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Art Lithuania

© Skaitmeninio Vaizdo Ložė
© Margarita Jankauskaite
© J. Verikiene

Jewelry
*** ZILVINAS BAUTRENAS *** ALGIMANTAS MIKUTIS *** MARYTE GUREVICIENE ***ARVYDAS GUREVICIUS ***BIRUTE STULGAITE ***SAULIUS VAITIEKUNAS ***

Ceramics
*** NORA BLAZEVICIUTE *** TOMAS JURGIS DAUNORA *** RYTAS JAKIMAVICIUS *** VIRGINIJA JASIUNAITE-JURSIENE *** JOLANTA KVASYTE *** DALIA LAUCKAITE-JAKIMAVICIENE *** KRISTINA KARKAITE-MAZURIENE *** NOMEDA MARCENAITE *** ALDONA SALTENIENE ***

Textiles
*** EGLE BOGDANIENE *** MARIUS JONUTIS *** KATRE KARINA MATIUKIENE ***DANUTE KVIETKEVICIUTE *** EGLE KVINTIENE ***ŽYDRE RIDULYTE-BARAUSKIENE ***ADASA SKLIUTAUSKAITE ***ZINAIDA KALPOKOVAITE-VOGELIENE *** JURATE URBIENE ***


JEWELRY

ZILVINAS BAUTRENAS

In 1980, Bautrenas graduated the design department in the State Institute of Art in Vilnius, and began to participate in art exhibitions. But Lithuanian society knows him as a jeweller, who transforms an adornment into the piece of small plastic art. The artist in his work gives preference to the idea, while peculiarities of material are used to the precise materialisation of the idea. Bautrenas works with amber, glass, mammoth fang, stone. But most of all he is fond of silver - plastic metal which easily submits to the will of artist.

The moderate nature of artist opens in the plastic language inclined for the minimalism. Generalised silhouettes, laconicism of shape an colour gives to his adornments and small plastic the features of symbolism. But author does not tolerate an illustrative imitation of archaic epoch. He creates the world of signs of modern person, where the past, as the cultural heritage, is transformed by the present experience. Bautrenas not only bravely recreates archaic forms, but he also seeks for the innovative ones. He brakes stereotypes of combining and using materials. That's why one can find a metal button or a pinion of a watch next to the amber (almost sacred to the Lithuanian) in his jewellery, or eyeglasses in the luxurious silver string. In the context of minimalist expression such inclination to joke acquires a reputation of especially refined taste to snobs or philistines.

Guided by the democratic attitudes, the artist does not treat the adornments as luxurious, prestigious or plain ones. They are universal, suitable for all cases of life. And, although the plastic language of his works wanders from its archaic roots, his perception of the adornment contains connections with the past. Bautrenas does not create trinkets getting out of fashion. The artist perceives an adornment as amulet transmitted from one generation to another, or maybe even as an object affecting the life of its owner…


ALGIMANTAS MIKUTIS

In 1979, Algimantas Mikutis graduated from the department of actors' mastery in the State Conservatoire in Vilnius. In 1991, he studied in the higher courses of mastery in Tallinn and Moscow. Now he is producing plays in Vilnius' Puppet theatre.

Mikutis is a professional in the theatre, but he does not confine himself to the traditional expression possibilities of "his" field. The rich world of the artist's imagination, his subconscious element demanded the materialization, realization in plastic structures. For this purpose Mikutis used a broad spectrum of materials. Mammoth fang, amber, glass, and metal are not all materials used by him. He was inclined to use "soft" materials which were less resisting to his ideas.

In the beginning of nineties Algimantas Mikutis began to show works of small plastic art and jewellery. The audience was intrigued by uncommon themes for the stagnation period. Erotic tunes frankly and unexpectedly clinging almost in every work of Mikutis stimulated the outburst of adrenaline in the spectators' bodies. The person, who knows the works of Mikutis, would call him "a provocateur" who shows sexual intercourse or genitals openly, without scruples. But more vigilant spectators would notice a much deeper source of inspiration than just a wish to bridle the sexual passions.

Were you successful in opening the veil of surrealistic imagination? Then you should notice the old residents of existence theatre - archetypes, which are materialized in the images of vitality of feminine and masculine origins. A spectator obtains a possibility to touch the mythical world. Flexibly, like skilful narrator, the author is manipulating the trust of the audience. But the sensitive stylisation of the form helps to avoid undesirable literacy. Mikutis is a master of the expressive detail, but it never suppresses the totality of the work. In adornments, small plastic you can easily recognize the symbol of masculine sanctity - Phallus. You can feel the regenerative energy of a huge Great Goddess multiplicand in copulating animals: frogs, slugs, and fishes. This perpetual ritual is crowned by people's cues in the comic or dramatic play of existence.


