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Vytautas Kasiulis (1918–1995): From Simnas to Paris. The Exhibition dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of Vytautas Kasiulis. Paintings, graphical artworks, drawings.

2018 June 8 @ 17:00 - 2018 July 22 @ 12:00

Vytautas Kasiulis (1918-1995): From Simnas to Paris
Exhibition dedicated to the artist’s centenary
Paintings, graphical artworks and drawings from the collections of Lithuanian Art Museum

I walk around like in a dream, sometimes finding it hard to believe that all the beauty that Paris has to offer is at last accessible to me…

Vytautas Kasiulis, 1948

Vytautas Kasiulis (1918–1995) is one of the most famous ‘Parisians’ in our culture, who earned wide international acclaim for his distinctive individual style. Kasiulis worked and created in his city of dreams from 1948 till his death. Having come to Paris with a backpack and no money or language skills he secured a night watchman post in a small radio shop at 18 Avenue de la Republique. In one of his letters to his wife in Freiburg he wrote: “Nights were relatively quiet, so I could do watercolours or draw. Things were more complicated during the daytime: it was wet when it rained, good when it was warm, and not so good when it got colder. This was because I had no place to stay and would wander the city streets until night descended and he could return to work. The money was barely enough for a baguette and a few herrings. But this is just the begining“. Every day he would go to the Pont des Arts, the place where clochards would sometimes even offer wine to their new friend – as in the famous French slogan liberté, égalité, fraternité. Later, there was his first, one-metre-wide room in an attic near the Jardin du Luxembourg where he settled with his wife and son. The first exhibition at the Raymond Duncan Gallery in 1949 and the exhibition at the Christian-Gilbert Stiébel Gallery in 1950 kickstarted Kasiulis’s success and recognition.

Recognisable motifs of Paris in Kasiulis’s works have elegiac and dreamy overtones. The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, cosy little streets of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the quiet gardens of Palais Royal, city panoramas coming back to life – all of these unexpectedly change as the bright evening lights of the Moulin Rouge are lit, on a funfair ride, with the start of a magic circus performance. Here, lonely beggars, antique vendors, street musicians, sentimental couples, have all found their place. In the painter‘s Paris that is real and imagery at the same time, legends turn into daily life.

Ilona Mažeikienė