art 2003/1

Vytautas Ciplijauskas. Dainininkė Marijona Rakauskaitė ir dailininkas Liudas Truikys.
1971–1974, drobė, aliejus, 122 x 170

Vytautas Ciplijauskas. Dailininko Viktoro Vizgirdos portretas.
1977, drobė, aliejus, 130 x 102

The Exhibition of the Work of Vytautas Ciplijauskas

by Danutė Zovienė

On April 16, a huge exhibition of the painter Vytautas Ciplijauskas was opened at the Radvila Palace in Vilnius concurring with Lithuania’s signing of the EU accession treaty in Athens. It was a symbolical date to present to the audience the exhibition of the artist whose main subject for several decades has been historical personality. He belongs to the talented generation of the artists who appeared on Lithuanian artistic scene in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The exhibition featuring the painter’s work almost in its entirety, allows selecting the best from his creative legacy for the National Modern Art Gallery, which is expected to open in 2007.
The name of Ciplijauskas is synonymous in Lithuanian painting with the genre of classical portrait, which has been largely abandoned by the younger generation in the 21st century.
Ciplijauskas has best mastered traditional psychological portraiture. Among his sitters are famous contemporary Lithuanian cultural and public figures. His gallery of historical portraits features key figures of the country’s past. Though among many, there are also schematic romanticized images of the ancient dukes lacking substantial psychological characterization. In contrast to his contemporaries, Ciplijauskas never relied on deformation or formal experiment. He has developed his own style of representational portrait, characterized by recurrent composition, stylization of figures, and eventual canonization of his sitters. As befits the genre of the portrait, the main focus in his canvases is on the face and hands; background detail and clothing help to tell the story of the subject. A pinch of mannerism and shallowness is also there, especially in his latest works. Yet the best of his portrait epitomize a balanced and spiritually strong personality, the features, which acquire a new value as we embark on new phases of our tumultuous life.