MARYTE GUREVICIENE

The creative work of Maryte Gureviciene could hardly be "put in" strict boundaries of traditional kinds of art. She got the speciality of metal in the Estonian State Institute of Art in 1976. She made her debut on the art stage as a jeweller, distinguished by the individuality of expression (in the times when there flourished attitudes of aesthetic functionalism, the young artist's unwillingness to reckon with the canons of material using seemed almost revolutionary). But in time, her expressive and experimentalist nature demanded expanding the means of expression. This way, in the creative arsenal of Gureviciene there showed up installations of non-traditional plastic works from textile, metal, and glass.

The artist is full of ideas, she is very lively and energetic personality. Her spontaneous nature reveals in the play of expressive plastics of forms, subtle textures ( the author does not like static, "anaemic" planes) and colouring. In the jewellery, she combines intarsios of coloured metals and palette of shining stones. In the enamels, the artist accomplishes the synthesis of constructive, strict metal plastic and spontaneous, sensitive painting. In her works, one can notice the features of graphics, painting and sculpture.

The idea of unity, synthesis is deeply pierced through the creative world outlook of Gureviciene. This is noticeable in aesthetic and ethical attitudes of the artist. According to her convictions, the creative work cannot be the end in itself. The successful piece of art should find its place in the broader context of existence. Perhaps this is the reason, why the artist in her latest works more and more often seeks for complexity and synthesis of senses - tries to broaden the consciousness of a spectator, appealing to his senses of vision, hearing, textile and smell.


ARVYDAS GUREVICIUS

Arvydas Gurevicius got the speciality of metal in the State Institute of Art in Tallinn in 1978. In Lithuania he is known not only as a creator of subtle metal plastics and jewellery. His creative arsenal is supplemented with enamels and a gallery of expressive paintings.

Talented painter is also easily recognisable in jewellery plastics. The works of Gurevicius could be defined as "a hymn for plane surface". In the hands of master, an absolutely ordinal lamella is transformed into the image of fragile existence. Subtle low relief, fragile textures and quivering silhouettes of lines create associative shapes that induce a spectator to quiet contemplation.

In the plastics of Arvydas Gurevicius there is no lucid silhouette. He avoids direct narration or monosemantic interpretations. His works do not attempt to imitate or recreate the forms of reality. More likely, the author derives impulses for the intuitive creation from the layers of subconsciousness. Maybe that's why indistinct relieves of brooches and lamellas have almost magic suggestiveness. They resurrect the perpetual, archetypal symbols in one's memory: a mythical hill emerging from the initial depth, a house symbolising the self-residence or the universal form of circle talking about the perpetuity of existence's cycles…

The artist is laconic. In spite of the expressiveness, characteristic to his textures and paintings, his works could be described in terms of minimalism. The artist is not fascinated with the expression of colours and plastic sizes. He willingly confides the secrets of his spiritual world to the expressive plane surface, silhouette, line. The means of expression are restrained to the subtle quivering nuances. They prepossess a spectator to the calm concentration and contemplation.


BIRUTE STULGAITE

In 1967 - 1971, Stulgaite studied in the technicum of applied art in Telsiai. In 1972 - 1977 she studied in the department of metal in State Institute of Art in Estonia. In 1976 she started to participate in the exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad. She works with adornments, amber, small plastic and enamel.
Stulgaite is undoubtedly one of the artists whose means of expression do not fit in the field of applied decorative art. Her sensation of the world, touched by transcendental presentiment, is present in her works where there is an attempt to materialize, to find a proper shape for a harmonious relationship with the universe.

The artist's works are neither illustrative, nor full of signs. She is not imitating traditional cultures or archaic art. But she has an uncommon ability for a human being of 20th century to contemplate existence and to express her experience in the way of plastic speech. All the creations of Stulgaite - adornments or small plastics - are above trivial prosiness, routine. They are devoted to those who can hear the silence, feel fragile existence. The adornments of Stulgaite never are the fetishes of vain splendour. More likely, they are warding or rending energy amulets - magic images in the modern person's consciousness of the perpetual truths about the meaning of life. Giving her works the most subtle proportions and fragile shape the artist almost touches the magic act of the world creation. Plaited threads or screwed vortex, intersection of vertical and horizontal lines, spirals of great vitality become the prototypes of creation, cosmos and harmony.

That's why the artist listens carefully to the way of expression, which is suggested by every material (sea-grass, horsehair, bone, stone or metal). Her work is a subtle communication where there is no place for dictation of the subject's will. There remains only melodious swing… and thrill of meditation. No matter in what field of self-expression Stulgaite works - adornments, amber, small plastics or enamel - she stays faithful for her calling to create harmony.


SAULIUS VAITIEKUNAS

Vaitiekunas started his career as a professional lawyer. But in time he devoted his life to the Muses, giving him to creative work. He started from jewellery (archaeological adornments), later he made his spectrum of expression broader, covering the fields of small plastic, installations, abstract sculpture.

