On February 7th, Vartai Gallery opens a new personal exhibition of well-known young-generation artist Linas Jusionis. Looking at the scene of contemporary Lithuanian art, Jusionis has been holding a solid stance for almost a decade now, drawing more and more attention to the right to ‘the eye’s desire’–an aspect often undervalued in the swirls of contemporary intellectual trends.
The title of the exhibition, ‘Stacks, plants and plains’, helps to set a mood similar to that of a road-trip film, and refers to elements of landscape presenting them as recurring motifs of the artist’s work. Disconnected sceneries with no clear meaning join into a sense-lacking sequence, misleading with its aestheticized muteness and transmitting a strange, nostalgic mood. The recurring landscape elements seem to start gaining meaning and begin to work like tropes. Even if every motif signifies something individually, all together they act like certain objects of desire.
From the very beginning of Jusionis’s artistic career, his work was characterised by a sort of mature consistency: a mysterious visual outlook formed with minimalistic tools, balancing between observing and being observed, (not) showing and (not) seeing. Unexpected, intriguing solutions in the formation of the paintings’ space, as well as subtly refined colour transitions disclose a conscious preference for pure visuality and its experience, which becomes increasingly important to the artist himself.
“Pure visuality detached from any kind of meaning allures me more and more with its authenticity and a sheer desire for imagery. On the other hand, I have always been interested in the duality of an image, when the latter can remain mute and at the same time, provoke interpretation. This duality is crucial when thinking of an image. Any artistic solution of mine appears as some sort of response to it, sometimes elaborating on the associations born, and sometimes trying to avoid them altogether, seeking to affect the viewer with sheer visuality”, says Jusionis.
In his latest work, the artist gives way to strong imagery and its dual truth: by depicting something or pretending to be something, the painted view also directs to itself–an eye-and-mind-engaging illusion that invites to enjoy, performing unexpected tricks with the viewer’s imagination. The objects in the paintings are like manifestations of the artist’s libido, erupting in a sterile, strictly organised and aestheticised space. A painting is a realisation of the artist’s desire for imagery, and a polemic site for tensions, different moods and signifiers.
Linas Jusionis (b. 1986) studied in Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2007–2011 for his BA and graduated with a Master’s in Monumental Arts (Fresco-Mosaic) in 2011. The artist has been exhibiting his work in groups as well as individually since 2009, this exhibition being his fourth personal one in the Vartai Gallery alone. Right after his debut, Jusionis gained a significant lot of fans across the whole country, his paintings have been purchased by the Modern Art Museum in Vilnius MO, the Lewben Art Foundation, as well as other private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
This exhibition is a part of new project “SU-MENĖK” by Vilnius Municipality.
‘Stacks, plants and plains’
2019 02 07 – 2019 03 15
Photography: Laurynas Skeisgiela