Elena Antanavičiūtė


12 11 2021 – 01 12 2021

A solo exhibition at Pamėnkalnio Gallery is one of the awards given to the winners of the international event “Young Painter’s Prize”. Last year (2020), the Grand Prix of this competition was given to Elena Antanavičiūtė, a young Lithuanian artist, interested in the subject of the body in her work, through which she conveys personal experience and reflects the wider context, such as society’s attitude to (woman’s) body, the body in art and in art history. In this context, the painter seeks to understand human uniqueness.
Elena Antanavičiūtė: “We live in our body – the only one we have. For the last few years, the theme of the body has dominated my work. So I was in the body in every sense. The body is not only an object of depiction, but also a creative tool – after all, works are created with its touch. In addition, while painting the body, I am surrounded by works depicting the body.
The topic of the body is both personal and universal. Attitudes towards the body are also determined by the environment, public eye, beauty standards and personal experiences. The body is not only the appearance, but also what allows you to experience the world, life. Probably not by chance the body is one and not the other. We are accustomed to easily recognizing a body silhouette or a human face, but no less interesting are, for example, skin wrinkle ornaments that we don’t notice or try to mask.
Modern mankind is constantly confronted with different and conflicting views of the body. A pragmatic approach encourages squeezing the best possible results from the body (e.g., working tirelessly), a hedonistic approach sees the body as a source of pleasure. The beauty industry seeks to convince the body to be the object of constant beautification. Fragility and temporality, strength, beauty and disgust are all descriptions of attitudes towards the same body.
The constraints I experienced during the pandemic reminded me that the body lets us experience the world and travel; I began to value it for what the body allows me to do. But I also had to think that by breathing alone I could infect those around me or ruin travel plans, cause stress.
I am interested both in frequently exploited body parts and less noticeable wrinkles of the finger joints, folds of skin reminiscent of abstract ornaments or landscapes. Through the body we experience the world, so through it I also express my reflections on the meaning of life, the pressure of beauty standards, human uniqueness in general and the false belief that fitting into standards, frames, and boundaries gives everyone the happiness and self-confidence they seek. ”
About the author in brief: Elena Antanavičiūtė obtained a master’s degree in painting at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2021. She has been participating in art exhibitions since 2017. Elena Antanavičiūtė held solo exhibitions in Greece, Denmark. In 2021 she participated in the SÍM residence in Reykjavik (Iceland). Achievements: J. Vienožinskis Award (VAA) (2017), XII Young Painter Prize (2020).
The partner of the exhibition is the Young Painter Prize.
Sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Artists’ Association.