The artist is known as a person who collects stones all over the world and makes them the works of art. "Strange hobby" - many people would think seeing a great deal of stones of different forms and size in his studio. But in the artist's point of view, this is not just simple material action. More likely, it is roaming of the soul, which starts in indefinite point of existence where elements of nature interact, and lasts in our daily routine - in the artist's studio or exhibitions. It is like an indefatigable contemplation of infinity, looking for things - universal and disobedient to time.

Vaitiekunas transforms the process of work into the meditation having the material shape. So, he communicates with the material in a very subtle way - he preserves the original beauty of the stone enriching its view with just a few slight touches. The creative wills of nature and human being coexist here like equivalent partners respecting each other's principles. The artist is communicating with the stone. For him it is the real existence, which can tell her secrets to the listener. Vaitiekunas can make the stone to talk. So amulets, objects, fetishes become the signs of the unity of existence and ambivalence. Here meet nature and culture, darkness and light (the contrast of stone and metal), eternity and history.


CERAMICS

NORA BLAZEVICIUTE

In 1964 - 1969, Nora Blazeviciute studied in the State Institute of Art in Vilnius. She has got the speciality of ceramics. Since 1970, Blazeviciute started actively participate in different exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad with her works of soft porcelain, clay of high and low temperatures. Creative style of the artist was formulated in the end of seventies and eighties, when strict "uniform" stylistics dogma were changed by ideas of individualism. In the society the social optimism calmed down, and in the creative art through the strict official cordons there penetrated more ironical evaluation of the ideas declared.

Blazeviciute's works from the beginning were notable for their wittiness, ironic playfulness and "program unofficiality". To the artist who models decorative ceramics for interior (hearth, walls, decoration details) and for exterior (fountains, ceramics for gardens) or prepares for the exhibitions, it is always important to make things which would appeal to the feelings of spectator. The ceramics to her is a special form of relationship: "I am modelling, because I want to communicate. While living you observe the world, share your impressions and wait for the reaction of spectators. My works do not impress those people who cannot relax and feel themselves children at least for a moment."

The artist never created socially engaged art. One of the main motives of her works are animals: hares, crows, chickens. All of them are subtly characterised and individual. Author's aim to create "warm" things makes animals and birds the humanized beings, full of erotic charm and hidden, only intuitively felt sexual energy. All of them, like people, have their personal characters and secret wishes.

Blazeviciute tries to break the stereotypes of image, sometimes even to shock the spectator rejecting the beauty stereotypes existing in our culture. This is especially evident in the series of women's torso. For the artist, every woman is beautiful: even with the signs left by age on her body, physical imperfection, and human weaknesses. Looking at those beings who do not correspond with beauty standards, but whose halo of sexuality and vitality is shining, you remember the words of Isaac. She did not agree with Sartre who said that a person after 40 had a face he had deserved, and claimed that a woman of middle age had a face, which she had a courage to show. Blazeviciute looks at the woman (at herself?) with disarming frankness - "sweet" beauty, hypocritical sanctimony are not acceptable for her. Maybe this is the reason why her women's torso reminds of sculptures of archaic deities enthralling a spectator by their creative erotic power.


TOMAS JURGIS DAUNORA

T.J.Daunora 1990 m. baigė Vilniaus dailės akademiją, keramikos specialybę. Jis priklauso dailininkų kartai, kuri siekia meniškai įprasminti individualaus pasaulėvaizdžio autentiškumą, kelia dvasinio tapatumo problemas.

Idėjinių atspirties taškų savo kūrybai T. J. Daunora ieško mitinėje, istorinėje Lietuvos praeityje. Čia numano esant ir savo dvasines tapatybės ištakas. Jo pasaulėjauta persmelkta archetipiniais vaizdiniais, kuriuos stengiamasi integruoti šiuolaikinio žmogaus pasaulėvaizdyje. Ieškodamas identiteto atsparos taškų, menininkas nedeklaruoja individualistinės autonomijos, neatsiriboja nuo kolektyvinio mentaliteto, neišsižada pasąmonės kloduose užgimstančių impulsų. Veikiau mėgina atrasti tinkamą plastinės kalbos būdą daugiareikšmiam jo turiniui išreikšti.

Dailininko neinspiruoja buities žavesys. Jis nekuria funkcionalių daiktų, kurie nuolat primintų profaniškos būties trivialumą. Egzistenciją T. J. Daunora "seikėja" amžinybės, universalumo matais. Jį inspiruoja monumentalūs, architektoniški tūriai, kurių vaizdo visuma maksimaliai apibendrinama. Lakoniškas formas perkurdamas į daugiareikšmius ženklus, autorius nepiktnaudžiauja plastinės raiškos galimybėmis. Jo meninei mąstysenai būdingas minimalistinis santūrumas. Konstruktyvi, architektoniška vaizdo struktūra, kompaktiški siluetai, santūri, "žemės" spalvų gama suteikia kūriniams archainės įtaigos ir pirmapradžio rūstumo, kurį pagyvina subtilios faktūros bei ažūrinių ornamentų voratinkliai.


