art 2004/2


Arturas Savickas. Žemynas. 2003, drobė, aliejus, 120x200

Jolita Skėrytė. Krantas. 2000, drobė, aliejus, 70x90

Skaistė Butnoriutė. Auksinė vienatvė. 2000, drobė, aliejus, 70x90

Linas Liandzbergis. Kompozicija Nidai. 1995, drobė, aliejus, 100x81

Saulius Kruopis. Sūnui Eigirdui. 2002, drobė, aliejus, 70x80

Audronė Petrašiūnaitė. Mylėti krantą. 2001, mišri technika, 50x60

Nida, a Cradle of Expressionism  

by Nijolė Tumėnienė

The tenth Nida Expressionist session en plein air was dedicated to the art’s patron Hermann Blode (1862–1934), whose hotel and studio in Nida had been home to one of the artists’ colonies in the past century. Artists, intellectuals, musicians and writers started frequenting Nida (East Prussia at the time) in the end of the nineteenth century. The natural landscape of the Kurische Nehrung cast its charms on the German Expressionist painter Max Pechstein, who stayed at Nida in 1909 and many times subsequently. The unique nature of Nida became a source of inspiration for yet another Expressionist painter Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The rough life and work of the local fishermen not only provided the artists with subject matter, but activated their passionate, expressionistic sensibility and style. Nida became popular with other Expressionists, the Brücke members, who sought inspiration from the natural environment. Nida colony and its vibrant artistic life made a liberating impact on the Art Academy of Köningsberg at the time. Deplorably, in 1945 the soviet troops destroyed the collection of Hermann Blode. The famous hotel and the studio were also turned down.
In 1995, the Lithuanian painter Saulius Kruopis undertook the revival of artists’ meetings at Nida under an Expressionist flag. In ten years the artists from numerous countries could experience the refreshing and inspiring impact of the of the Curonian Spit surrounded by the Baltic and the lagoon. This year’s event turned out especially productive, as demonstrated the subsequent exhibition (hosted by Vilnius Town Hall) covering the ten years’ output of the international artists meetings at Nida. Although the original agenda that made artists to seek safe heaven of nature in places like Barbizon or Nida no longer applies, all the artists, who come to Nida, enjoy the freedom of expression advocated by the great Expressionists.