Blaževičiūtė. Moteris su paukščiais. 2002, molis, emaliai,
48 x 25 x 22
Uznevičiūtė. Be pavadinimo.
2002, baltas molis, emaliai, 27 x 36 x 6
Lithuanian Ceramics: History and Nowadays
70 years of Lithuanian professional ceramics
of the 70 years gives an occasion to rethink the evolution of this branch
of art in Lithuania. It is not easy due to the existing discrepancy
between the real evolution and its reflection and record in press and
publications. The shelf of books on Lithuanian ceramic artists is very
short: several dozens of small books featuring separate artists were
published in the 1960s and 70s, the developments in the 80s were covered
by sparse exhibition catalogues and press reviews. Of more solid works
one can mention two: "The Art of Ceramics" (1998) by professor
Juozas Adomonis and the text by the art critic Pile Veljataga "Methodological
Questions of Style. Stylistic Features of Ceramic Art".
Deplorably, Lithuanian ceramicists have no their own publication or
museum. The idea of ceramics museum has been long natured by Jolanta
Lebednykienė, director of Panevėžys Art Gallery and
the organizer of the international ceramics symposiums in Panevėžys.
The past ten years have been rich in diverse exhibitions featuring ceramic
works. Vital for the evolution of this branch are symposiums. The Panevėžys
International Symposium has already been organized for 14 years and
plays the key role as a forum for ceramic artists. No less important
is a conference held in the framework of the symposium.
The foundations of modern Lithuanian professional ceramic art were laid
in the early 1930s. At its outset, ceramic art was not held equal with
other branches of art, but with time it gained influence. In the second
half of the 1930s, the Chair of Ceramics was led by Liudvikas Strolis,
who received his education in Paris. The period was dominated by objects
of utilitarian nature. The dominant decoration scheme was based on Lithuanian
folk patterns. In the process of education Strolis emphasized techniques
The subsequent decades saw ceramic art preserve its focus on folk style.
Yet in the 1940s and the 1950s ceramic production deteriorated into
primitive, provincial style. At the time ceramic artists were trained
by the Chair of Ceramics of the State Art Institute. The trade could
be learned at the vocational schools of applied arts in Kaunas and Telšiai.
Two mass production sites for ceramic ware were the Dailė factory
and the Jiesia factory.
The 1960s brought new trends into Lithuanian ceramic art: though utilitarian
function of ceramic wear still dominated, more pieces of decorative
character appeared. The separation line between applied and fine arts
was still prominent. In the end of the 1960s and 1970s ceramic art integrated
features of sculpture, painting and graphic arts. Utilitarian works
were ousted by pieces based upon free association.
In the 1980s a new trend - of conceptual ceramic art - appeared, and
predominant number of works were created for exhibitions. Initially
this tendency was resisted and ridiculed, yet later such anti-utilitarian
works were acknowledged for their significance.
Over the past eleven years ceramic art in Lithuania has acquired more
diversity and has become prone to experiment. In some instances it was
transformed into installation or object. It is usual today to combine
nontraditional materials with clay. However, for all artists, who consider
themselves ceramicists, a common footing is provided by clay body, techniques
There is one final thing to be said. Today Lithuanian artists offer
a broad scale of conceptual, powerful pieces
demonstrating exquisite skills in technology. Yet we lack unique Lithuanian
utilitarian objects in clay!