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Exhibition "Before Yesterday. Untangle"

Date: 5 October 2017 00:00 - 03 November 2017 00:00


A. Žmuidzinavičius Creations and Collections Museum, V. Putvinskio St. 64, Kaunas


"Before Yesterday. Untangle" (curators Valda Verikaitė, Raimonda Kogelytė) is one of the exhibitions of the international glass art festival Vitrum Balticum VII. The historical collection of industrial and workshop-made glass design is exhibited. This time Vitrum Balticum VII aims at revealing not only contemporary glass tendencies, but also aspires to remind us of the glass art phenomena of the past. Therefore, the exhibition organized at the A. Žmuidzinavičius Museum represents the stage of the Soviet period functional glass production and its artistic specificity in Lithuania. Almost all the exhibited glass samples (china sets, vases, decorative elements) are related to the development of glass art in Kaunas. The glass pieces were designed by Kaunas St. Žukas Applied Arts School (now Kaunas College J. Vienožinskis Art Faculty) students and Vilnius Art Institute (now Vilnius Academy of Arts) Kaunas Faculty glass art students and made in the Aleksotas glass factory. These schools have kept and stored the original artworks and projects that are currently on display at the exhibition. Various well-known glass artists have also lent their artworks – created after graduating from the respective institutions – to the exhibition. However, in the process of organizing the exhibition we were unable to track the authorship of some glass artworks. In the future, we hope to sort out their links to the place of production and their creators’ names.

We aimed at presenting the glass artworks with them having a more suggestive, organic relationship to the interior. Due to this, we used Soviet period furniture from Dainius Lanauskas’ collection that helped us create a peculiar living environment of that time. The historical context of the exhibition mostly covers the 1980s and 1990s.

Abroad, the period in question was going through the stage of massive industrial design consolidation, as at that time, the activities of industrial designers who have shaped and developed the image of glass products from factories of different countries have become especially important. During this period, the attention paid to design has also grown in the Soviet Bloc, which Lithuania was also a part of. Various branches of decorative arts were appreciated in view of their specific features, emphasizing the differences between the visual and applied arts, reflecting the more modern, more organic shape of ware and even remembering the regional search for the object's form.

The movement "Art for everyday life" linked with functionality and adaptability of art to everyday life was developed during this stage. It prompted the universal turn of the material environment towards functionalism, the prevailing style in the 20th century. This aesthetics manifested itself in all the areas of applied arts. Consequently, you are able to observe stylistic links between the furniture that was turned into a sort of base for the glass artworks and the glass vases displayed on top of them.

Artists who graduated from applied arts schools in 1980s – 1990s in Lithuania had significantly increased the numbers of employees of art workshops and factories. Thanks to them, new features of artistic change in the industry began to emerge, related to standardization and reproduction, and, on the other hand, professionalization of artistic image and modernization of decor and forms. Gradually, this process reached Lithuanian glass factories operating in Vilnius, Panevežys and, as is known, in Kaunas, Aleksotas. 

Exhibition works: 05 10 2017–03 11 2017

More information: https://www.vitrumfestival.com/copy-of-vitrum-balticum-vii