In celebration of its 20th birthday, the Vartai Gallery in Vilnius is putting on an exhibition featuring two contemporary artists – the Lithuanian Žilvinas Landzbergas (1979), and the Spaniard Jaime Pitarch (1963). The show delights the local public with Jaime Pitarch's objects of art, and with two of Landzbergas' latest projects – Sun Set and The Future is Now (2011) – three-dimensional stories brought to life with the help of various objects and motifs. The Vartai Gallery doesn't attempt to put the artists “all in one basket” by either comparing or contrasting their works. Both artists' conceptions, displayed next to each other, create an illustrative dialog; by presenting the critical reflexive life with their rich visual language, they illustrate the orientation of values in today's society.
In Žilvinas Landzbergas projects, the unified compositions of his expositions use elements of science fiction and characteristic images of consumeristic society and today's mass culture. With symbols from our daily lives that everyone is familiar with, he creates a modern-day vision of the social world. The feeling of a surreal dream is achieved by creating a meadow not with real plants, but rather with, for example, pictures or imitations that have been bought from a store. In this way, Landzbergas places the viewer in the role of the main character of an illustrated story. His installations become an instrument that helps the viewer understand his personal state in the time and space in which we live. The works inherit their meaning only on the specific walls of the exposition, and they are not for sale nor available for viewing outside of their original context.
Barcelona-born Jaime Pitarch also selects the motifs for his works from the “garbage” of today's society's life. A painter by education, he also works with sculpture and is a master of video and performance art, but he has gained greatest popularity with his installations and objects which feature consumer products that the artist has altered. Pitarch believes that people are characterized by the objects they use. He changes various details of objects, playing with our comprehension of the point or meaning of the thing – by either exaggerating it or denying it. His art becomes either a question mark or an exclamation point to regular consumers. In the last few years, Pitarch has created sculptures made from clothes pins; an authentic Russian matryoshka doll, mutated with additional heads of varying size growing on it like tumors (“Chernobyl”, 2007); and guitars with strings tied on so tightly that the body of the guitar has curved inward (“Spanish Guitar” and “Play Hard”, 2006).
This is the first time that Jaime Pitarch's works have been exhibited in Lithuania, and it is also the premier of Žilvinas Landzbergas' latest projects. Both artists are well-known in Europe, have received international awards and are ever more decisively announcing their niche in the art world by taking part in international group and solo shows.
Žilvinas' solo show, “For Ever Again” (a continuation of the project, “The Future is Now”), is now going on at Latvia's contemporary art center, kim?, in the VKN Gallery, through December 11th.