RYTAS JAKIMAVICIUS

In 1977-1984, Rytas Jakimavicius studied in Ceramics Department in the Lithuanian State Institute of Art. Already in the years of his studies, Jakimavicius found his expression as a creative personality affirming his world outlook with the help of original plastic speech.

Jakimavicius is a representative of the generation, the art outlook of which was formulated in the beginning of the nineties, when the tendencies of self-reflection were especially strengthened in the Lithuanian art. So, it is not surprisingly, that Jakimavicius' creative energy is more focused on the implication of his individual world outlook rather than on the solving the functional and technological problems. The question of contradiction between "appliance" and "imitation", so important for the art society in the cross of seventies and eighties does not exist for Jakimavicius. The artist perceives these two polarised attitudes as absolutely comprehensible thing and organically adapts them in earthenware. There vanish in his works the boundaries and signs which earlier strictly distinguished between "high" and "low" art and did not allow to link the ideas of "pure" art with everyday needs.

There is no distance between "functionalism" and "imitation" left in Jakimavicius' works. This dichotomy vanishes, merging and revealing new horizons of the plastic expression's perception and interpretation. His works could also be "applied": a spectator's decision could transform the mutating figures into vases or fountains. But the author does not limit himself with the experiments of form. Under the intriguing exterior "integument" there is always hidden the deeper layers of subjective experience that open to a spectator like revealed intimate visions or a result of deep existential considerations.


VIRGINIJA JASIUNAITE-JURSIENE

Virginija Jasiunaite - Jursiene studied in Vilnius' State Institute of Art, department of ceramics in 1969 - 1974. Since 1974, Jursiene participated in art exhibitions in Lithuania, later in international exhibitions and symposia. Jursiene hold five personal exhibitions. From 1993, she is a member of the international artists' group Phonix-F in Germany.

Jursiene's creative attitudes were formulated in 1970-ies when functionalism and purism in applied decorative art was changed by the search of new ways of expression and synthesis. The main focus in the artist's works is on ceramics' objects where she reveals her "sculptural" way of thinking. She creates expressive shapes: objects of different size, laconic forms, fragile silhouettes, which are enriched with vibrating manner of execution and painting. Jursiene likes modelling colourful paste and painting it with liquid clay. Combining the skills of sculptress and painter, Jursiene is aptly contrasting strict, laconic (often minimalistic, monumental) form and subtle, thrilling water-colouring to enlarge the amplitude of emotions, to give her works some hidden and intuitively felt stress.

The themes of Jursiene's works are distant from everyday reality. The artist, extemporising with materials, is inspired by impulses of mythical plots. But she does not repeat, imitate or recreate archaic symbols of Great Goddess. Archetypes, giving an implication of feminine origin, in author's works spontaneously emerge obtaining the modern form. So, one can "read" her works on different levels: concentrating on laconic, expressive form, subtle texture and half-tone (i.e. admiring formal expression of object) or groping the deep layers of sense. They open to a spectator only if he can recognize the themes of regeneration, fragility of existence and eternity in the symbolics of water, soil, buildings compared to the image of woman.


JOLANTA KVASYTE

Kvasyte got the speciality of ceramics in the State Institute of Art in 1982. She gained her own creative niche, which was filled with the expressive works of original character. In the context of Lithuanian art, the special carnival spirit of her creative works distinguishes her. In her works, she concentrated the impulses of grotesque, biking mockery and irony, that appeared in the Lithuanian art in the nineties.

As a real personality of carnival type, she creates works full of paradoxes. Kvasyte breaks conventional norms, freely interpreting old themes and originally using the means of expression. The artist likes porcelain - the capricious material of subtle technology -, which in many people mind is related to aristocratic restraint and irreproachable manners. Nevertheless, Kvasyte's figures of porcelain or terracotta, stunning with the richness of range of colours make a spectator to doubt the universality of narrow-minded views.

Observing the caricatured personages, a spectator feels himself a participant of real carnival. The barriers of social norms do not exit here. The most secret impulses and instincts are made public. Kvasyte absolutely disarms and lynches the sanctimony. Still, this act is performed in a playfully refined and aesthetically attractive form.

None of carnivals was possible without sexual aspects, providing for fecundity. So, there is no surprise that erotic motifs are distinct in the artist's works. In some of the works this motif is more overt, in other ones it is hidden under the veil of easily recognisable metaphor, provoking even bigger curiosity of a spectator. But this theme never becomes the end in itself. Like other means of expression, it desacralises the stereotypical world outlook.


