10th anniversary jubilee Baltic contemporary ceramics exhibition “Spring“ opens on the 6th of April at the gallery „Meno Parkas“ in Kaunas. The works are created exclusively for this exhibition by approximately 50 artists from the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and guests from Poland, Germany, Turkey, Sweden. The exhibition is organized by Lithuanian Artists’ Association, Kaunas department, section of ceramics, curated by Juris Bergins, project manager- Živilė Bardzilauskaite–Bergins. Like every year, by virtue of the efforts put in by developers of the exhibition, excellent quality catalogue will be released.

In the cradle of professional Lithuanian ceramics – Kaunas – “Spring” exhibitions are organized since 2007. The annual exhibition went a long road from collective Lithuanian exhibition to a solid international modern ceramics event of the Baltic states that invites international guests from other countries as well. In this decade have formed traditions of the exhibition, bonds between the artists had intertwined and set in. During the “Spring” exhibitions art critics can observe processes of contemporary ceramics, follow artistic development of known artists, meet young artists, who see this exhibition as a serious creative start.  Gathering of the scattered all over the world Lithuanian ceramic artists, is an undoubtable advantage of these exhibitions. Lithuanian artists residing abroad send their artworks to be presented at the “Spring”, not once the famous American-Lithuanian ceramic artist Rimas VizGirda has participated at these events.

It is obvious that the contemporary ceramics exhibitions of Baltic states organized in Kaunas revived Lithuanian ceramics art scene, upraised interest in Baltic ceramic traditions, embraced (and still does) the search of inspiration and ground for contemporary art in Baltic culture, which is the core of the main idea of the exhibition. Many of the participating artists adopt simplicity, moderate sculptural expression, Baltic ornaments and meditative state from Baltic artefacts.

Creativity of “Spring’s” participants isn’t restricted or limited. The theme awakening spring – as a state of the soul – is in itself wide-ranging, and comprising ideas of unfolding nature, birth and regeneration, encouraging artists to self-reflect, analyse their relation to the environment and civilization. The subject of nature’s cyclicality, opposition of beginning and end, temporality and eternity – is universal, convenient to talk about personal and global view. The never ending collision of nature and culture allows to think about ecology problems, parallels of nature and history, focus on the mythological narrative, where the issue of life and death is specifically strongly expressed.

“Spring 2016” proves, that contemporary ceramics is very diverse, tolerates different artistic searches, had long time ago exceeded the functional, intended as home decoration, boundaries in this field of art. Ceramic artists just like sculptors face same problems of expression and artistically convincing shape, but performed in specific ceramic methods. Creative works of ceramic artists from different countries (just like all contemporary artists) – has similized in a way, because all artists – from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and other countries as well – are concerned with same existential, characteristic to all people questions, usually conveyed in abstract form and figurative plasticity. Exhibition includes many works with emotional, social and existential content. Perhaps it is to brave to generalize on behalf of all Baltic state ceramics, but Lithuanian artists base their works on narration or metaphorical thinking, tend to openly express emotionality and poetic mind, more than Latvian or Estonian artists.

In the exhibition we will see works of well-known Lithuanian ceramic artists. Beside the classics Juozas Adomonis, Konstancija Dzimidavičienė and organizers of the exhibition Živilė Bradzilauskaite-Bergins and Juris Bergins – other artists with exceptional individual mindset will present their creations: Saulius Jankauskas, Agnė Šemberaitė, Eglė Einikytė-Narkevičienė, Dalia Ivanauskaitė, Kristina Alšauskienė, Virginija Laužadienė, Milena Pirštelienė, Ričardas Lukošiūnas, Sigita Lukošiūnienė, Kristina Paulauskaitė, Kristina Ancutaitė, Darius Barčas, Loreta Kvietkauskienė, Marius Ramonaitis and others. Amongst mentioned artists, the eldest Latvian ceramic Karlis Knopkens will show his works, and we will be able to see works by other Latvian ceramic artists, frequent participants of „Spring“– Dainis Lesinis, Inese Brants, Ženija Loginova, Ineta Greiža.

For a long time Baltic state ceramic exhibitions in Kaunas had been the only significant group exhibition of independent Lithuania, that stimulated development in the field of art, professional growth and collaboration (first republican ceramics biennale was organized quite recently – in 2010). This exhibition, that symbolically opens the creative season for ceramic artists, remains the only of it‘s kind annual ceramic exhibition in the Baltic states. Without it – it‘s hard to imagine contemporary Lithuanian ceramic art.

Lijana Šatavičiūtė-Natalevičienė (translation by Julija Stankevičiūtė)

Exhibition under the patronage of Sigitas Šliažas

Exhibition will be opened till May 4th