The building complex at Town hall. Art of Audronė Petrašiūnaitė.


Audronė Petrašiūnaitė

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Creative works of Audronė Petrašiūnaitė.

The building complex at Rotušės sq. 26/27 was an official space for artists in the late 20th – early 21st century and an unofficial gathering place for artistic youth. The café “Skliautas”, still open here, was back then considered a cult space for free/bohemian world. And they loved their patrons, issuing painters with loyalty cards, still a novelty at the time, thus supporting and initiating their members into a bohemian circle. No official event was needed for painters to gather in “Skliautas”, since here, on the first floor of Rotušės sq. 26, were the Kaunas headquarters of the Lithuanian Artists’ Association, with plenty of artists’ workshops around, full of life. Among them – the workshop of the famous painter Audronė Petrašiūnaitė. 

The painter is known for synthesising various flows of modernism, applying symbolic values to the colour palette and repeated motifs. She continually paints interiors of her home, house plants and pets, you will probably never see fragments of old town houses or precise motifs from nature in her paintings. She paints it as she sees it, claiming that to be the true autobiography of creation. 

The artist always has a coded colour palette and uses it flexibly, applying different rules every time, including new elements. Art lovers and critics, who had been fascinated with her work for a long time, would list the main motifs of her paintings – cats, wine glasses, home furniture, other details of interior symbolising the individual freedom of the artist. The perception is impeded by the abundance of mysteriously tangled lines, through which only volunteer motifs of figures, details of silhouettes emerge; they construct a new vision of the world, able to seduce and take hold, yet the audience is admitted to the start of it so freely… The strangest thing is that it all comes from an everyday environment, comprised of simple, often domestic things, the rendering of which is conveyed through myriad of elements of expression and abstraction. 

Petrašiūnaitė uses autobiographical details, particular cipher of the palette and shapes masterfully, eventually changing both the colour expression and some of the motifs. Evidently the colour school of old did not find the place in the field of urgent issues, thus the author was in need of new meanings in her works. 

Nowadays Petrašiūnaitė emphasizes severe contrasts, and seemingly takes part in a colour clan war, using sharp bold contours. Why such outline? Why the separated areas? Why not merge it all into a general haze of environmental noise?

Intentionally flat, but transparent zones, deformed surface details, symbiosis of animal and woman, graffiti effects, that is just a part of Petrašiūnaitė’s painting armoury that does not immediately answer the questions posed. One thing is clear, this mysterious disorder is  consciously embedded into canvas, with knowledge of how much colour and graphic chaos is to be allowed in the painting for it to correspond with the aspiration for environmental harmony. 

Audronė Petrašiūnaitė was born in 1954, in Kazlų Rūda, Studied at Kaunas S. Žukas Technical School of Applied Fine Arts (nowadays – Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Education) in 1972-1976 and graduated with a speciality in artistic design. In 1976-1982 was a student at the painting department of the National Institute of Arts (nowadays – Vilnius Academy of Arts). Taught painting at the Kaunas S. Žukas Technical School of Applied Fine Arts in 1982-1988, Kaunas J. Naujalis Secondary School of Arts in 1988-1993, was an associate professor of the painting department at the VAA Kaunas Institute of Fine Arts (presently – VAA Kaunas Faculty). Member of Lithuanian Artists’ Association since 1988, received the highest award from Lithuanian Artists’ Association – a golden pin – in 2003, awarded the title of the most memorable Kaunas artist for her personal exhibition at the Kaunas Picture Gallery in 2018.

The works of Audronė Petrašiūnaitė have been acquired by the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Lithuanian National Museum of Art, MO museum, collectors in Lithuania and abroad. 

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