clear after the first step to the gallery that such model of the exhibition could be suitable for a small town; however, it is impossible to create an exposition of all Lithuanian sculptors (painters, graphics) in this way.

L.Strioga. "Frustration"

Looking at the list of members of the Sculpture Section of the Artists’ Union, it seems that there are plenty of sculptors in Lithuania. However, there are only few works of the members in exhibitions of the capital and other towns. Moreover, the exhibition “Sculpture of the Year’09” showed that it was hard for sculptors to understand each other and that there was nothing to speak about. The discussion of the exhibition which had to end by awards of the best works hardly attracted twenty people. Meanwhile, there were more than thirty participants of the exhibition.

M.Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė. "Cellar"

Eight members formed the evaluation committee of the competition. The majority of them are art critics: Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Vidas Poškus, Kristina Stančienė, Dovilė Tumpytė and Odeta Žukauskienė. The works of sculptors were also evaluated by their colleague Stanislovas Kuzma, philosopher Antanas Andrijauskas, and culture critic Almantas Samalavičius.

Still, only Stanislovas Kuzma and Dovilė Tumpytė participated in the discussion of the exhibition. Kristina Stančienė took part in the discussion remotely: she announced the thorough review of the exhibition in the weekly Literatūra ir Menas. In her opinion, “works seemed too distant from vision of traditional and contemporary sculpture; therefore, the exhibition appeared to be colourful and mosaic-like rather than harmonious”.

Even the tolerant S.Kuzma admitted that many works presented in the exhibition were not sculptures but “objects with features of art”. Nonetheless, he emphasised that such joint exhibitions were needed as they enabled sculptors to see their own works in the context of colleagues' creation. In the opinion of S.Kuzma, one of the most important problems of contemporary Lithuanian sculpture is the lack of wish or inability of young artists to take over the tradition of Lithuanian sculpture or at least the most outstanding achievements of it.

A.Vasiliauskaitė. "Shirt"


The Danish sculptor Henrik B.Andersen, who visited the exhibition “Sculpture of the Year’09”, hoped to see works that could compete with works of other countries’ artists on the international scale; however, he was frustrated after viewing the exhibition. He did not find works of the best Lithuanian sculptors, and works of young sculptors did not catch his interest too. He is an invited professor of sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Arts at the moment. The artist stated that he was sorry for the people who lagged behind the art processes of these days so much.

R.Milkintas "Round the Axis"

Professionals also supported S.Kuzma, who noticed that the majority of the exhibition objects were not sculptures but things that could be sold with “some features of art”. In the opinion of A.Šnaras, commercial sculpture prevailed in the exhibition.

S.Kuzma. "Monument to Jurga Ivanauskaitė", fragment

T.Vosylius. "Body Prolongations" (No.2)

Meanwhile, the sculptor Robertas Antinis said that he saw all the problems of contemporary Lithuanian sculpture in the exhibition: “The understanding of “decorative sculpture” and creative means of the Soviet times prevail. Anaemia, lack of expression and ideas. Forms are not expressive, intentions are naïve and means are outdated,” the sculptor named the problems. In the opinion of R.Antinis, young sculptors should realise that art cannot be a decorative element of interior only. An artwork should be active; it should provoke and tease the spectator.

V.Mockaitis. "Festival"

Evidently, it would be ideal if the exhibition-competition “Sculpture of the Year” were be divided into an exhibition of brought works (which is not discussed by anybody) and the competition "The Best Young Sculptor”. It is obvious that “the young painter”, “the young sculptor” or “the young textile artist” has much more chances to receive state funding than “the young artist" scaring the majority of culture experts by its uncertainty. The prize of the new competition could be some financial injection helping a young artist to gain immunity against the virus of commercial art in addition to the possibility to organise an exhibition.

Report about the winners of the exhibition may be found at TWO KAUNAS SCULPTORS AMONG THE BEST SCULPTORS OF 2009

Read comments
Write your comment