On Wednesday, November 8 at 6 p.m., Vilnius city gallery Meno Niša invites everyone to the opening of the group exhibition Not Only (About) Painting by artists Jolanta Kyzikaitė, Monika Plentauskaitė, Jurgis Tarabilda, and Jonas Jurcikas (1986-2020). The exhibition is part of the Young Painter’s Prize program and the gallery’s salute to the 15th edition of the competition, which unites the Baltic States. 

The idea of organizing this group exhibition of the gallery’s artists who have won various awards in the Young Painter’s Prize at the gallery has been around for a long time. “These awards are a very important achievement in the career of each artist and a big step into the international art scene. We are happy that quite a few artists from our gallery have won this prize, so we wanted to bring them together in one exhibition and see what they are doing in a common context,” said Diana Stomienė, head of the Vilnius city gallery Meno Niša.

The exhibition will feature works by Jolanta Kyzikaitė, Monika Plentauskaitė, and Jurgis Tarabilda, artists represented by Meno Niša, as well as the late artist Jonas Jurcikas’ work from the MO Museum’s collection. All of these artists have been winners of the Young Painter’s Prize competition.  

 The artists featured in Not Only (About) Painting are very different, they analyze different themes and work with different means of expressing themselves in painting.  Not Only (About) Painting will be about different forms of painting and about the forms that are born from painting. As in Tarabilda’s Object No. 3 – the artist, who won the 2017 Young Painter’s Prize Audience Choice Award for painting, has subsequently presented exhibitions that have included video recordings, photography, installations, and more. 

“And Jolanta Kyzikaitė, a Doctor of Art, who won the main Young Painter’s Prize in 2010, in her thoughts has turned to the past while preparing for this exhibition, to the work that earned her the award. In her latest work, we are in the same forest, but with different characters. M. Plentauskaitė, who won the 2018 competition with her self-portrait, in the upcoming exhibition seems to be depersonalizing herself, showing women’s hair and hairstyles, but hiding their faces. Her works have a lot of narrative,” says S. Baliuckaitė, a curator of the exhibition, stressing that Monika paints in oil, while the other featured artists paint in acrylic. 

A particularly important place in the exhibition Not Only (About) Painting will also be filled by the works of J. Jurcikas, an incredibly talented artist of the younger generation, who passed away early in his life. The artist won the main award of the Young Painter’s Prize in 2011. The gallery also represented this artist and presented his work at the London Art Fair in 2016. His works are in museum collections, which are exceptional, relevant, and appreciated by professionals. The exhibition aims to remember Jurcikas and to show how relevant his work is even today.

More about the artists

Jolanta Kyzikaitė is a painter, she defended her doctorate in art. According to art critic Deima Žuklytė-Gasperaitienė, the artist’s painting style is generalizing and poster-like. The decorative effect is created by the use of a strong contour line defining the objects and subjects. In addition to solo exhibitions, the painter is actively participating in group exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad, artist-in-residency programmes and art fairs in Vilnius, Paris, Cologne, Budapest, Vienna and Moscow. Some of Jolanta’s works have been acquired by the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Walter Bischop Museum in Germany and private collectors. Monika Plentauskaitė graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts with a degree in painting, her works have been acquired by Lithuanian and foreign collectors, as well as by the MO Museum of Modern Art. For several years, Plentauskaitė has been developing the themes of memory, representation of identity, and the fictionality of photographic and pictorial images in her work, posing questions of identity and searching for answers in photographs from the past.  In the paintings created since 2021, great importance is dedicated to the leitmotif of hair.  

Jurgis Tarabilda is a graduate of the Sculpture Department of Vilnius Academy of Arts. The artist’s work is constantly changing and uses a variety of creative techniques. In recent exhibitions, he has focused on paintings but has also presented light and video installations, objects, and photography. In Tarabilda’s work, narratives emerge intuitively, provoking viewers to create an individual narrative, relying on everyone’s personal experience. His artworks have been acquired by the MO museum of Lithuania and private collectors in Lithuania, Germany, the USA, Estonia, United Kingdom. Jonas Jurcikas (1986-2020) studied painting at the Vilnius Academy of Art and is considered one of the most talented painters of the younger generation. Jurcikas’ works are distinguished by their striking formats, unusual synthetic colors, and the stories they tell. Jurcikas drew inspiration from painting, film, advertising, and comics. ​​“The enormous canvases by  J. Jurcikas are nourished by distrust of the present, past, and future. Everyday life is full of misunderstandings, while personal and collective memory only serves to deceive, and tomorrow is something to be afraid of,” says art historian, Prof. dr. Raminta Jurėnaitė. 

The exhibition Not Only (About) Painting will be on show at the gallery Meno Niša until December 22.
Graphic design – Marek Voida


Vilnius city gallery Meno niša is sponsored by Vilnius City Municipality.
The exhibition is part of the Vilnius 700 program.
The partners of the exhibition are the Young Painter’s Prize and the MO Museum


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