Linas Leonas Katinas (b. 1941) entered the field of painting at the end of the 1960s, to become one of the central artists of a generation marked by a chasm of experimental creativity, which was fostered by Brezhnev era stagnation. His creative biography, that spans almost six decades, never ceases to astonish with its sharp turns and transformations.
“Red Becomes White whilst Falling” invites the audience to gaze upon Katinas’ mundus imaginalis: an imaginary world, wherein reflections on quotidian, historical and individual worldviews, cross with the mythic, archetypal and symbolic. Like a bird’s nest, Katinas’ world of painting is constructed from local materials in his environment — the structure relying on, and being dictated by, his intuition.
Further, his work utilises abstraction, Tachisme and elements of Conceptual art language while simultaneously drawing from spatial-structural thought processes acquired in the fields of architecture, theatre and film.
Regardless, Katinas’ works do not lack healthy wit, self-deprecation and a mischievous enjoyment of the sparks that flash when crossing the sacral with the profane. In such traits we find the nuclei of both the primitive and the cultivated. Take the cosmological works, where notions of eternal-cyclical change prevail, returning one to a syncretic, mixed birth/renewal state.
Such qualities distinguish Katinas’ work in both the Soviet and post-independence period of Lithuania. Having come to painting from architecture, he learned through his lived experience and research. The exponential conflict with the Soviet regime came to be expressed artistically through the absurd, escapist, spiritual; in Aesopian language, in carnival laughter. Similarly, but with an even greater scope, the artist developed his multi-layered riddles in the 1990s, which were filled with cultural references. Installations reminiscent of Arte Povera, projects in nature, two-sided paintings, and even musical experiments, bind together an organic dialogue with interdisciplinary ideas of art, hence following the principles of contemporary art.
As a cartographer attempts to represent the curved surface of the earth on a flat map, so this exhibition’s curator has attempted to mark out the trajectories and transitions of the artist’s works and some episodes of his life. Works of art, archival materials and visual documents exhibited in this exhibition mark out the path taken by the artist from the end of the 1970s to the present day.
Curator Jolanta Marcišauskytė-Jurašienė
Coordinator Eglė Juocevičiūtė
Exhibition design Linas Lapinskas
Graphic design Laura Grigaliūnaitė
Organizer: National Gallery of Art
Partners: MO Museum, Vilnius Auction
Lenders: MO Museum, Vilnius Auction M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Lewben Art Foundation, Private collection of Clinic Vivus Sanus, Lithuanian Archives of Literature and Art, Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, Lithuanian Artists’ Association, Gallery ‘Aidas’, Alfonsas Andriuškevičius, Irena Daukšaitė-Guobienė, Vladas Jakniūnas, Vilius Jasinevičius, Džiugas Katinas, Robertas Laucius, Andrius Matuliauskas, Juozas Matonis, Vidmantas Martikonis, Valdas Neniškis, Viktorija Daujotytė-Pakerienė ir Antanas Pakerys, Ieva Pleikienė, Liudvika Pociūnienė, Gintaras Šeputis, Marius Šukliauskas, Rimantas Remeika, Evaldas Rimšelis, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Marija Ladigaitė-Vildžiūnienė.
The project is financed by Lithuanian Culture Council
Media sponsor: lrytas.lt
Gallery name: National Gallery of Art, Vilnius
Address: Konstitucijos ave. 22, Vilnius
Opening hours: Tue, Fri-Sun 11:00 - 19:00, Thu 12:00 - 20:00
Open: 06.03.2020 - 31.05.2020