Eugenijus Varkulevičius. 2012
Aušra Andziulytė. The other side of Nemunas. 2008.
Santaka – a painter’s haven
A special panoramic place in Kaunas – Santaka – is a hiking trajectory for many painters. Aušra Andziulytė enjoys walking here, observing, seeing her pictorial images. The vast grey backgrounds used in the paintings, carved with painful lines, like threads, where seemingly inspired by these places.
Walking the grey paths, seeing crisp flashes of the sun and the water flowing, one can understand where the leitmotif of the shades of steel comes from, sharpened with sensitive distinct lines in different series of her works. Following the winding line, drier in some places and dripping in others, left to right, up and down or otherwise, we can imagine the painter’s hand wielding the brush at the same time as we perceive the pictured surface.
Be it the banks of the Old Town or the separate banks of Nemunas and Neris. Aušra Andziulytė has been walking them since she was a child, since they lived in the middle of Benediktinių Street, she and her dad would take the long way round on the banks of Nemunas to visit her grandma in the Old Town. It is still one of her favourite routes.
Perhaps that is why the surfaces of Aušra Andziulytė’s creations are not necessarily perspective, not the looks going further or deeper, but more of a carved map, wherein polygonal form or its contour plays in the search systems like a body in motion.
Aušra Andziulytė was born in Kaunas in 1961. Was a student at the Kaunas J. Naujalis Secondary School of Arts (today – Kaunas Art Gymnasium) in 1969-1980. Studied painting at the National Arts Institute in Vilnius (nowadays Vilnius Academy of Arts) from 1981 to 1987. Has been taking part in exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad since 1987. Member of the artist group “Four” in 1990-2002. Has been working at the Kaunas Antanas Martinaitis School of Art since 1989. Member of Lithuanian Artists’ Association from 1990.
The works of Aušra Andziulytė have been acquired by the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, MO museum, other private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
Painter Eugenijus Varkulevičius-Varkalis is one of those who use the hike on the banks not only for pondering. You can usually encounter the artist in the Old Town of Kaunas on his way to Nemunas or Santaka. He keeps strolling the narrow streets and the riverside, be it summer or winter. This way he investigates the “treasures” of the riverside, shared with the people by the river Nemunas. The trajectories of his paths, including hurdles and findings – pebbles, pieces of brick, pieces of ceramics with stalks sticking out of them, polished by wind, water and time from Nemunas or Neris rivers are then transferred to large canvases like a holy manuscript.
Comparing his finds to artistic expressions, Varkalis comes up with new ideas for his own abstractions. The elements masterfully consume most things, leaving the painter to just admire their shape, form and colour. The whole philosophy of the painter is marked by running, mixed up, dripping lines of colourful river basins, coming together into confluences and separating again. It is dominated by big and little creations of nature (river, bank, cliff, clod of twig), while the human footprint is only slightly noted. They are simply too small and only their abundance is shown as a battery of small tributaries flowing into the largest elements of nature.
Eugenijus Varkulevičius–Varkalis was born in Kaunas on 28th of June. He was a student at the Kaunas J. Naujalis Secondary School of Arts (today – Kaunas Art Gymnasium) in 1967-1975. Studied painting at the National Arts Institute in Vilnius (nowadays Vilnius Academy of Arts) in 1975-1981. Lived Dovainonys, Beržoras from 1983 and later in Šarnelė. Taught himself Lithuanian folk painting during the Soviet years, was restoring religious works, painting religious paintings. Went abroad in 1990 (Germany, USA). Had a residency while living in New York (Anthology Film Archives), made and acted in experimental films, participated in exhibitions, happenings, festivals, created music for the films of Jonas Mekas, Julius Ziz. Together with Jonas Mekas and Dalius Naujokaitis started a band “Music on the 2nd Street”. Has illustrated a lot of books by Jonas Mekas and other authors. Returned to Lithuania in 2005, nowadays lives and works in Kaunas.
The works of Eugenijus Varkulevičius–Varkalis have been acquired by the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas Modern Art Foundation, MO museum, other private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
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