Patricija Jurkšaityte, from series Dutch stories
After a long waiting, a solo show of the painter Patricija Jurkšaitytė titled Dutch Stories will be opened in Vartai Gallery in early March. The show, which will consist of the artist’s latest paintings and objects, is symbolically divided into two sections built around two different plot lines – Dutch Stories and The Gardens of Versailles – that can be transformed, regrouped or joined into a single narrative with regard to the historical context.
Using unique logic and strategies Jurkšaitytė repaints works of the old masters transforming them, cleaning the interiors from tediously significant foreground human figures, freeing them of symbols and leaving only scarce references to the initial source and condemning them for the games of postmodernist interpretations about the repetition of a repetition or the copy of a copy.
Both in her early and her latest works, the artist uses the images available in art text books and leading world museums or stranded in our own minds.
Genre paintings of small format intended for bourgeois living rooms became popular in the 17th century Netherlands and the painters of such works were dubbed Little Dutchmen. Jurkšaitytė transforms the paintings of the Little Dutchmen, repaints their interiors using a deformed technique of the old masters and borrowing their lighting, interior elements and pieces of furniture. The interiors of antique houses and chapels are transplanted into spaces of former Soviet factories now occupied by stores of second-hand footwear from the Netherlands. It is interesting to observe the artist’s principles of image construction. Although Jurkšaitytė remains loyal to the old masters, the play with space and time has become much more apparent. The construction of the space of the painting creates an impression that the image is held together by some supernatural forces floating in the air just above the earth to emphasise their incorporeality, but to keep their distance from God.
Instead of using reproductions of paintings as prototypes for her latest works, Jurkšaitytė often chooses antique furniture store interiors that on their own accord are an imitation of something that could be considered authentic and valuable merely because history is considered valuable in general. However, there are so many images of art and architecture from both the old Netherlands and the Soviet Union that the manipulation by intertwining and combining them, and transplanting them in the present becomes like a dream which depends on the dreamer himself/herself. The artist retains the original formats of the Little Dutchmen that from the first glance seem completely alien to the white modern exhibition spaces.
The exhibition of paintings is accompanied by the leather tower installation The Gardens of Versailles. The objects imitate the designs of leather Chesterfield sofas and their patterns. The Chesterfield sofas popular in the 18th century aristocracy interiors become the elements forming a cone shape telling a different narrative. Objects arranged in different ways invoke different associations – from an alley of the Palace of Versailles and belfries of a gothic cathedral to a Lithuanian thuja hedge or a box of chocolate truffles – elements referring to images of rich and comfortable life in one way or another.
Patron: Vilnius Vilnius City Municipality
Sponsors: Culture Support Foundation, Bosca, Ekskomisarų biuras, Namas ir Aš, Infoterminalas, Draugų studija