DALIA LAUCKAITE-JAKIMAVICIENE

Dalia Lauckaite Jakimaviciene studied English at Vilnius University in 1977 - 1978, then she was a student in ceramics department in the Lithuanian State Institute of Art in 1978 - 1982. Participating in the exhibitions, Lauckaite Jakimaviciene attracted spectators' attention with her unique coffee-sets. Their utilitarian forms were delicately enriched with resourceful details, which created an image of slight irony and wittiness. These features together with the very precise work are the distinctive quality of the artist's style, which originally opens, in different pieces of art. It seems that the artist is pleased manipulating images of rococo or sentimental bourgeois art, balancing on the limits of "sweet beauty" and provoking spectator.

From the first sign, refined compositions (in the sense of form) hide inside a considerable dose of humour. Still, to grasp it, a direct relation with observed object is not enough. Lauckaite is imposed on "aristocratic" style of intercourse based on subtle hints. But the artist does not allow even to the chosen ones to lull in exaltation. Inventively combining attributes of daily life with moulds (statues, natural forms), she skilfully transforms them to the pieces of art and puts surprise accents of prosiness and high artistic value.

Rhythm in the artist's works becomes an especially important element. Owning to it, we can perceive trivial things (let's say, faucets of soviet period) as constructions, impregnated with the classical sense of harmony. Recurrence of relief details, coloured fragments, painted materials lends vigour to the usual forms, used in ceramics for ages (like decorative plates, services). Pierced by fragile lightness, touched by theatricality, where unexpected collation of details and trick flourishes, Lauckaite's creative work opens to the receptive spectator as rebuses of form and content.


KRISTINA KARKAITE-MAZURIENE

Kristina Karkaite-Mazuriene belongs to the middle generation of the artists whose creative style crystallised in the beginning of eighties. In 1972, she graduated from the State Institute of Art, got the speciality of ceramics, and began to look for her original and authentic style. The artist derived impulses to form her style from the very broad historical context, paraphrasing it in her own way. As though do not wanting "to hurt" others by the exceptional attention, the author touches the art traditions - antique, East and West European ones of 19th century. But she does not imitate the historical heritage. More likely, she presents the original conception of a thing as an authentic work of art. In her works, there is always present a respect to the handicraft and the professional virtuosity. Things of difficult configurations, formulated from the masses of coloured clay, almost give an impression of jewellery. Impressive surfaces, excellent textures like magic power attract the spectator's attention, rivet his look, beckon him with the miraculous rhythms of colours and forms.

Nevertheless, the artist does not parade her handicraft and knowledge of technology. She creates plastic and associative forms, which exceed the limits of simple utilitarianism. Maybe that is the reason why there is so much improvisation in her works, that neglects any possibility of repetition (even in the case of china). The artist is inspired by "alive" form. Statics and rigid order is nasty for her. Karkaite-Mazuriene's works embody the processes of formation and transformation, while deforming, waving and disintegrating. They gain the features of archetypal image, embodying the vital power of transformation.


NOMEDA MARCENAITE

Nomeda Marcenaite graduated from the Academy of Art in Vilnius in 1989; there she got a speciality of ceramics. Her creative employ is small ceramic panels, which could also be called the relief paintings. In her works, the author unites the means of expression of different kinds of art (subject, colour, extent, line, and ornament) and strives for the syncretism. The theme demands the synthesis of plastic speech: when the main motif of a creative work is woman and secrets of her existence, it is impossible to confine oneself to the only one "right" way of expression.

Woman pierces the world of Marcenaite's creations. She disintegrates into fragments, which fill the entire world, and overfills the surrounding existence with vitality. Cosmos breathes the peace and passion of Her rest, the rhythm of Her vital cycles repeatable in the inexhaustible variety of ornaments. Woman is the centre of the universe, around which there continuously turns round the existence full of harmonious coexistence with nature. Woman is the personification of nature, merging and melting in environment and giving the outset for cosmic life. She is chaos and harmony, danger and peace. She is She…

While talking about woman, where everything submits to the rules of "horn of plenty" you cannot be chary, you cannot propagate minimalism. Maybe that's why in Marcenaite's works there is so much of colour passion, tender irony, playful decorativeness, naive stylisation of picture, subtle textures and warmth of clay.


ALDONA SALTENIENE

The creative style of Aldona Saltiene was formulated in the eighties, when the origins of individualistic attitudes began to spread timidly in Lithuanian society. They induced to revalue the creative attitudes and to search for the adequate ways of expression.

After graduating the Ceramics Department in the Lithuanian State Institute of Art in 1967, the artist joined cultural life of the country, intensively seeking for the individual style reflecting the growing creative ambitions. Not fulfilling herself in a narrow frame of functionalism, Salteniene widened her range of expression, so laying the foundation of conceptual ceramics in Lithuania.

Her compositions are not oriented to solve the problems of utilitarianism and decorativeness. Perceiving the ceramics material as the means for developing the artist's individuality, Salteniene appeals to the intellect of a spectator and provokes the spiritual dialogue. The dominating ontological content in the works of the artist gains the psychological stress and nuances of dramatics or becomes soft meditation and slow swing of repeatable forms.

