Pranas Gailius: from bohemian life to discipline 0

Ramūnas Čičelis, 2016-07-19
Pranas Gailius. Abstraction VI

In brief: Painter, sculptor and graphic artist Pranas Gailius, who had left Lithuania during the World War II, spend the rest of his life in France. After graduating from art studies at the end of sixties and early seventies P. Gailius had become a part of Parisian painters’ lively life that was undergoing a boom for almost half a century.

A tendency to bohemian lifestyle in P. Gailius' works can be seen through the links with the painting style of tachism: spontaneity, surrender to intuition, composition determined by chance and stains, that cannot be explained by anything else but mood, dominated the early works of P. Gailius. Artist treated life as an unpredictable sequence of events that cannot be put into any storyline or narrative, therefore, almost all his works are attributed to the abstract art.

Painting Abstraction VI in style of tachism shows that even a completely free thinking, painting “by chance” and ignoring the rules of composition and coloring creates a complete whole. The basics of the discipline lie in disarray and in a radical dissociation from discipline. Those who follow the rules will never reach the level in which the essence and meaning of these rules unfold.

The subsequent P. Gailius' oeuvre of 80's and early 90's states the very opposite values than the early works. Author started creating paintings, graphic works and sculptures close to Japanese thinking, the key focus of which is the cleanliness and order of interior and exterior. Some of the works are even calligraphic. The oriental tendency in his oeuvre is related to the general end of Parisian bohemia and changes in his personal life.

The late painting of P. Gailius became mediated. External reality participates in it as a medium and his early works were more narcissistic - attempts to touch his own image. The life of narcissus (the coercion of death had no effect on the early P. Gailius’ oeuvre, because he was experiencing it in his daily bohemian life) turned into interpersonal relation limited by time and space. Being with himself P. Gailius was creating as someone who had believed in immortality which determines a constant inner tension and power of the author and when he becomes open to the relationship with the world, he succumbs to death, to history and to narrative. P. Gailius' creative biography attests: no one is immortal.

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