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  Martin A. Dege

Create in LT: Art Baltica    Create in Lithuania 2010    

Exhibition COSMOGONY by the ethnic painter Virginijus Kašinskas

(Lithuanian Mythology, Kaunas, Lithuania)

\'\' Lithuanian ethnic painter Virginijus Kašinskas was born in 1955, in Šilalė district, Samogitia. From 1981 till 1987 he studied at the Art Institute in Vilnius (currently: the Vilnius Art Academy), majoring in painting. Since 1992, he is a member of Lithuanian Artists Association. From 2005, he has been granted the status of an art creator. He has taken an active part in exhibitions as of 1987. He has organised 56 exhibitions of his paintings, drawings and photographs in Lithuania and abroad. In addition, he took part in national and international painting exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad, international painting plain-airs, and art auction. Some works by Virginijus Kašinskas have been acquired by Lithuanian museums, art lovers and collectors from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Germany, USA, France, Luxembourg and Denmark.

Ethnic painting
This term is used to emphasize painting as a trend of professional art, where an artist uses and bases his/her works on heritage information, history, mythology, different traditions and customs, art, dance, etc. of his/her nation or ethnical group.

Series of paintings COSMOGONY
”I believe that many of us stop to think about our place and meaning in the world, the country we were destined to be born in, the structure of the world, God and divine domain”, Mr. Kašinskas says.

”I suppose, everyone should try to understand his/her own nation he/she was born in, its culture, take over the spiritual experiences, ethnical traditions and customs of our ancestors, and cherish all of that and pass on to the next generations. And though we are going through this immediately, conscious plumbing the depths of that opens marvellous spiritual strata accumulated by the Lithuanian nation over agesthat have been preserved in myths, legends, tales, songs, dances, music or art”, he claims.

At this exhibition, the painter presents his paintings related to an extensive series created on the topic of Lithuanian mythology. This series is a result of information, researches and investigation of spiritual depths of our nation collected by the author over many years.

”I believe that mythological symbols contain fundamental principles of our existence and life in this world, spiritual structures of the nation that lie somewhere deep in the consciousness of each of us. Like cultures of other nations of the world, the Lithuanian nation is rich with mythology and has a unique model of the structure of the world and understanding of the universe. Mythology provides us with a description of the essential structures of the world and human life, not through notions but through images, where different animals, plants, items and natural phenomena stand as symbols of fundamental principles of existence.

”Today, relics of archetypal (mythological) models of cognition of the world lie in our consciousness, and the metaphorical comparison of the nature and objects is characteristic to such relics.

”In mythology, cosmogonic myths are deemed to be essential; they are the vision of returning to the beginning of all beginnings. The cult of heavenly bodies is characteristic of the Lithuanian mythology. Sun, moon and stars are among the key objects of worshipping.

”The cult of fire, bowl-shaped stones with signs and symbols of the sun, the moon or the stars are also important in the Lithuanian mythology It is supposed that they are related to the cult of heavenly bodies.”

The series of paintings exhibited within the framework of the exhibition COSMOGONY relate to several cycles:

The cycle of paintings called “Cosmogony” (or “Ethnic Cosmos”) is based on studies of the Lithuanian mythological symbolism, the Lithuanian model of the organization of the world and customary traditions. The paintings depict spaces of the spiritual cosmos of a human being reflected in the physical world. Our national tradition of ornaments (patterns) and symbolism of numbers are used in compositions of the paintings.
Cosmogony paintings have been developed based on compositions of chromatic and numeral structures. The paintings speak of the marvellous Spiritual Cosmos of our nation.

"Cosmic Gardens"
The cycle of paintings called "Cosmic Gardens" is based on the structures and symbolism of the suspended straw compositions called šiaudiniai sodai (Straw Gardens). The structure of such compositions and their ritualistic making are directly related to the physical and spiritual life of a human being. The structure of the compositions reflects the relics of the perception of the Lithuanian mythological world, thanks to which we do not lose the links to the depths of the spiritual consciousness of our nation. This cycle of paintings was developed on the basis of studies of the Lithuanian ornament, structures of straw compositions and the tradition of their making and functioning.

"Archaic Compositions"
This cycle of paintings is based on studies of Lithuanian ornaments-patterns and the tradition of their use and functioning. The roots of the ornamental-pattern symbolism reach far beyond the cultural past of our nation. “In my opinion, ornaments-patterns that have survived up to now are least affected and transformed by the contemporary technological civilisation. Lithuanian ornaments-patters reveal amazing strata of the archetypal consciousness of our nation”, the author said.

”Archaic compositions are ornamental-pattern information structures reflecting in the aesthetical and artistic form the model of Lithuanian (Baltic) organization of the world”, he states

The exhibition “COSMOGONY” will be open from 15 January until 31 December 2010, at Virginijus Kašinskas Painting Studio in Kaunas (Draugystės Str. 19, 4th entrance, II floor, behind the passage).

Entrance to the exhibition is upon prior arrangement only:
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