Communication with the artist's works is always a unique opportunity to approach the secrets of fragile existence, which like mystical truth resound in the hearts of the sanctified. Salteniene does not strive for the outward effect. A detail or the precision manner of execution is not important in her works. Every element serves to the whole complex, which renders the author's attitudes full of dramatics. Zoomorphic shapes, fantastic beings like steeping in the shadow of the moon, inspire sensual associations rather than realistic remembrances. Moderate range of colours and amorphism of volumetric shapes induce to isolate oneself from the rational reality, invites to immerse into the world of senses and intuition, where spontaneous magic of fingers revive grotesque images emerging from the subconsciousness.


TEXTILES

EGLE BOGDANIENE

Bogdaniene got the speciality of textile in the State Institute of Art in 1985, when in Lithuanian art there were favourable conditions for a creative experiment. The artist did not miss the opportunity to embody her talent in different "textile" ways. As the result of it, in the artist's arsenal of the means of expression, besides traditional, almost classical in Lithuania, techniques of weaving, there appeared incredible experiments with forms, space and scales.

The artist creates spatial compositions, improvising with the rhythm of forms, seeking for the interaction among plane surface, volumes, and spatial vacuum. In the series, she inventively uses the elements of body art, so lending the spontaneous intimacy to the play of abstract forms.
The author also stuns a spectator with her original perception of materials. In her treatment, textile becomes so universal conception, that it could seem there is no such kind of matter which could not be transformed by the artist into the work of textile. Flies, cakes, coffee or spaghetti - everything finds its niche in creative work.

Looking at the works of Bogdaniene, imperceptibly one could think that she ignores a bit levelled, but still existing boundaries between the trivial life and the elite world of arts. Into the privileged surroundings the author integrates "kitchen" spheres, which in today's social context could get the most paradoxical interpretations. It is left for the spectators' will. Aesthetic attitudes of the artist unwittingly return a spectator to the "Golden Ages", when the syncretic human existence allowed the creative potency to be sublimated in various forms.


MARIUS JONUTIS

In 1990, Marius Jonutis graduated from the Academy of Arts in Vilnius and got the speciality of graphics. With his debut on the art stage, he attracted the spectators' attention, showing his especially colourful and decorative sheets, which were distinguished by their original vitality in the context of the Lithuanian art. The innovative nature of the artist encouraged him to broaden the arsenal of traditional means of expression, not limit himself with the sheet space. This way, there appeared his wooden panels, screens, shelves, where the cramped space of created "small worlds" got the third dimension.

In the works of Jonutis, there originally intertwine the tradition of folk sculptures, wooden toys, marionettes and the expressive, graphical and pictorial accents. The world of his works subtly balances between the childhood reminiscences and mythological world. They almost integrate inside themselves the rituals of old godmakers - sacralise the human existence and anthropomorphises the divine spheres and "tame" transcendence.

The works of Jonutis remind of the myths of world beginning. He, like a shaman, with the help of wood and paints, tirelessly forms cosmos. It is done using the modern arsenal of the means of expression and the auto-ironical tune characteristic to a modern person. So, ode for life in the interpretation of the artist never becomes the overt didactics or infantile sentimentality. More likely, this is a game giving a pleasure to both the creator and the spectator. In his works, the important role falls on the rhythm of the original colour spots, forms, and ornaments and on the especially "clear", "major" colouring. All these means of expression in the works of Jonutis become the dreams about the earthly heaven - unimpeded harmony and unity pulsing in the rhythm of vital life.


KATRE KARINA MATIUKIENE

Katre Karina Matiukiene studied in Vilnius Academy of Art, in the department of textiles in 1992 - 1998. She started participating in exhibitions with her works done in the felting manner.

Thick felt is not a usual technique, having old traditions in Lithuania. For a long time the modern textile in Lithuania was considered to be woven, knotted Gobelin (from the eighties) carpets. This art was associated with high trade skills, long lasting receptive process, which demanded from artists to crystallise ideas, to foresee the plastic expression in the first stages of the work. The specific character of the trade limited improvisation possibilities, prevented changes in ideas and plastic expression. But growing attention to the phenomena of human being and the individuality of his expression stimulated textile workers to seek for the technological innovations.

Matiukiene, improvisatorice by nature, has chosen the thick felt technique, which allows to turn the work process into the free improvisation. Here the work standards - "resistance" of matter - do not suppress the primacy of idea, but, on the contrary, helps it. Hanks of soft wool help spontaneously, like with the slight touch of a brush, to create symbols coming from the subconscious's and merging into the rhythm of shapes and colours. The artist's plastic expression is laconic (based on the contrasts of colour and the minimalism of shapes), but suggestively monumental, covering great space of meanings. In spite of strong effect of decorativeness (it appears because of generalised shapes and contrast of colours), Matiukiene's works never become just futile stylisation. They have something in common with traditional art, but that is not the exterior repetition of form. More likely, it is the spiritual resonance with archaic culture - a wish to express fundamental ideas, giving sense to human existence. The perception of such ideas is concealed deeply in our mentality, and it can reach our consciousness only through the plastic shapes, which are not expressible in a verbal way.

