The Lithuanian National Museum of Art invites to discover, this summer, foreign artists and to rediscover the artwork by the Lithuanian artists

  • 2024-06-13

The Lithuanian National Museum of Art (LNMA) launches an intense programme for the summer season and invites its visitors to see new exhibitions. Locals and visitors to the capital city will be able to discover the artwork and the artists brought to Lithuania from the faraway countries of Japan, the United States of America and Taiwan, as well as from Lithuania’s closest neighbour Poland. Vacationers of coastal Lithuania will have an opportunity to revisit the art by some of the Lithuanian artists. 

The summer of 2024 programme embraces 13 exhibitions on display at the museum’s departments in Vilnius, Klaipėda, and Palanga. The exhibitions will be accompanied by educational activities, creative workshops and open lectures. All of the events by the LNMA are open for unguided visits, the guided exhibitions’ tours are also available for booking. 

Beauties, ghosts and samurai at the National Gallery of Art 

The National Gallery of Art in Vilnius launches, on 19 July, Beauties, Ghosts and Samurai, an exhibition of Japanese art curated by Dr Arūnas Gelūnas, director general of the LNMA. Its visitors will be offered a brilliant opportunity to see Edo-period ukiyo-e graphic art from the 17th through 19th c., the early and contemporary manga and sketches of anime, the clips of animated movies and the artwork by contemporary Japanese artists.  

The exhibition will demonstrate how the Edo popular culture reflects on the contemporary Japanese artists’ imagination. The curator of the exhibition is intent to bring out the links of the socio-cultural revolution that took place during the Edo period in the 17th century, to the contemporary Japanese culture, which spills these days worldwide via digital channels.  

“This historic-panoramic exhibition is one of the few attempts (the first one in Lithuania) to present in a single museum space – and to delineate the pathways connecting them – the genres that usually were – and still are not – appearing together: the ukiyo-e woodblock prints, historic giga caricatures, the shunga erotic books, the hikifunda commercial posters, the prewar and postwar manga, the cards of menko children’s game, the posters of anime and computer games, the promotional video clips of the celebrated cosmetics company Shiseido, an animated historic kabuki theatre stage curtain, the extracts from the famous anime movies – and the works of art, paintings, prints and sculpture pieces, including sūpā furatto movement, which reflect on, question and sometimes mock all the former forms,” Dr Gelūnas, director general of the LNMA, describes the novelty of the exhibition. 

The exhibition will present the artwork by over 70 artists grouped into three categories – images of beauties (bijin), horrible or funny ghost (yōkai) stories, and the deeds of samurai. The visitors will see traditional graphic prints, erotic art, a graffiti of impressive size, specially produced for this exhibition, and will learn about the manga culture. Ingenious architecture of the exhibition, together with the sound and lighting design, will evoke a feeling of a Japanese urban space. The structure of popular culture in Tokyo, the largest present-day city, has not changed: it seeks to bewitch and to seduce, to shock and to amuse, to inspire awe by boldness and cruelty through contemporary love and erotic drama, through horror movies and comedies, trillers, combat movies and games. 

Radvila Palace Museum will present the work by American photographer Andy Sweet   

From 20 June, visitors to the Radvila Palace Museum of the LNMA will be able to see photography work by the American photographer Andy Sweet. His colour photographs that captured the older Jewish population of Miami Beach celebrate unique stories of this American spa town and of its Jewish residents. 

“The photography by Sweet can be appreciated on at least two levels: one can aesthetically admire the scenes reflecting the buoyant life of Miami Beach in the 1970s and a tenderly nostalgic image of its tightly knit colourful Jewish community of the time, or to partake in the triumph of life over death, and to feel thankful for the rescue of these innocent people who had to face the Shoa back in a day,” director general Dr Gelūnas presents the event. 

Ugnė Marija Makauskaitė, curator of the exhibition, also notes how Sweet’s lens captured the moments of the first events of LGBTQ+ community in Miami and highlighted the role of this community in the general growth and popularity of the city. 

Summer season at the LNMA departments in the capital city: Polish painting, American photography, Taiwanese ceramics and Japanese art 

This summer, the departments of the LNMA, the National Gallery of Art, the Radvila Palace Museum, and the Museum of Applied Arts and Design invite visitors to see seven new exhibitions. 

