In 2023 March 24 - April 15 The Šiauliai Art Gallery is exhibiting painter Kristina Mažeikaitė's exhibition "The Earth was on fire, but no one noticed it".
Exhibition opening - March 24. 5:00 p.m. Visiting the exhibition during the opening is free.
THE EARTH WAS BURNING, BUT NO ONE NOTICED
I am interested in painting the earth. Create land. And it is even more interesting to add light to it. Shining Earth! This paradox especially „caught” me in 2018, when I presented the series „House of the Burning Sun”. However, in those paintings there was little sky, and the earth shone. An earth that seemed to emit solar energy accumulated over the ages.
In the winter of 2022, the motif of the „burning earth” never left my mind. Works found „the earth was burning, but no one noticed.” It would seem that if it becomes a burning earth, there should be scum around it, and red flames should rain down on the paintings. But it seemed too simple to me. My burning earth was quiet, patient and collected. Shining as if by itself. With allusions to the painting of Renaissance masters, reproducing their color or individual fragments.
There was no human in these paintings. The human scale was as if too small, the landscape was viewed through the prism of the structure of the world. And when painting pictures, we tried to get into the overlaps of the earth’s layers, underground water sources or the slow movement of the lithosphere. On the other hand, in individual paintings, one can feel a person’s gaze at the landscape, at its distant horizon line, a gaze as if hoping for something that would be discovered beyond the horizon line, but at the same time understanding how impossible it is.
I created a whole series on the theme of „burning earth”. Then the war started and I didn’t paint for a while.
I am also interested in solving the question of the creator through my work. What is its location? What can a developer do? What are the creative possibilities? What else can be created? Therefore, „burning earth” is also a metaphor for the creator, an experience of the creator’s existence and an expression of the relationship with the audience.
The study of the land/landscape motif and the rethinking of the creator’s existence become the key keywords of the exhibition. And in the creative process, it harmoniously merges into one – the creator’s life experience.
The principle of transformation dominates my work, when the original image is recreated, transformed, to realize the vision. My painting is also greatly influenced by my interest in architecture. The paintings are as if constructed, „built” from different strokes, lines, spots, using strict principles of composition, in the words of Gilles Deleuze, a strict, structured order is introduced from the initial chaos. More than once I have heard my paintings described as architectural. I think this feeling is also determined by the fact that although my painting is expressive, gestural, there is no random breakthrough or thoughtless convulsion in it. Every stroke has its place. The principles of architecture are also reflected in the display of the exhibition, where special attention is paid to how the viewer will walk around the space, what sensation will be created, what visual connections will open. Finally, I use the concept of figurativeness to describe my paintings. Here again, I reinterpret Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy and the concept of the figurative, which he describes as purely non-narrative, freed from any clichés. I associate the element of the figure with the whole canvas – the painting as a figure with tactile qualities. A picture that attracts you, depresses you, reminds you.
By combining all these elements, a multi-layered painting is created, where not only the layers of paint or the influence of art history, but also the layers of memory and experience. On the one hand, it may seem that this is just a work of painting, just a „beautiful” landscape. But through the accumulated color codes and pictorial means of expression, a calm landscape image can also contain a painful memory. This is how personal experiences become shared. There is no longer one specific landscape, no longer one specific location. These are just all the landscapes you’ve ever experienced, and the time that passed through them.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Kristina Mažeikaitė (b. 1987, Vilnius) – artist, painter. While painting, she experiments with mega-format canvases and the possibilities of pictorial expression. Using an abstract expression and abandoning the narrative image, the author examines the structures of the earth’s structure, the flow of time, the experience of existential being. By combining the concept with the pictorial form, the paintings create tactile experiences. Therefore, the architecture of each exhibition is an immersive installation of paintings. In 2015, the painter graduated from Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, master’s degree in painting; in 2014 earned the Ary Stillman Scholarship. Works exhibited in individual exhibitions: „Gates to the Garden” (Vilnius Town Hall, 2023), „No Man’s Land” („Arka” Gallery, 2021), „Saudade” (Antanas Mončis House-Museum, 2021), „House of the Burning Sun” ( Pamėnkalnis Gallery, 2018), „Paradise Apples” (St. John Street Gallery, 2018), „Painter’s Landscape” (Museum of Energy and Technology, 2016) and others.
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