In the artist's works we can often find a motive of stylised woman's figure. That is not an accidental detail. Transformations in public structures, culture, world outlook stimulate an individual to look upon him, and inspire the problems of personal identity in the creative work. So, it is not surprising that Matiukiene affirms woman in her textile works. She refuses to keep to a subordinate role of woman, to the stereotypes of expression, and declares the existence (getting the form of her ego) full of sexual and creative potential. Matiukiene's textile signs may be interpreted as a question: what means to be a woman, a creator on the eve of 21st century? Can a woman talk authentically about herself in the Western culture? The search of answers leads an author to the sources of human history that recall the Great Goddess, when a woman and symbols related to her gave meaning to the idea of creation, the unity of human existence and cosmic cycle.

 


DANUTE KVIETKEVICIUTE

Danute Kvietveviciute studied in the State Institute of Art in Lithuania, in the department of textile in 1960 - 1966. From 1967, she started participating in exhibitions and received the recognition of publics and critics. Kvietveviciute gave preference to the technique of classical tapestry and always remained loyal to her choice. Even in the end of seventies and in the eighties, when a great deal of textile workers were interested in new experiments with space, textures with threads and fibres, new technologies, the artist waved traditional carpets. Her works are full of meaning.

Pedantically winding up threads, creating huge and small tapestries, she makes her work almost a ritual. That's why, although the artist's creative individuality was formulated in the years of ideological pressing, her works were not touched of propagandise confusion.
Kvietkeviciute's carpets are talking about human existence, its fragile moments. Being a clairvoyant, in her tapestries she opened the world of visions, the roaming of the soul in the transcendental expanse and the richness of immanent - private existence.

The characteristic feature of the plastic expression in Kvietkeviciute's works is dynamics and more or less hidden dramatic stress. She uses the painting based on metaphors of images. The great attention here is paid to the detail (hand, grain, heavenly body, etc.) which becomes a symbol - a key to grasp the rich polyphony of the picture.

Understanding the existence as the indivisible whole, she exceeded the limits of her era. Polar way of thinking, so important in the western thought, was never characteristic to her world outlook. Monosemantic attitude, which is the goal of the most modern philosophic thought, has always been the main motif of her creations. In her tapestries - visions, emotion and rationality, visible and transcendental worlds are existing together and affecting one another. At the same time, the understanding of the syncretism of existence gives to the artist a power to affirm the triumph of moral and ethical principles against the everyday routine.


EGLE KVINTIENE

Kvintiene graduated from the State Institute of Art in Vilnius and has got the speciality of clothes modelling. She participated in art exhibitions with her textile works. In time artist's calling for creating dolls smothered all forms of expression. Here the artist's admiration of theatre and sculpture, of modelling and textile and subtle nature of the dreamer were originally materialized.

Lithuanian history has no information about famous doll-makers. Maybe that is the reason why this sort of art is thought to be marginal, subordinate to "more important" purpose (like theatre). But Kvintiene's works deny such evaluations. The artist gives to her dolls expressive personal features and every doll gets her individual "destiny": it tells (or lets you to think of) her unrepeatable life story. Characters transfer a spectator to the retro world of old town-dwellers, old intellectuals in the beginning of 20th century. The artist's goal is not to precisely repeat the fashion of those years, to keep to the authentic documents or portrait resemblance. She is freely improvising, creating dreamy, nostalgic mood. Special attention is paid to the expressive details which rivet spectator's look and make him to seek for allusions until the silent dialogue starts. Then dolls become spiritual mediators "reading" our thoughts and leading us into the world of dreams, recollections, and childhood…


ZYDRE RIDULYTE-BARAUSKIENE

In 1984, Ridulyte-Barauskiene graduated from the Textile Department in the State Institute of Art. She started her independent creative career in the end of nineties, when there was a great attention paid to the experiments of technology and form in the Lithuanian textile. That encouraged the artist to seek for the new ways of expression, not to limit herself with heritage or tradition, but to broaden the limits of its stunned conception.

The arsenal of the means of expression chosen by Ridulyte-Barauskiene, is not characteristic for the Lithuanian textile. The artist is not satisfied with the partial innovations and artificially declared relations with tradition. She does not create carpets, no matter how modern their speech of form is. The artist clearly isolates herself from the traditions of utilitarian functionalism, she affirms the idea of the thing as that of an immanent creative work. She also does not indulge the "national spirit" full of expressionist impulses.

