A FLUID STATE OF MIND: Baltic painting in the expanded field

02 09 2022 – 15 10 2022

Artists: Niklas Ingelius, Atis Izands, Agnė Juodvalkytė, Madara Kvēpa, Leelo Mai, Kristen Rästas, Ansis Rozentāls, Jurgis Tarabilda, Karolis Vaivada, Laura Veļa, Linda Vilka.
Curator – Sandra Strēle.
Architect – Gediminas G. Akstinas.
Designer – Vaida Gasiūnaitė.
Organiser: Pamėnkalnio Gallery (Vilnius).
Sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City, Lithuanian Artists’ Association.
Since the advent of photography and the subsequent rapid development of video and digital technologies, it has been considered that painting as a medium would be exhausted. However, the formation and interpretation of images in the individual’s perception of the world is such a prerequisite that these predictions were not and are not destined to come true. If the medium of painting is perceived as a tool for the creation and re-creation of images, in contemporary times it has become an art form capable of combining and incorporating a multitude of other media, such as installation, performance, video art and others.
Today, painting addresses its relationship both as an object and as a system of images, creating hybrid artworks somewhere between painting, objects, screens and texts. Painting in an expanded field embodies the tensions that arise from the simultaneous presence and absence of painting: electronic media, performative events and theoretical texts intervene. All these elements constitute a completely new practice of contemporary painting in need of a new name.
Australian art thinker and painter Mark Titmarsh compares the term ‘painting in the expanded field’ to the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s idea of family similarities. Wittgenstein’s idea is based on the observation that individuals within a family or relatives may be visually different, but the similarity of certain elements, such as body composition, features, is evident. In the same way, in the extended field of painting, the works always retain at least one of the basic elements of painting, i.e. colour, surface, undertone etc. The cases of the young Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Finnish artists featured in the exhibition are not extreme, but they tend to constantly question painting and its historical perception.