art 2004/2

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Vita Gelūnienė. Dekoratyvinis akcentas II. 1999, medvilnė, gobelenas,  25x1

Vita Gelūnienė. Dekoratyvinis akcentas I. 1999, medvilnė, gobelenas, 18x25

Vita Gelūnienė. Du kūnai. 2001, vilna, gobelenas, 185x90

Vita Gelūnienė: Language of Unspoken Words   

by Virginija Vitkienė

From the very start of her career the female artist chose the then forgotten weaving technique in Lithuania, the classical tapestry. It was a bold and unique statement at the time of universal revolt against obsolete textile practices that marked the turn of the century. Instead of importing something alien to the craft, Gelūnienė revived the technique that had been in oblivion in Lithuania since the 19th century. In the classical tapestry technique, the weft threads conceal almost completely the warps, while fine grain produces a flat, regular surface. These features of the weaving technique proved vital for the artist’s realistic figures rendered with photographic precision. Her draftsmanship and flawless knowledge of anatomy was obvious already in her graduation project of 1995, the Academic Study. Together with perseverance needed to complete a piece, which may take up to several years to weave, they shaped the artist’s individual language with a female body as its key word. Her classical female nudes appear as posing for the artist who renders their sitters just as there are, without embellishing, transforming or distorting them in the least. This quiet and tacit presence of their bodies, seated against a backdrop of the patterned soviet period wallpaper (a recurrent decorative-semantic motif) is the greatest source of the intrigue in her pieces.
Besides her artistic work Vita Gelūnienė is an associate professor at Kaunas Institute of Vilnius Art Academy, an active participant of the discourse on the contemporary textile at home and abroad, and a true advocate for Lithuanian textile artists.


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