Category Archives: Art

Dali & Magritte visit a small town near Kaunas

On Sunday I used the last opportunity to visit an exhibition of various minor works by Dali and Magritte at Raudondvaris manor, not far from Kaunas. Thanks to my friend R., who was willing to drive there in this suddenly freezing weather, we reached the recently redeveloped suburban area, which used to be a famous noble clan’s estate (you can read more about the history of Raudondvaris manor here).

Museums in Lithuania can hardly ever afford bringing really famous works, but this was a rare opportunity to see Salvador Dali’s ‘applied’ art. His career spanned for decades, so he was asked to design and produce various decorative objects, such as medals for Olympic games or the 25th anniversary of Israel (I hadn’t known that before), tapestries and ceramic plates. There were also some quite known watercolors, such as illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy. The fallen angel with drawers is one of my favorites. I also searched for the image of his ceramic plate from the Seasons set, the one portraying fall, which is a human figure with a cube instead of its head, and trees growing from it. But I couldn’t find it on google. Continue reading

Drawing and crafts

I’m reading this book. I started it probably around a year ago, reading parts of it at different times and then putting it away. Thoughts inspired by this book helped me formulate the reasons for leaving my old job. There is much in it to think about for every ‘knowledge worker’. On the other hand, I was always aware of the fact that many of these crafty professions the author admires are almost entirely male-dominated and could be very hostile to the rare women who attempt to venture into this world. This is often cited as one of the reasons why girls try hard in academic subjects – most professions that are open to them without academic education are extremely low-paid, exhausting and otherwise unattractive.

As a teenager I had a dream to own a vintage Soviet car that I could take apart and put back together myself, like my uncle used to do with his first Zaporozhets. Yet I would have never had the courage that the author of this book had, to seek out experienced mechanics and get them to teach me something. Let alone in parallel with doing a PhD in Philosophy. Courage is something they should teach in primary school. Continue reading

Getting acquainted with the work of Lithuanian genius artist, Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė

I attended an amazing gallery tour by Laima Kreivytė, the curator of the exhibition of Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė’s work. I had seen some works by Rožanskaitė at the National Gallery of Art earlier, and I thought that she was among the most interesting Lithuanian artists of all times, but the current exhibition gives a full picture of her genius. Rožanskaitė (1933-2007) started her career under Soviet censorship, when artistic expression was carefully monitored and abstract art was treated unfavorably. However, her ‘progressive’ topics (modern medicine, space exploration and industrial cities) allowed her to get through the censorship. However, being a child of political prisoners and a progressive artist, she was largely ignored in the USSR. When Lithuania became independent, the artist continued producing innovative art, creating spatial assemblages and installations, addressing ecological and political topics, adored by the young generation. And yet I never studied about her work at art history lessons, and I heard nothing about her death in 2007 from the mainstream press. It’s a typical way to treat women artists.

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Unique early 20th century fashion collection in Vilnius for a year

The Museum of Applied Art in Vilnius hosts Alexandre Vassiliev’s private collection of art nouveau fashion (1890-1914), plus a little bit from 1840s to 1920s. The guide said that due to Vassiliev’s love for Vilnius the museum didn’t even have to pay to host it. Tourists are probably not that interested in international fashion, so the museum is busy welcoming groups of Lithuanians, almost exclusively women, who are curious to see the works from the so-called belle epoque so close. It isn’t forbidden to take photos, so some people pose next to the fancy dresses. The exhibition will stay until November.
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Legal graffiti: inclusive urban art or “farted radicalism”?

On the 9th of September I attended a street art event, co-organised by Julijus G. There is a group of people who promote graffiti in Lithuania as a legal form of urban art, which engages the people who hang out in the spaces decorated. The people who organise such events are a group of young enthusiasts willing to legalise graffiti and make it an accepted form of expression, which changes the face of urban spaces. They have recently totally changed an old fountain, which does not function anymore, right next to where I live. A red-brick pillar was painted white, and various hands, perhaps telling something in sign language, were sprayed in black. The fountain now stands out, since all buildings around are red-brick. It invites to look at it and try to decipher what the hands have to say. The fountain is right in the centre of a typical Soviet building complex which hosts supermarkets, pharmacies, a post office and what not. Very close to it, there is a bustling marketplace, which sometimes extends beyond its space, with people selling milk, mushrooms and apples wherever they find some space. So every day people notice that the fountain has changed, and take a few moments to look at what the hands have to say. Continue reading

RIP great Yiddish poet A.Sutzkever + some remarks from his funeral

The world lost a great poet whose lifespan embraced almost an entire century. Lithuanian-born (we’d like to consider so – he was born in Czarist Russia and lived in Poland, but nonetheless was sort of a part of the culture that thrived in Lithuania at the time) Avrom (Abraham) Sutzkever died on 20 January in Tel Aviv.