February 10, 2023 / March 2, 2023

In search of the Past

On the occasion of his father's 100th anniversary, artist Arvydas Pakalka presents the painting exhibition "In search of the Past". Historical time can be told in different ways. While directors in Lithuanian theaters discuss the transformation of classical plays about today, the artists prefer a more personal relationship with the past. Photography, architecture, world masterpieces of painting - everything becomes a reflective creative ground, allowing to build universal bridges between personal experiences and past eras of reflection on human existence. One such author is Arvydas Pakalka. On February 10th The Baroti gallery in Klaipėda opens a symbolic painting exhibition "In search of the Past", dedicated to the memory of the Lithuanian exile, artist's father, Juozas Pakalka. This year would have been his 100th anniversary.

The Lithuanian art panorama is inseparable from the artist Arvydas Pakalka (born in 1957) - painter, graphic artist, teacher, who laid the foundations of art for many shows of the students of the Čiurlionis School of Arts and private studio. The author himself made his debut with the well-known generation of artists of the 90s (Algis Skačkauskas, Arūnas Vaitkūnas, Vygantas Paukštė, Audronė Petrašiūnaitė, Nomeda Saukienė, Ramūnas Čeponis, Šarūnas Sauka...), using a freeing expression, Western aesthetic trends with existing geopolitical experiences, Lithuanian regional individuality characteristic of art. The artist's creative worldly and plastic expression was strongly influenced not only by the mood of the revolutionary state, creating in the face of changing regimes, but also by studying with the classics of Lithuanian modernism, such as Aloyzas Stasiulevičius, Leonas Katinas, Vytautas Ciplijauskas, Vincas Kisarauskas, Vincentas Gečas, Valentinas Antanavičius. Perhaps because of this, it is not at all surprising that even after forty years of creative path, the artist's latest exhibition "In search of the Past" shows the tradition of the Lithuanian colorist school - a special sense of vivid colors and the subtle change of light, a painterly free and graphically dominant line, a genre of urban landscape. It is also interesting that the author makes the shapes of the recognizable world so geometrically sleek, playfully simplified, and sometimes illusively labile, that we can associate his work with both Eastern traditions and Western Cubists-purists, Fauvists, Surrealists and Primitivists, such as Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Joan Miro.

The artist's work is also characterized by the beginning of monumental art, the world of romanticism. Traveling through the historical lands of Lithuania, Prussia, ATR, the artist created many landscapes filled with the historical past. The artist's focus was on castles and mansions, defensive and sacred towers, houses of German style... bridges, inviting the viewer to travel together through what has been forgotten for many years, but which is being brought up to date again little by little by modern society. As if responding to the age and change of events of the depicted architectural objects, A. Pakalka gives his works a special garment: the scarred, multi-layered textures of the paintings are reminiscent of frescoes, and with their color transparency, they sometimes convey a stained-glass glow. With a broad vision of the world and a sense of the circulation of history, the author refined a unique, well-recognizable artistic style, the suggestiveness of which viewers less familiar with the artist will have the opportunity to see for themselves very soon in Klaipėda. Artist A. Pakalka has been participating in exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad since 1982, his work has been presented in many countries, including Germany, Poland, Romania, Sweden, USA, Japan, etc. The artist's works can be found in various private and public collections: the Lithuanian National Art Museum, the National M.K. Čiurlionis Art Museum, the Graphics Cabinet of the Vilnius University Library, Gen. Jose de San Martin Museum of Fine Arts (Buenos Aires); KIWA Art Collection (Kyoto), EASL (Geneva), etc. - art critic Kamilė Pirštelytė