“From Realism to the Object. Lithuanian World Art in the Collection of the Lithuanian Expatriate Art Foundation” is the sequel of the exhibition “From Realism to the Object” held last year at M. Žilinskas Art Gallery of M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas. Both exhibitions and recently published art album “Readdressed 1. Lithuanian and Litvak Painting in the Lithuanian Expatriate Art Foundation” mark the Foundation’s fifth birthday.
The exhibition presents a wide range of Lithuanian artists, with work ranging from Realism to Abstraction and contemporary art objects. It is a broad and contrasting review of Lithuanian art in the 20th and 21st centuries, reflecting the achievements of the artists. The curator of the exhibition Dr Rasa Andriušytė-Žukienė divided the exhibition into three main thematic groups. “Protectors of Memory” include works by Vytautas Kasiulis, Algimantas Kezys, Česlovas Janušas, Kazys Daugėla and Antanas Rūkštelė. Among “Fellow Travellers of Modernism” are Adomas Galdikas, Pranas Gailius, Viktoras Petravičius, Elena Urbaitytė-Urbaitis, Adolfas Valeška, Viktoras Vizgirda, Kęstutis Zapkus, Vladislovas Žilius and Kazimieras Žoromskis. And finally, “Visitors of Foreign Countries” include artworks by Aidas Bareikis, Ray Bartkus, Stasys Eidrigevičius, Vytenis Jankūnas, Rūta Jusionytė, Žilvinas Kempinas and Ieva Martinaitytė-Mediodia.
The Lithuanian Expatriate Art Foundation has selected works of high artistic value from its large and rich collection that have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. The exhibition presents the works not only in their capacity as artistic treasures, but also as witnesses of their times, revealing the search for an identity, and particular moments in the complex life of the nation.
The exhibition is expected to stimulate discussions on the boundaries of Lithuania’s art history, including the image of Lithuanians who are living outside their homeland. The goal of the exhibition is to make some slight adjustments to the standard narrative, which is usually limited to presenting local artists, and just manages to find some space for emigres as “insignificant dust of the past”, in the words of the historian and professor Egidijus Aleksandravičius.
Cataclysms of history have led to the situation whereby Lithuanians have become a diaspora nation. There are Lithuanian artists living on all five continents, and their art is scattered throughout the world. This is a historical fact, and it has both good and bad sides. They show their work in museums and galleries all over the world, and their works are included in the collections of major museums. However, it often happens that works of art go astray. Therefore, forming a collection of Lithuanian art in Lithuania is a noble and meaningful activity. It has been carried out by the Lithuanian Expatriate Art Foundation since 2010.
Organisers: Lithuanian Expatriate Art Foundation, Lewben Art Foundation
Partner – Lithuanian Art Musem
Curator – Dr. Rasa Andriušytė-Žukienė
Coordinators: Ugnė Bužinskaitė, Giedrė Marčiulaitė
Architecture and Design – IMPLMNT Architects
Sponsors: “Lewben Group”, “Enercom Capital”, “Strategy Labs”, “Nordgain”, Živilė ir Jonas Garbaravičiai, Lietuvos kultūros taryba
Media Sponsors: artnews.lt, Echo Gone Wrong
Exhibition will run until September 10, 2017, Vytautas Kasiulis Art Museum (A. Goštauto 1, Vilnius).
Photography: Rytis Šeškaitis