Gallery “Meno parkas” presents for VOLTA NY one of the most key person that has made huge impact for Lithuania’s painting of today: Jonas Gasiūnas, Lithuanian Academy’s of Art professor born in exile (1954, Siberia). Winner of the National Culture and Art Prize, and as a professor and author, he possesses such an immerse creative energy which carries him all his life, constantly transforming and makes him a flagman, a person to follow.
Gasiūnas chooses large-scale canvases and uses his unique technology, drawing with the charcoal of candle smoke. This choice is made conceptually according to the artist’s attitude towards reality. He is interested in history, unreliability of memory. His artworks are deeply connected with feeling of time, identity as an artist, as Lithuanian citizen, as World’s person. Quite often melancholic or darkly romantic story line of canvas hides social or political connotations. The stories that he tells are possibly nonexistent, portraying borderline, dream-like experiences, but with pinch of humor, uneasy shadow of history and signs of contemporary.
Selected for VOLTA NY Gasiūnas’ artworks are linked by the passive pose and content of depicted characters — three of them (Faust, Willow and Cosmonaut) are distant from reality. With his creation, he portrays majestic monument of civilization. He also refers to intuitive future flare — the lack of assurance, security. Depicting some visible shapes and challenging their existence justifies Jonas skepticism towards the possibility of objective (re) cognition of reality. Drawing in smoke has proved an ideal means and it should be perceived as fiction. Remove it from the surface of the painting and what remains is only an informing colour code providing just a partial reflection of reality, empty stage. So how important are we? Are we the ones in control or being controlled? Which story is the truth? Artists’ gaze has a distance and dares to ask, but will there be any answer?
Crowd of young generation looks up to former head of department of painting at Vilnius Academy of Arts, as he carries this strong impact delivered by layers of his visual and content decisions: loud, fast-moving (what is given by the impression of the drawing by candle smoke), and aggressive (daring and edgy portrayed plot) form. Thus, we call Jonas Gasiūnas the “punk rock star of painting.”