art 2001/2

Steponas Šarapovas. Ironiškas biustas.
Bronza, h 16,5. 1981

Steponas Šarapovas. Moters figūra. Bronza, h 13. 1975

Steponas Šarapovas


by Aldona Dapkutė

On June 27–July 7, 2001 an exhibition of more than 70 small sculptures by the sculptor Steponas Šarapovas, one of the most remarkable Lithuanian artists of the 2nd half of the 20th century, was held at the “Arka” Gallery.
Šarapovas studied sculpture at the Vilnius Art Academy in 1961–67, and already as a student began to take part in competitions of monumental works. After graduation he retreated from the official art scene in Lithuania. Some of his works, e.g. the excellent relief work in the memorial for the prisoners of the OFLAF-54 concentration camp near Pagėgiai, did not survive. His monumental relief works “The Dispute” and “The Way” (1979–81) in the exterior of the Seimas Palace of the Republic of Lithuania are not accessible to everyone. These bronze relief works of great artistic suggestion are the largest among those that have been created in Lithuania so far. The idea of “the great unity” expressed in these works is originally transformed in his decorative sculptures: “The Aurochs” (1975) in Vilnius, “The Archer” (in memory of M.K. Čiurlionis, 1975–81) in Palanga.
The most characteristic features of the sculptor’s work – his special sense of the material, diversity of the materials used, the principle of non-finito, the metaphors of organic growth and the way, explicit anatomical transformation, the interplay of silhouettes and volumes – are distinct not only in his small sculptures made of wood, bronze, brass, copper and other materials, but also in his portraits, medals and unique Renaissance-scale drawings. Šarapovas’ most common images – a musician, Pensive Christ, an archer and a bowman – are totally new in Lithuanian sculpture.