Ray Bartkus Lithuanian, b. 1961

Overview

Ray (Rimvydas) Bartkus (b. 1961, Lithuania) is a multidisciplinary artist who graduated from the Graphics Department of the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 1986. Having begun his artistic career by creating lithographs, etchings and pencil drawings, Bartkus moved to New York City with his wife and son in 1991 and has been living there ever since. His prints quickly caught the attention of The New York Times’ Art Director, which soon became the beginning of a several decade-long collaboration with one of world’s best-known daily newspapers. Bartkus’s practice is not limited to graphics though: the artist has also created object art, installations, photographs, photomontages, paintings, drawings and street art, among other artistic projects.

Ray Bartkus’s early work in illustration was featured in the covers and pages of many American and international publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Harper’s, Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, The New Republic, Smart Money, The Fortune, Businessweek, Courrier International and others. Later, seeking to expand his creative vision, the artist began to devote greater efforts to developing his own independent art projects, which included digital art, installations, oil paintings and drawings. Today Bartkus can be described as a versatile artist whose conceptual work is characterised by a wide variety of techniques. He gives special focus to different media and the abundant opportunities they provide: as he himself claims, making full use of each media and their combinations allows him to reach the viewer more clearly and directly. Bartkus also pays attention to current global issues and their meanings relevant at a particular time.

Ray Bartkus’s work has been exhibited in multiple personal shows in Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Austria and the US, with no identical collection presented in any two of them. He is also actively participating in group exhibitions, collaborative art projects and festivals. Bartkus is the designer of the 50 litas bill (Lithuania’s national currency used until 2015). His editorial illustrations have received numerous awards from various American designer and illustrator societies. Finally, Bartkus’s works have been included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, Lithuania’s National Art Museum as well as many private collections in the US, Canada, Lithuania, Germany, France and other countries.


In 1991 he moved with his wife Ina and son Kris to New York City, where he has resided since and where his prints quickly attracted the attention of the New York Times art director and he began what became several decades of work with the New York Times. His illustrations were subsequently featured in the covers and pages of many national and international publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Harper's, Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, the New Republic, Smart Money, The Fortune, Businessweek, Courrier International. Ray's editorial illustrations have received numerous awards from the Society of Publication Designers, the Society of Newspaper Designers and the Society of Illustrators.

Seeking to expand his creative vision, Ray has begun devoting greater efforts to his own art projects, which include digital art, installations, oil paintings and drawings. In the past decade, Ray has hosted successful personal shows in Vienna (Austria), Warsaw (Poland), Geneva (Switzerland), Wroclaw (Poland), Kiev (Ukraine), Vilnius (Lithuania), Salzburg (Austria), Philadelphia (USA) and New York City, exhibiting entirely new collections of works in every one of them.

Works
Biography

Born 1961 in Vilnius, Lithuania

Works and lives in New York, USA.

 

EDUCATION

1980-1986 – Department of Graphics at Vilnius Academy of Arts 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019 – 12RAMių, Ramintoja Church, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2018 – Ray Bartkus‘s Gardens, Washington Train Station, Chicago Public Library, Kimmel Arts Centre in Philadelphia, United Nations Headquarters in New York, New York Federal Palace Memorial Museum (USA)

2016 – Bridges, Harmony Park (Lithuania)

2015 – The Globe, UN Headquarters, New York City (USA)

2015 – Hybrid War, Leopoldskron Palace, Salzburg (Austria)

2015 – Storylines, Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia (USA)

2013 – Last paintings, Neon Gallery, ASP, Wroclaw, (Poland)

2013 – Balance, Salle des Pas Perdus, UN, Geneva (Switzerland)

2013 – Landing Strip, Harmony Park (Lithuania)

2013 – Last Paintings, Cukrus club, Marijampolė (Lithuania)

2012 – Last Paintings, VAA exhibition space ‘Titanikas’, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2011 – Love/Crash, Luxon gallery, Kiev (Ukraine)

2010 – Artscape/Poland, VARTAI gallery, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2009 – Breaking Point, Zeh gallery, Kiev (Ukraine)

2008 – Forgeries, VARTAI gallery, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2008 – Prints, Kairė/Dešinė gallery, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2007 – News, VARTAI Gallery, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2006 – Yesterday's News is Tomorrow's Art, Lithuanian Cultural Center in Warsaw (Poland)

2005 – Connectivity Power, OSCE, Hofburg Palace, Vienna (Austria)

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020 – Spectrum, VARTAI gallery (Lithuania)

2019 – An exhibition of contemporary Lithuanian artists, Espace Commines exhibition space (France)

2016 – MaLoNY, City-Wide Contemporary Arts Festival, Marijampolė (Lithuania)

2015 – MaLonNY, City-Wide Contemporary Arts Festival, Marijampolė (Lithuania)

2014 – MaLonNY, City-Wide Contemporary Arts Festival, Marijampolė (Lithuania)

2011 – Not there, Convent of St.Cecilia, Brooklyn (USA)

2010 – Lithuania.Drawing, LRAL, London (Great Britain)

2010 – IDG6, Fluxus Art Ministry, Vilnius (Lithuania)

2009 – F.R.I.K, Video Art Festival, Skopje (Macedonia)

2009 – ARCO, Madrid (Spain)

