NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

In Romualdas Požerskis’s photography exhibition “Kaunas Artists and Muses”, several discoveries will await visitors. On the one hand, it will be possible to see Požerskis’s photographs, which have never been exhibited before. On the other hand, the photos will provide an opportunity to have a glimpse at famous Kaunas artists of several generations, whom the photographer immortalized ingenuously, in informal circumstances, revealing the mortal, non-idealized reality of their lives.

R. Požerskis. Kaunas Picture Gallery. A. Vilpišauskas, A. Martinaitis. 1982

The photographer started capturing Kaunas cultural life and its participants in 1974. Požerskis photographed the openings of the exhibitions of that time at Kaunas Picture Gallery, Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery, Kaunas Photography Gallery, creative evenings at Kaunas Artists’ House. He consistently observed the life of Kaunas artists, until 2004. The author’s archives accumulated more than nine thousand analog photography shots in film. They contain a particularly wide historical panorama of the life of Kaunas artists and a rich gallery of famous creators: artists and sculptors, directors and actors, composers and poets, architects and photographers. All of them were photographed by Požerskis, freely enjoying their work and life: celebrating after the opening of exhibitions, participating in creative evenings, New Year’s carnivals, and other occasions that brought together representatives of different art fields for communal fun. The exhibition will also feature especially historically valuable photographs, such as the first “Antis” concerts at Kaunas House of Architects or several generations of famous artists (sculptors father and son Antinis, musicians Viktoras and Giedrius Kuprevičius, a family of artists and sculptors Zalensai) together.

R. Požerskis. The first concert of the group “Antis”. 1984

The exhibition will be interesting not only to those fascinated by the history of Kaunas art and the personalities of the field but also to the enthusiasts of artistic photography. The creative highlights of the exhibition will be Požerskis’ photos from the series “Muses” (1988–2009), which will be exhibited alongside documentary photographs. Probably the most mature series of the nude genre created by the author captured the studies of artists and the models posing in this environment, surrounded by works of art. Same as the documentary pictures these photographs also showcase the scenes of the artists’ lives but in a different way: here they appear focused on the creative process, which seems a bit mysterious, independent from historical circumstances and the time passing. The play of silhouettes, shapes, tones, perspectives, and scales in the photographs of the “Muses” series separates the artists’ creative spaces away from everyday life and shows them as a different, almost surreal reality, in which the artists’ models turn into their muses. Despite the expressive artistic form, these photographs are also interesting from a historical point of view because the studies of the artists immortalized in them no longer exist today, and some of the owners of the studies have been laid to rest.

R. Požerskis. Muse in A. Vaitkūnas studio. 1979

Thus, the exhibition reveals a slightly different creative scope of Požerskis himself. Known and appreciated for such well-known cycles of photography as “Atlaidai” (1974–2001), “Old Towns of Lithuania” (1974–1985), “The Last Shelter” (1983–1990), and other works in which he combined the humanistic worldview, the creative approach to reportage, and expressive visual form, this time the photographer introduces himself as a chronicler of Kaunas artistic life and a creator of staged nude photography.

The exhibition has been partially supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Gallery name: Kaunas picture gallery

Address: K. Donelaičio St. 16, Kaunas

Opening hours: Tue, Sat-Sun 11:00 - 17:00, Wed-Fri 11:00 - 19:00

Open: 13.05.2021 - 17.10.2021