(About two exhibitions of June in Kaunas)Kotryna Džilavjanaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2007 07 10In brief: The Lithuanian artistic life dips into summer laziness little by little withdrawing to the silence of the province where various art plain-airs will start soon. Still, June presented several surprises – the exhibitions organised in Kaunas “From the Baltic to the Black Sea” and “Nijolė and Katalina”, which spoke unanimously about the rebirth of eternal art values.

The difference between traditional art and post-modern art was exalted specifically in the international painting triennial “From the Baltic to the Black Sea”. The leader of the exhibition Algis Uždavinys publicly condemned the “manifestations of sectarian post-modernism”, “variety of deformity and ugliness” that prevail in the present day art. The organisers of this exhibition believe that the antidote is the experience of modernism, which sounded in minor strokes of colours in the exhibition.


Pavel Shumov, “Summer Evening”. Photos by the author


Pavel Shumov “At the Quay”



Andrej Germanis “Merry Painting”


Pavel Shumov “In the Sun”


Natalija Janekina “Lemons”



Aleksandr Shabadej "In Preila Fishermen’s Port”




From the point of view of form, the event managed to avoid anaemia – the audience could enjoy various nuances of expression despite the repeating pictured objects. Still-lives, portraits, seaside and castle views floated between real feelings and metaphysical space. Still, the chaotic exposition architecture, or its lack to be more exact, disserved the exhibition. One could feel like in a shop of antiques in which valuable works are overwhelmed by doubtful trivia. Quality dissonance was not avoided as well.


Meanwhile, the joint exhibition of graphics of Elvyra Katalina Kriaučiūnaitė and Nijolė Šaltenytė is much purer and more subtle. The exhibition is opened at the Business Leaders Centre all the summer. The spectator is affected by the power of monochromatic colours rather than the colourfulness, by vibrant lines rather than tones of strokes.


Nijolė Šaltenytė “Earring”

Nijolė Šaltenytė “Triumph”


Nijolė Šaltenytė “Expensive Belt”

Female feelings are protruding through works of the artists – they are rendered by intimate images of daily moments on hand-made paper. In some places there is two much artificial beauty - flowers, hearts, fans; still, they do not overwhelm the sensitive game of forms.


However, both exhibitions smelled of formalism which did not have much in common with the declared search for spirituality. Light emotions and ideals of beauty were abundant but intellect and meaning was lacking. Riding romantic horses, the authors lost the landmarks of the road and turned to the path of banality. The conflict between contemporary and traditional art is no longer actual, and fanatic eagerness to fight against post-modernism becomes funny. An artistic direction does not mean the value of an artwork. Art should serve as drugs, it should be a strong stimulator so that there would be no question by what means it has been created.

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