art 2004/1

Leonardas Tuleikis. Neramus pokalbis. 1998, drobė, aliejus, 105x120

Leonardas Tuleikis. Vienas. 1997, kartonas, aliejus, 50x40

Leonardas Tuleikis. Dviese vakare. 2004, kartonas, aliejus, 111x122

“I Am Close to Figurative Art”

The Discussion between the Painters Aloyzas Stasiulevičius and Leonardas Tuleikis After the Opening of Tuleikis’ Exhibition at the Radvilų Palace

The two painters discuss the situation of the artist in the rapidly changing contemporary world. They stress the need to seek in one’s art things that are lasting, and aspire for increasingly higher standards. The exhibition at the Radvilų Palace featured over a hundred paintings, representing around fifteen years in the artist’s career. Leonardas Tuleikis is from Samogitia (Western Lithuania), which yielded many an outstanding Lithuanian artist, among them professor Antanas Gudaitis, one of the pioneers of the Lithuanian painting school. Though Tuleikis studied in Italy and absorbed the heritage of the centuries during his formative years, Gudaitis has remained his role model and mentor throughout his life. According to Tuleikis, "the more one knows, the wider one’s horizon, the more difficult one’s work becomes." To impart a powerful shape to the things that come "from the deep sources" is a demanding task, the "crystallization" of form is much more than just an experiment.
The two painters discuss the contemporary artistic scene in Lithuania and refer to a recent panoramic exhibition held in the newly opened high-rise Vilnius municipality building. There they found "but a few mature works of high artistic standard, while eclectic pieces and commercialised abstract painting dominated the show." The painters feel sorry that abstract art is being officially promoted in Lithuania, while the international scene is more diverse and increasing incorporates narrative and the social sentiment tradition. They also observe that in the world, individuality and tradition repeatedly regaining their value in art.
"In my paintings, I am closer to figurative art. My thoughts are about man. About those who have already gone in time, and those who are still around. About their lives and transient human existence in this world. About restlessness of mind, longing and pain, these loyal companions of man accompanying him to the very end," says the painter Tuleikis of his art, and notes that he has never been impressed by any -isms.
The former chairman of the Painting section at the Lithuanian Artist’s Union, Tuleikis laments that present art administrators tend to be opinionated. They fail to understand that artistic life is like "a flowing river": the waters it carries may change, but nothing can tell the river where it should flow.