Tradition and innovation. Lithuanian Applied Arts and Design from the Lithuanian Art Museum Collections

18 May–30 October 2016


The exhibition presents unique collection of chamber works of Lithuanian professional artists of plastic metal, jewelry, fine textiles, porcelain, ceramics, leather and glass during the seventh through tenth decades. It reflects more characteristic artistic expression principles of this period. Artists convey their relationship with the surrounding environment while searching harmony of function, form and decoration, and using new design solutions, a variety of technologies and materials. Artists reveal emerging postmodern trends from the end of eighth to tenth decades, searches of concept uniqueness, and blurring the line between fine and applied art in their current ambiguous conceptual works of applied art, where the material is only means to express the idea.

An extensive exposition of metal plastic and jewelry pieces begins from precious metal vessels and hammered copper plates created by artistic metal specialists Vytautas Budvytis and Elina Budvytienė who joined to the art life from the sixties. Further exhibits are samples of functional design: dinnerware sets by Feliksas Daukantas, having constructive forms, tasteful decor, suitable for industrial production of materials. In the pieces of amber jewelry by this author the natural beauty of the material is reflected using saving measures. Lithuanian jewelry art traditions of the eighth decade are associated with Kazimieras Simanonis. At that time traditional jewelry technique was revived, precious and semi-precious stones were used, new technologies were experimented. In late seventies matured generation of jewelers came such as Marytė Gurevičienė, Arvydas Gurevičius, Vytautas Matulionis, Birutė Stulgaitė, Aleksandras Šepkus who laid down the fundamentals of modern Lithuanian jewelry. Žilvinas Bautrėnas Sigitas Kreivaitis and Sigitas Virpilaitis joined them bit later. Their artistic pursuits reflect fusion processes of the applied and fine arts: jewellers sought to convey their moods, instincts and artistic views through various fields of art means of expression.

Famous works by textile masters Danutė Kvietkevičiūtė, Birutė Vaitekūnienė, Jūratė Petruškevičienė and others represent flourished small forms of textiles during eighties. In the works of the above mentioned authors dominated the spirit of experiments, in addition to the traditional fabric for weaving, more and more applications started to be used, weave, crochet, embroidery technique, non-textile materials applied (wood, metal, glass, plastic, paper). Small-scale textile has taken a variety of forms: from framed pictures, small thumbnail miniatures to relief and spatial three-dimensional objects.

In the exhibition we will see modern plastic compositions of earthenware and hard porcelain designed by ceramicist Liucija Šulgaitė who first mastered porcelain technology in Lithuania, decorative sets, glassware of Irena Petravičienė, Aldona Višinskienė, Lilija Olšauskienė, vessel sets from bone – porcelain created by Kaunas “Jiesia” ceramics factory, and also works of modern conceptual ceramicists, namely Kristina Karkaitė, Dalia Laučkaitė-Jakimavičienė, Kostas Urbanavičius and others.

We also expose a number of original designs, individual style, functional and decorative artistic leather samples, namely bound books, boxes, created by Zita Kreivytė, Elga Boči, Danutė Mertingaitė-Gajauskienė and others.

Art glass creations are represented by works of Gražina Dižiūnaitytė, pioneer of multilayer thick-walled glass technology in Lithuania. From the eighth to tenth decades her compositions of created decorative vases reveal a wide range of glass artistic expression possibilities. Algimantas Žilys and other artists continued emotional glass pictorial tradition initiated by Gražina Dižiūnaitytė.

All exhibited works are from the collections of Lithuanian Art Museum.

Exhibition Curators: Gražina Gurnevičiūtė, Jūratė Meilūnienė, Danutė Skromanienė, Nijolė Žilinskienė

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