Painting: statistics and sensibility 1

Kristina Budrytė-Genevičė, 2015-07-13

In brief: Main exhibition "Before / After / Now" of the contemporary painting festival "Generations XY.Z?" opened at the Kaunas Picture gallery on the 9th of July. Curator Aušra Barzdukaitė-Vaitkūnienė brought her colleagues together to the group exposition that represents the latest painting trends for a reason.

The biggest historical "burden" falls on the shoulders of two, certainly most famous artists of the city - Laima Drazdauskaitė (1947) and Alfonsas Vilpišauskas (1945). Their work has not only been followed since long ago, they, being both artists and pedagogues, constantly remembered by school and university students, have to, whether they want it or not, to subtly maintain the balance between the continuation of art history and their uninhibited visions. One of the main motifs of Alfonsas Vilpišauskas painting - "Mother and child" - in the exhibition appears with new lines and brush strokes, more precisely, the paint now is no longer applied with a brush, but with the spatula, making wide straps. Colors are striking each other and only well-recognized diagonals suggest that it is an image that is protected, remembered and constantly renewed by the author for several decades.

Laima Drazdauskaitė "visual thought" also did not deviate from the greenish vitality, milky celestial ephemerality or an unutterable density of stone. Aptly foreseeing every detail of organic and non-organic nature, painter increasingly "slips" into the nebulae, rotates the meanings important vs. unimportant, meaning, she no longer cares about the insignificant first-plan objects and highlights the distance, flooding all the planes with pollen moistened backgrounds.

From the younger painters, perhaps Alonas Štelmanas (1978) and Ausma Bankauskaitė (1980) are the ones who have mostly retained the old, a little weathered thread of expression, which does not intend on breaking and which is slithering through a century, since the times of post-arsists.

There are even younger artists, who are not moving even an inch away from painting. Their creative work gets increasingly diverse - they make use of both traditional painting and empty hall, for example, Povilas Ramanauskas (1987), Rosanda Sorakaitė (1988).  But both they and their peers - Milda Gailiūtė (1984), Ignas Gleixner (1984), Milda Šležaitė (1985) create the shoals and depths, generalizations and symbols belonging to painting; They chose to view art problems through the prism of painting, and at least now, in this exhibition these artists are placed into a category of the continuations of the history of the city painting.

After looking at the names of participants, a few things come to mind - firstly, there are many things to look at in this exhibition, to enjoy the works of favorite painters (especially knowing that they will show their latest works). Secondly, no list is complete and perfect and some might find a crack in it, that is to say, they will not see the ones they intended to. Although you should not worry about the artists of the youngest generation, because they are the reason why the list should be endless.


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