Jūratė Mykolaitytė, Painting, 19 08-27 09 2021

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Painting is Beautiful as the End of the World ... Her exhibition becomes a memorable event. Why? The reason is that in contemporary Lithuanian painting, Juratė Mykolaitytė's work stands as if separate from traditional or new art movements or fashions. In the context of contemporary Lithuanian art, this author's painting is clearly different - it stands aside from the coloristic tradition of Lithuanian painting, although its teachers at the Vilnius Art Institute (now Vilnius Academy of Arts), which the artist graduated in 1978, were Jonas Švažas and Vincentas Gečas. Mykolaitytė is “out of the way” and with the patrons of current abstract painting (eg, D. Kasčiūnaitė, R. Katiliūtė). Her paintings do not fit with her contemporaries, who turned to the deheroization of the world in the seventies (M. Skudutis, R. Filistovičius, B. Gražys, R. Sližys). Moreover, her works are not connected with the forerunners of new art, who take on performances, installations, video art or conceptual expression "after painting". Thus, J. Mykolaitytė's work does not seem to have any analogues in contemporary Lithuanian painting. Like the painter S. Sauka, she is a "child of urban culture", who grew up and formed in the environment of intellectual intelligence. Maybe that's why the artist's paintings have such a strong literary "lining", so important are the names of the works, which often appear before the sketch of the painting (and the sketch is often verbalized). Literature, which in the context of Lithuanian painting was and is perceived as one of the greatest evils, in J. Mykolaityte's work is equal to the joy of recognition. It is true that we recognize not only real motives, but also our visions, dreams, visions, dreams. As an attentive visionary, she deliberately uses a fictional story in her work. It is no coincidence that the artist pays great attention to the titles of the works (usually very laconic), which is a kind of reference that helps the viewers to immerse themselves in the surreal narrative of her paintings. J. Mykolaitytė's painting also stands out with its unique approach to the object and its interpretation. The artist's paintings are dominated by a surrealistically redesigned literary narrative based on intellect and intuition, transforming into "another reality", a detailed drawing, a thin layer, a manner of painting, a monochrome color, where the relationship between light and shadow is more important than color. The main "hero" of her paintings is the city. That's obvious. However, it is a fantastic city, where not only the motifs of the native Vilnius, but also the sunken, extinct buildings of the past, which turn into visions, dreams, visions and dreams, shine. And each time this "hero" is reinterpreted, giving him shades of personal experiences. Masterfully painted reality, by exchanging the properties of objects, juxtaposing real images with illusions, gives birth to a "other reality" based on intelligence and intuition. Here the images (architecture and dreams, real objects and theatrical mystery, apocalyptic visions and cozy interior corners) strangely intertwine both in the visual world and beyond. In J. Mykolaitytė, the city is more reminiscent of the ruins of Pompeii or the cemetery of ghost ships: the phantasmagoric buildings are as if melted wax, and the elements of landscape and still life of unexpected proportions interspersed between them equate to architectural motifs. There is a post-civilizational flair on the canvas. However, these roles in the city of illusions are not terrifying, and for some reason very cozy and beautiful, because probably the Day of the Last Judgment will be impressively beautiful… Recently, the relationship between plane and space has been very relevant in J. Mykolaityte's paintings. Apparently, in a two-dimensional canvas, the artist becomes too cramped - she does not shy away from "going out" outside the painting, laying compositions from several canvases and so on. By changing the format of the painting, an independent kinetic object of painting is created, the changing image of which acquires new interpretations each time. Increasingly, hints of landscape are also found on her canvases. However, the artists "do not have" nostalgia for the Lithuanian village, which is typical of many Lithuanian painters. The painter is certainly not indifferent to nature, its mysterious and often frightening beauty, but the artist has not become a traditional landscape, she does not follow the rules of this classic genre. She is again "shuffling the cards" - changing the proportions, plans and perspectives of objects, buildings and landscapes. In this sense, the connections between genres and styles of the past, their quotations as a characteristic feature of postmodernism, are not foreign to J. Mykolaitytė's work. In general, there are more hints of the Baroque and Mannerist era in the artist's work - non-functional building constructions, figures and vases adorning the fountains, wavy house walls, strange monuments in the squares, etc. In this sense, citing the cultures of the past, J. Mykolaityte is typical of the 20th century. late artist, consciously or not, but influenced by the principles of postmodernism. And although the era of postmodernism in art seems to be over, according to Umberto Eco, "every age has its own postmodernism."
Danutė Zovienė. Text from the online daily "7 Days of Art"
The exhibition is supported by the Lithuanian Culture Council
Juratė Mykolaitytė studied painting at the Lithuanian State Art Institute (1972–1978). participates in exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad (Ukraine, Finland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Germany, Holland, Latvia, Czech Republic, Greece, USA, Russia, Turkey, Denmark, China), organized nearly half a hundred individual exhibitions. Since 1988 J. Mykolaitytė is a member of the Lithuanian Artists' Union, her works are kept in the Lithuanian Art Museum, the National M. K. Ciurlionis Art Museum, the Moscow Art Foundation, the Dodge Museum in Detroit, and have been acquired by private individuals in Lithuania and abroad.
Enrika Striogaitė article Kaunas-J. Mykolaitytė Painting Exhibition a World that does not Exist. Kauno diena, August 27, 2021.