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May 17, 2013 to August 18, 2013

“LTextile”: Contemporary Textiles from Lithuania

"LTextile" brings together the work of artists and designers from Lithuania in a survey of contemporary textiles, co-organized by PAA Curator Sarah Archer and Egle Ganda Bagdoniene, Vice-Rector at the Academy of Arts in Vilnius. "LTextile" is made possible by the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.

“LTextile” presents a vibrant and diverse collection of contemporary Lithuanian textile art from the past decade, featuring the work of locally and internationally recognized contemporary artists. During the Soviet period in Lithuania (1940-1990), textile art was regarded as merely decorative and supported as an applied art rather than the technical foundation of a creative field. Exhibitions and public installations were dominated, with a few exceptions, by monumentally scaled, traditional tapestries. Yet the severe curtailment of narrative content only served to strengthen the technical capacity and innate proclivity towards symbolic expression of artists, designers and craftsmen working in fiber during that time. Since Lithuania's independence in 1991, artists have gained the freedom to draw upon their cultural patrimony and traditional motifs as well as a global visual vocabulary, mixing media as well as concepts varying vastly in scope, from idyllic rural mythology to the ethereal and urbane. Today, a reverence for the traditions of crochet, embroidery, and appliqué is evident even in experimental and interdisciplinary forms of textile art, with installations that include video, sound, music, and unusual materials such as nylon, paper, wood, silicon, glass, coffee, hair, polyethylene, synthetic fibre, wire, bark, and wire.

“LTextile” is organized by Egle Ganda Bagdoniene, Vice-Rector at the Academy of Arts in Vilnius and PAA Curator Sarah Archer. The artists represented in are some of the most esteemed working in Lithuania today, including Laima Oržekauskienė, Žydrė Ridulytė, Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė, Severija Inčirauskaitė, Laura Pavilonytė, Vita Gelūnienė, Lina Jonikė, Jūratė Petruškevičienė, Jurga Šarapova, and the collective Try3: Vladas Daškevičius, Aleksas Gailieša and Audrius Lašas. Lithuanian textile artists enjoy successful appearances in numerous and exciting exhibitions, prestigious events and competitions held locally and abroad. The work by the artists included in this show has won awards from the international Łódź (Poland), Kyoto (Japan), Peking (China), Budapest (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovak Republic), Kaunas (Lithuania), and other exhibitions-competitions.

Commenting on the exhibition, Lithuanian Honorary Consul Krista Bard states, "I am honored and delighted that the Philadelphia Art Alliance, America's oldest multidisciplinary arts center, is presenting the first US exhibition of our finest contemporary Lithuanian textile artists. For centuries, textiles have been a dominant expression of our cultural identity. As early as 4000 BC Lithuanians were spinning yarn from linden bast fibers for fishing nets. The great Dutch painters used Lithuanian linen for their masterpieces. Today's artists, living and working in an independent country, are drawing on ancient traditions of excellence, incorporating modern techniques and materials, and creating totally new paradigms in textile art. This exhibition bears witness to the power of both democratic and artistic freedom. On June 1, Lithuania assumes presidency of the European Union, and we proudly present our artists as creative ambassadors to the world.”

"LTextile" is made possible through the generous support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The Philadelphia Art Alliance is grateful to the Ministry of Culture, and to Simonas Satunas, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Lithuanian Embassy to the United States; Evaldas Stankevicius, Cultural Attaché; Krista Bard, Honorary Consul; curator Egle Ganda Bagdoniene, and artist Laima Oržekauskienė for their vision, passion and creativity. “From tradition to innovation, from mini to maxi.”

Vita Geluniene with Birutė Letukaitė and Evaldas Jansas, "The Hunt of the Unicorn," Gobelin-style Tapestry, 2010-11


Tags: design, fiber, textiles