A. Banytė’s mural paintings are mainly located in Western Lithuania (Klaipėda, Palanga, Juknaičiai), also in Vilnius and Druskininkai. Most frescoes are already in need of restoration, making it particularly important to capture and perceive them in the modern context. In the second half of the XX century public buildings used to be richly decorated with frescoes. They are characterized by a conditional multidimensional space, multi-figure compositions, combinations with other techniques, usually sgraffito. However, today this information is more known only to a narrow circle of art connoisseurs or people who have lived surrounded by frescoes. Curating the exhibition and exposing the artistic fresco phenomenon and its contemporary destructive existence to art lovers is a real challenge. However, a very curious study of the remaining murals reveals a whole different set of issues. The fate of A. Banytė’s frescoes in the places visited is very different – destruction and cheap repairs touched the sensitive chord of the created pieces’ life. The frescoes created by the artist exclusively in Palanga town (mostly health centres) have survived, restored by the author herself, and continue to be regarded as works of art, which are both decorative and even educational. In Klaipėda, where the artist lives, her works are also in several public (and not only) buildings, but, sadly, their fate is less fortunate.
The result of the research fits into this exhibition, which consists of digital life-size prints of the artist’s frescoes, printed on a scale of 1:1 and displayed on the gallery walls by means of multimedia, as well as a video piece.
During the making of the video work “Fresco” we interviewed vice-rector for studies at Vilnius Academy of Arts, art critic Ieva Pleikienė, art critic Rūta Jakštonienė, chairwoman of the board of Klaipeda County Organization of Lithuanian Architects’ Union Gerda Antanaitytė, and art collector Edmundas Kolakauskas.
This exhibition will enable the viewer to understand the scale of the works, the storyline, style, monumentality and the value of wall paintings typical for this artist. The title of the exhibition “Monumental Silence” can be interpreted in two ways: it directly refers to the great and ambitious works of a humble, sensitive, unpretentious personality worthy of being seen and appreciated and, at the same time, it seems to suggest that the legacy of monumental painting is unduly neglected, not enough attention is paid to its education and preservation of works. The cost of this is the irreversible loss of historically valuable works of art.
For the artist, wall painting has been and continues to be a pleasant creative challenge, as she still works in her field. For the artist, these are not just projects that require tremendous physical stamina and diligence – it gives her the sense of fulfilment and creative joy.
The author herself will participate in the opening of the exhibition.
Gallery entry is free of charge.
The exhibition is made possible with the support of Lithuanian Culture Ministry, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Artists’ Association.
Organiser: Lithuanian Artists’ Association Klaipėda Department
Curator: Neringa Poškutė-Jukumienė.
Multimedia project by: Gintautas Beržinskas.
Gallery name: Artists' Association Gallery
Address: 2 Vokiečių St, Vilnius
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00
Open: 16.02.2020 - 08.02.2020