ARTscape: Slovakia
18 June – 27 July, 2013
Opening reception 18 June (Tuesday), 6 p.m. 

On June 18, Galerija VARTAI opens two solo shows of the continuing interdisciplinary project Artscape with the oeuvre of Contemporary Slovak artist Stano Masár and new series of drawings Talvisota (Winter War) by Mindaugas Lukošaitis.
Mindaugas Lukošaitis is a universal artist of his generation. He has “inherited” all the best properties from the older “first” generation of Lithuanian interdisciplinary artists who made their debut in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, Lukošaitis is famous not for complex installations or digital media, but for series of graphite drawings. 

In the context of the general trend of “installative interdisciplinarity”, Lukošaitis’ drawings were distinguished for their “archaic” form and “neotraditionalist” savour. Apparently, the graphite technique is very suitable for the scenes of violence from civil wars and other conflicts or episodes of political turmoil. Graphite technique has a natural connection with monochrome documentary photography, especially the low quality post-World War II Soviet propaganda pictures retouched with ink or graphite. Lukošaitis drawings are like “on-site reports”, but the formal logic of the works transplants the “report” in another “metadiscourse” of contemporary art. 

The latest series of drawings by Lukošaitis titled Talvisota (Winter War) echoes and consolidates all of the above mentioned properties of the artist’s series. The aesthetic refinement and appeal of the drawings in the series reaches almost perfect level of decorativeness. There is an impression that Lukošaitis is gradually cleansing his works of content and reaching towards some decorative or abstract ideal, the essence of drawing.

Patron: Vinius city municipality
Partner: Contemporary art gallery SPACE
Sponsors of the exhibition: The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, The Culture Support Foundation
Sponsors of the gallery: Bosca, Lietuvos rytas, Infoterminalas, Ekskomisarų biuras, Namas ir aš

"Artscape" is a continuing interdisciplinary project launched in 2009 when Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture. It began as a joint event organised by three organisations – Menų Vartai, Kino Pavasaris and the Vilnius Jazz Festival – promoting the 21st century art scene from different European countries. 

The Artscape fine art programme hosted by Vartai Gallery introduces unique solo projects of foreign artists paired with Lithuanian authors. A total of 36 Lithuanian and European artists have already participated in the project: Ignasi Aballí, Hans Op de Beeck, Laura Garbštienė, Ugnius Gelguda, Jesper Just, Žilvinas Landzbergas, Atelier van Lieshout, Dainius Liškevičius, Miks Mitrēvics, Gintaras Makarevičius, Ran Slavin, Svajonė and Paulius Stanikas, Erwin Wurm, Andrius Zakarauskas etc. 

In 2012, the series of Artscape shows was expanded and now welcomes artists from across the globe.