The famous Lithuanian emigrant artist and intellectual Žibuntas Mikšys died in Paris at the age of 89. Only one month was left till the jubilee of the artist.

Žibuntas Mikšys was born in Kaunas on December 12, 1923. The future artist learned the rudiments of art at Kaunas Jesuit Gymnasium, where he attended the art lessons of Alfonsas Janulis (1909–2008). From July of 1944 the entire family left Kaunas for Vienna, and as the Soviet Army approached Austria, the family travelled to Germany in February of 1945. The artist experienced a hard and unsettled fate of a refugee. Ž.Mikšys studied at Nurnberg and Stuttgart Academies of Art in 1946–1949, theatre direction at Kunibert Gensichen Drama School and emigrated across the Atlantic in autumn of 1949. Detroit, Chicago, New York and even the citizenship of the USA (1955) did not bind him to America. In 1962 the artist settled in Paris, he lectured the Lithuanian language at the National Institute of Eastern Languages and Civilisations (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales) in 1979–1985, in 1999 he was elected the chairman of the Lithuanian Community Council of France.

In the monograph published by the Artists’ Association Publishing House artseria in spring of 2013, the art critic Dr. Erika Grigoravičienė analysed the main stages of life and creation of Žibuntas Mikšys in Paris, which was called “the best theatre in the world” by the artist. The artist himself was inspired by poetry and theatre the most. His mother, actress and director Zuzana Arlauskaitė-Mikšienė had a huge impact on the formation of the artist’s personality and artistic views. Fine arts, theatre, literature were closely related for Ž. Mikšys, he was talented as an artist but also as a man of letters (he wrote the book “La Lithuanie, pays entre deux Mondes” / “Lithuania, Land Between Two Words” under the nick-name of Jean-Pierre Menthanon, published by the French Lithuanian Community in 1982). Mikšys worked at Gotthard Johnny Friedlaender aqua fortis studio in Paris, lectured graphic art and created in the spare time.

The creative heritage of Ž. Mikšys encompases linocuts, aqua fortises, lithography works, collages. In the latter ones he used views and texts of other authors and tried to remake them. Large format linocuts with compositions of letters occupy an exceptional part among works of the artist. According to E. Grigoravičienė, the artist strived to show poetry the way it was when creating graphic works with letters, he looked at letters, words and sentences as creative elements of fine arts.
“Many ex-librises have remained, also the heritage of written works is rather big. Part of it is stored in the Manuscripts Department of VU Library. They are dedicated to close people, friends, acquaintances from all over the world as a sign of attention, respect, recognition and memory,” E. Grigoravičienė writes. According to the art critic, “the most important work of Mikšys for which he dedicated ten years of life is characters of the comedy “Leonce and Lena” of Georg Büchner: the series of lithographs was created in Chicago in 1952–1953 and a series of aqua fortises was created in Paris in 1964–1973”. The monograph compiled by the art critic reflects the widths of creation of Ž. Mikšys and all major stages of his artistic road.

Information of the Lithuanian Artists’ Association