Linas Jusionis: SIESTA
On 29 April 29, at 2pm, Vartai Gallery welcomes visitors to the opening of the painter Linas Jusionis’s solo show Siesta. The name of the exhibition alludes to the time of day when all formal and meaningful activity is halted, giving way to something passive and of no import, when images dissolve in a state of torpor – images that can be seen in the artist’s new paintings. At the same time, this exhibition is also a gently ironic response to the everyday routine altered by the pandemic.
‘I want to concentrate on a glance and an image, to distil the sensation and completely distance myself from storytelling or the construction of meaning. Imagery originates in the landscape and simultaneously seems to be trying to escape from it, balancing between boredom, idyll, and tension. It is a liminal state in which nothing happens and at the same time fundamental experiences – desire, boredom, anxiety, and curiosity – are actualised,’ says the artist.
In the exhibition, the author analyses the phenomenological experience of the image. Narrative and the meaning of the image seem to be bracketed, and the familiarity of objects fades as they turn into sensory, stimulating signs. The motifs of the works evolve out of mundane events and sensations, which are in turn crystallised as associative details and simple visual structures. The strenuous yet ostensibly liberating bodily experience of cycling uphill for several hours is conveyed by two gentle lines that resemble a winding road or a stream. A recurring glance through the window balances between meditation and voyeurism. The structure of the window in the work is both an observed object and the gaze itself, continually looking for something to focus on and eventually fixating on the distant horizon. Also important in the painter’s work is the experience of time and place, experience that is abstracted and made universal.
Linas Jusionis (b. 1986) studied philosophy at Vilnius University in 2005–2007, later acquiring a BA degree and in 2011 an MA degree in Fresco-Mosaic studies at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The artist won second place in the international Young Painter Prize competition in 2011. Jusionis has been taking part in group and solo shows since 2009. Exactly ten years ago the author’s first solo exhibition opened at Vartai Gallery, while the present one is already his fifth. Linas Jusionis’s works are part of the collections of MO Museum, the Lewben Art Foundation, BTA Art, and private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
Patron: Renata ir Rolandas Valiūnai
Gallery supporters: „Lietuvos Rytas“, Vilma Dagilienė, Romas Kinka, VšĮ „Meno fondas“, „Ekskomisarų biuras“, Vilniaus miesto savivaldybė
Graphic design: Laura Grigaliūnaitė
April 29 – May 28, 2021
Colour, time and space are three friends who meet in Linas Jusionis’s paintings. Punctual rendezvous at the foot of the horizon usually end in intimacy but without jealousy. Compliments are expressed in images; they rest and watch how the images eventually evaporate in the heat. Slowly, as if drowsing, and having found one another with their fingertips, they quietly wait for a glance. For that alien touch, connecting two worlds.
Colour does not usually keep to its word and arrives in advance of the others. There is more of it, it overflows the edges, but what is it really like? The black of coal, the white of bone, the yellow of sunflowers, the purple of lilacs, the blue of water. If only everything were that simple… Its clothes lie neatly fold on fold like French almond meringues in a box. Eaten by the eyes, they open up in vibrant buds of tastes. It is sweet only on the tip of the tongue, where it seems something has been left unsaid. In a different light it always changes and no matter how hard one tries to bring it into the embrace of one’s gaze, it always slips away, pulling off into the distance. Something forgotten, something close, something precious can be heard in its voice and an unexpected reflection of an image, once seen on the infinite screen of the universe, like sleep from another time lies heavy on the eyelids.
Meanwhile, time prepares a stage for itself and watches it from the wings, occasionally sticking its oar in as it has always done. It is in no hurry to come to any conclusion and allows things to follow their own course. However, it is like a body emerging from a shallow dream, the muscular back of which it immediately begins to massage with its never-tiring hands, surrendering itself to the task and disrupting any plans. Lonely walks along the steppes of the universe with short stops end in the unexpected. It dares to stroke the opening blossoms of the plants found along the way only from left to right, thereby not disturbing their existential rhythms. An echo left over from a gentle movement ripples in the humid air, but all one has to do is to flutter one’s eyelashes and silence will come – as if nothing had ever happened. This moment is the one it likes the best, before which and after which a new frame as of a film always follows.
At the foot of a mountain, in the river delta, space stretches out under a heavy sky, wrapping those two around its small toe like cottonwool. Open, but not frivolous, it wears its ornaments covered up, and guided by curiosity and imagination creates scenarios. But once it gets dark, and through the gaps in the windows, the only thing that will be visible is the edge of the mountain, space will close itself off. One can force one’s way inside it for only a moment, a glance takes the length of a single shadow, but suddenly coming face-to-face with it in a desert or a bath, one has to be prepared to fall into its embrace. Sometimes, alleviating the unfolding situation, it will lay a foundation under one’s feet and allow one to rest on it, but sometimes it will leave one floating in the waters of the boundless universe.
Space, time and colour are lying together in the shade. They speak in gentle caresses, and turn the void into a spectacle, in the center of which a form appears indistinctly from somewhere far away coming in on a wave of supernatural light, a form connecting the three into one. And there is nothing any longer that can separate them. Perhaps only the artist’s paintbrush.
- Paulius Andriuškevičius
IGTV: Vartai UNLOCKED with Linas JusionisGallery VARTAI presents new IGTV series of artists and collectors' interviews, studio visits and special edition videos Gallery VARTAI presents painter Linas Jusionis. Linas unlocked his studio for us and gave his thoughts on inspiration, time, colour, space and the possibilities of interpreting them. Video and interview...