In the context of the Lithuanian art, the artist's works are distinguished by moderation of their plastic speech. She does not strive for the spontaneous fury of colours and textures, and does not declare the aesthetics of improvised accidents. An ungovernable spontaneity is not the main feature of Ridulyte-Barauskiene. First, she listens to the rational sense and shows the clarity of the work's structure as the aesthetic value. The artist does not overindulge in details or exalted nuances. The creative idea in her works gets the minimalist expression. Every plastic trait is carefully thought over. Nothing is "too much" - neither colours, nor forms, nor textures. "Measure" in Ridulyte-Barauskiene's works opens as suggestive aesthetic means of expression.


ADASA SKLIUTAUSKAITE

In 1949 - 1955 she studied in the State Institute of Art in Vilnius. She got a speciality of a book illustrator. In Lithuania and abroad she is known first of all as a master of lithography. Skliutauskaite, full of creative energy, is still seeking for the new ways of self-realization. Recently she began making dolls, which are usually allotted, to her close friends. "Dolls are like my children" - the artist says. "While being made they absorb the warm-heartedness of a person, and later they radiate it to other people." So, every doll is very distinctive: lyrically melancholic, dreamy or lively, depending on the emotion which inspired Skliutauskaite to create it.

The artist makes dolls with the help of her hands, so her dolls do not have that banal precision, characteristic to the industrial toys. Every stitch expresses the emotional relation between a person and her creation, its uniqueness and originality of the feeling. Dolls are mysterious beings coming from the children's world of rag-dolls. This world is hidden deeply in the consciousness of every woman - in that bottomless ocean from which she gets her creative impulses. To Skliutauskaite, making dolls is not the secondary field of art. Contrarily, here is the synthesis of her experience in book illustration, graphic art and her sense of coloring (not realized pictorial talent?). Every doll is polyphony of the subtlest textures, paints - "red", "blue", or "bronzed" chord. They touch existential problems, too: they make one to reevaluate aesthetic and ethical points - they challenge our consuming relations with the social environment and the world of things.


ZINAIDA KALPOKOVAITE-VOGELIENE

Vogeliene's creative work could hardly be described in a few laconic phrases. She started her creative way in the end of the seventies (she got the speciality of textile in the State Institute of Art in 1966). The artist never contented herself with the reached achievements. Being of experimental nature, she always searched for the new, adequate to the present, ways of expression. Her creative heritage is of works of different nature. Some of them are analytical, constructive, and rational. In other ones, there dominate emotion, expression, and intuition.

No matter what means of expression are chosen by the author (classical, spatial, mini tapestry or experimental textile), there is one common feature in her works. This is a special sense of rhythm. It helps to realise the idea of synthesis with architecture, to tune the composition; it gives her works the original expression. Still, the vital sense of construction is not the only distinctive feature of Vogeliene's works. She perfectly manages the range of colours, too. Combining rich colour tones, the author obtains decorative and contrasting accords or creates the pictorially expressive whole, using different possibilities of weaving and textures.

The artist masterly uses not only possibilities of traditional textile. She fearlessly draws a little unusual material into the arsenal of her art speech. Needles, drawing pins, wire magnets, burned paper, and seedlings and dried up plants help to realise the innovative ideas. Possibility of seeking and discoveries, play with materials and forms in her works often suppress the importance of the result itself, because the artist gets new creative impulses from the work process and perpetual improvisation.


JURATE URBIENE

Urbiene's way to the professional art was a little unusual. She became a specialist of physics (graduated from the Pedagogical Institute of Siauliai) before choosing a speciality of art creator. After graduating from the Institute of Art in Vilnius in 1969, the artist actively joined the art life of the country, disposing her textile works to the strict public opinion.

As the artist notices, the broad education was not useless. In her works, Urbiene always seeks for the interaction of two incompatible rudiments - rational (scientific) and more expressive sensual perception of the world. This is revealed in the themes and plastic speech of textile works. In her creations, there contend a poetic vision, inspired by intangible and intuitive impulse, and an analytical implication of reality and experience. Here, the artist contrasts rich spectrum of colours and achromatic range of subtle nuances, tranquillity of balanced planes and swift rhythm of diagonals.

Perhaps this is the reason why one of the most favourite motifs of the artist is the light: breaking spectrum rays lighting and disintegrating the plane or blicks wandering in the space of a painting. The light, actively participating in the orchestration of textile "canvases" (making compositional accents) gets independent existence. But at the same time, the light provides for the expressive and polysemantic metaphors, with the help of which the author attempts to synthesise the polarised perception of the world, to unify the objectivised and indifferent physicist's attitudes towards everyday occurrences and emotional, full of personal experience, relation with reality.

Seeking for the ways to adequately render the personal world perception of the artist, Urbiene does not limit herself with the traditional possibilities of expression. She experiments a lot, using in her works also "non-textile" materials. The artist not only weaves tapestries and creates plastic forms from paper. She paints silk with vegetable-paint, using the author's technology, so widening the arsenal of the means of expression and enriching the Lithuanian textile with new technologies.