Of them, the Radvila Palace Museum presents three new events. The exhibition Poles Keep Painting: Works from the MOCAK Collection from the Contemporary Art Museum in Kraków, MOCAK opens on June 6.  The artist duo Pakui Hardware (Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelguda) who currently represent Lithuania at the Venice Contemporary Art Biennial, will hold a one-piece show 19 June. Andy Sweet’s colour photography exhibition Where the Summer Never Ends opens on 20 June. 

This July, the Museum of Applied Arts and Design will welcome its visitors to an exhibition of folk art dedicated to the centenary of the Lithuanian Song Celebration. Late July will see an exhibition of Taiwanese ceramics open. The exhibitions from France Chagal, Picasso, Ernst. Ceramics and Tapestries and The Reconnection with Origins by Darius Hecq-Cauquil will be on at the museum throughout the summer. 

The National Gallery of Art this July showcases paintings by Rūtė Merk, a comprehensive exhibition of Japanese art Beauties, Ghosts and Samurai, and an outdoor display from the series Small Scale Architecture. 

The exhibitions Žygimantas Augustinas. Guarantee and (Non)Academic Boleslovas Ruceskas at Vilnius Picture Gallery will be open for visitors during the summer, as well as the exhibition Unframed: Leis, Tabaka, Rožanskaitė at Vytautas Kasiulis Museum of Art of the LNMA. 

Female artists in focus at the coastal art venues of the LNMA 

The summer season of the LNMA includes four new events taking place at the coastal venues of the museum: at Pamario Gallery in Juodkrantė, at Pranas Domšaitis Gallery and at the Clock and Watch Museum in Klaipėda, also at the Amber Museum in Palanga. 

From 7 June, Pamario Gallery invites the vacationers and residents of Neringa to see the exhibitions by two Lithuanian female artists, Between by Eglė Ridikaitė and Kazė Zimblytė’s Abstractions: Between Moods and the World, featuring the avant-garde works by Kazė Zimblytė.  

The in-progress series Between by Eglė Ridikaitė visualizes emotions and moods, as well as the artist’s personal experiences and meditations in response to the war against Ukraine. Zimblytė’s works invite the viewer to revisit the unique language of avant-garde art and to see the female artist’s renditions of her creative ideas in abstract compositions, collages and assemblages. The aesthetic dialogue between these two female artists is an exchange between two sets of experiences and emotional responses.  

Pranas Domšaitis Gallery in Klaipėda hosts, this July, the artwork by Klaipėda-based female artist Angelina Banytė. Her monumental pieces captivate the perceiver through their clarity and transparency. Halfway, an exhibition by the sculptor Algirdas Bosas, is also on at Pranas Domšaitis Gallery throughout the summer. 

The Clock and Watch Museum invites viewers to see Florentempus, a summer time event in the literal sense. According to the curators, it presents the language of flowers as a source of inspiration. In the middle of August, the museum will open an exhibition The Autograph. 

The Amber Museum in Palanga offers to see a newly opened event Peripheria x Cor, by Mantas Lesauskas. The museum will finish the summer season with an exhibition The Last Beach, opening on 30 August. 

The Lithuanian National Museum on the move: events in Lithuania and France 

The LNMA presents exhibitions not only across its own diverse departments, some of them are hosted by the venues of other institutions. 

Anykščiai Art Centre and the LNMA have opened an exhibition of Vytautas Kasiulis,  at the synagogue of Kurkliai. The Jewish narrative informs these paintings in oils and pastels, and graphic prints. It is the first exhibition of the painter’s work in Lithuania that brings out this thematic strand in the artist’s oeuvre.   

In collaboration with the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, the LNMA invites to see an exhibition by the internationally recognized Germany-based artist duo Ingryda Suokaitė and Roland Helmer Dialogues: Colours and Structures at Kaunas Picture Gallery. On display are over 40 paintings and prints by Suokaitė. The collection of Helmer (around 50 pieces) is expanded by action painting examples of impressive scale, prints and objects which reflect both his individual idiom and the principles of contemporary German Constructivism. The display integrates documentaries illustrating episodes from the tandem’s creative practice. The exhibition will last until 30 June. 

The LNMA also organizes events of the Lithuanian season in France. In June, it is the opening of a jewellery exhibition Parlez-leur de lʼambre, du métal et de la vie: bijou contemporain lituanien (1990–2023). In autumn, the French audience will be offered to see the works by Aleksandra Kasuba and Marija Olšauskaitė, as well as contemporary Lithuanian artists in a group event Les Ambassadeurs.