2008 – Art For Change, ArtBreak gallery, New York (USA)

2008 – IDG4NY, ArtBreak gallery, New York (USA)

2008 – Helsinki Biennale, Helsinki (Finland)

2008 – DIVA NY 08, NYC, (USA)

2007 – Cooler in the Shade, Festival of Innovative Music and Intermedia, NYC (USA)

2007 – Independent Drawing Gig #3, Quartier, Hague (Netherlands)

2006 – Independent Drawing Gig #2, Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje (Macedonia)

2004 – The Art of The Times (25 Years of the illustrations In the New York Times), Society of Illustrators, NYC (USA)

2003 – Picturing The Times (Eastern European Illustrators at the New York Times), School of Visual Arts, NYC (USA)

AWARDS

2018 – American Business Award

2012 – Global Lithuanian Award

COLLECTIONS

National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, USA

The Morehead State University, Prints Collection, Morehead, USA

National Art Museum, Vilnius, Lithuania

Lewben Art Foundation, Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius University Graphic Collection, Vilnius, Lithuania

Exhibitions
Art Fairs
Bibliography

ARTICLES/INTERVIEWS

2020 – Ilona Petrovė, Rokas Simanavičius, “JAV išgarsėjęs menininkas R. Bartkus: ‘Kiekvienas turi pradų tapti ikona, šventuoju’”, in: bernardinai.lt, 2019-10-03

2019 – Virginija Sližauskaitė, “Ray Bartkus: į JAV atvykau it laukinis, nežinojęs, kas yra bankas”, in: LRT.lt, 2019-11-17 

2019 – Karolis Vyšniauskas, “Ray Bartkaus 90-ųjų Niujorkas”, podcast, in: NARA, 2019 

2018 – Gražina Michnevičiūtė, “Ray Bartkaus lietuviški ‘Sodai’” – centrinėje Vašingtono stotyje”, in: 15min.lt, 2018-05-23 

2017 – Gediminas Jasinskas, “Po pasaulį išsibarstęs menas”, in: Literatūra ir menas, Nr. 31(3627), 2017-09-01 

2017 – Viktorija Juškaukaitė, “Menininkas R.Bartkus: dar ir dabar tenka pasirašyti ant 50 litų kupiūros”, in: 15min.lt, 2017-07-28 

2017 – Paulina Blažytė, “Tapatybės kaita: Paroda ‘Nuo realizmo iki objekto. Pasaulio lietuvių menas Lietuvos išeivijos dailės fondo kolekcijoje’ Vytauto Kasiulio dailės muziejuje”, in: 7 meno dienos, Nr. 23(1217), 2017-06-09 

2016 – Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, “Ray Bartkus: ‘Kuo daugiau dirbi, tuo daugiau idėjų turi’”, in: Literatūra ir menas, Nr. 12(3560), 2016-03-25 

2015 – “Ray Bartkus Paints Upside Down Mural that Reflects Right-side Up in Water”, in: Hi Fructose, 2015-07-24 

2015 – Pamela J. Forsythe, “An illustrator's art: Ray Bartkus’s Storylines at Drexel’s Pearlstein Gallery”, in: BroadStreetReview.com, 2015-04-21 

2015 – Alex McKechnie, “Renowned International Artist Ray Bartkus Exhibits at Drexel”, in: Drexel, 2015-03-11 

2012 – Kęstutis Šapoka, “Du pasauliai. Ray Bartkaus personalinė paroda Titanike”, in: Kultūros barai, Nr. 11, 2012.

2012 – Monika Krikštopaitytė, “Iliuzijų meistras: Ray Bartkaus paroda ‘Tapybos pabaiga’ kaip viešųjų ryšių projektas”, in: 7 meno dienos, Nr. 42(1010), 2012-11-23 

2012 – Morgana Kulikauskaitė, “Idėjų ir veiksmo išalkę vilniečiai”, in: Literatūra ir menas, Nr. 37(3397), 2012-10-12 

2012 – Eglė Digrytė, “Dailininkas Ray Bartkus: ‘Esu vilnietis iš Niujorko’”, in: 15min.lt, 2012-07-13 

2010 – Kęstutis Šapoka, “Socialinė būtinybė ir būtinybės socialumas. Ray Bartkaus ir Rafał Bujnowski paroda ‘Vartų’ galerijoje”, in: artnews.lt, 2010-09-19 

2010 – Danutė Gambickaitė, “Apie kalbų lietuvį ir tylų lenką: Paroda ‘Artscape: Lenkija’ galerijoje ‘Vartai’”, in: 7 meno dienos, Nr. 32(908), 2010-09-17 

2008 – Neringa Černiauskaitė, “Trys Ray Bartkaus pasai”, in: Dailė, Nr. 2(42), 2008.

2008 – Aleksandra Piktytė, “No Blood, no Sex and no Rock’n’roll: Ray’aus Bartkaus paroda „Klastotės“ galerijoje ‘Vartai’”, in: 7 meno dienos, Nr. 817, 2008-10-03 

2008 – “Digitally SSurreal: An interview with Ray Bartkus, iliustrator, New York City”, in: Becoming a Digital Designer: A Guide to Careers in Web, Video, Broadcast, Game and Animation Design, ed.: Steven Heller, David Womack, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.