The poetry of Adauktas Marcinkevičius' photographs 36

Neringa Krikščiūnaitė, 2016-11-14
Adauktas Marcinkevičius. Self-portrait (1958). Kaunas photography gallery archive.

In brief: Optimists and Skeptics is the title given to the exhibition by its curator Margarita Matulytė. The exhibition features photographs created over a five-year period. Looking at the exhibition through the curatorial lens it can be said that M. Matulytė succeeded to show Adauktas Marcinkevičius’ photographic interests quite widely and consistently - from practicing students to the portraits of the prominent artists of the time.

A photographer whose contemporaries said he had the fingers of Paganini, charmed the Jaunimo Gretos magazine's editorial staff with his inner light and optimism. The number of his photographs in this magazine was increasing and the year when he started working there - 1957 - was recognized as one of the most successful. It was the time of the photographer's golden age.

Photo series Fishermen of Ventė (1958) reveal a different A. Marcinkevičius' poetic gaze. The photographs are full of optimism, they are beautifully colored and you will not find any skepticism here that is being sought for in the exhibition. Robust fishermen resembling soldiers are spreading nets and rowing boats. The photographer here is only capturing moments he is not trying to find or create deeper meaning. Such works as Student Camp or Student Practice (1958) also fit perfectly with the easygoing poems created by A. Marcinkevičius' photographs.

However, it would be wrong to think that this young photographer's lens was always in front of cheerful images. Such photographs as Silence (1959), Worker (1958), Restless Youth (1959) and Autumn (1958) are full of waiting for strange uncertainty. Melancholy, nostalgia and having no sense of what is to happen in the future - these are the emotions piercing the photographers' works. The skepticism lying somewhere in his consciousness emerges in these photographs.

Perhaps it could be argued that A. Marcinkevičius is most known for the series of photographs, in which he immortalized the well-known representatives of the cultural life of the time: fine artist Stasys Ušinskas, painter Algirdas Petrulis, sculptor Petras Rimša and many others whose names bring up the images of their works. Analyzing these portraits we can note that A. Marcinkevičius was able to perfectly feel the characters - or maybe even their auras - of the people he photographed and transfer at least as mall part of it to the photographs.

Adauktas Marcinkevičius' exhibition Optimists and Skeptics will be running at the Kaunas Photography Gallery until the 20th of November.

Photographs are taken from and Kaunas Photography Gallery archive

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