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Mushroom pickers

Author: Paulius Augius–Augustinavičius (1909–1960)
Dimensions:17.80 × 13.50 cm

bottom: Grybautojos Augustinavičius

The study of graphic art at Kaunas Art School started in 1923. The graphic art studio opened in 1926, and Adomas Galdikas was appointed its head. After the student strike, he was replaced by Mstislav Dobuzhinsky from 1929 to 1930. Galdikas was open to Modernist innovations, and encouraged this approach among students at the graphic art studio. He urged them to take themes from folk art and views of nature, and to interpret them by making use of the Modernist trends that were dominant in interwar Europe. Thus, tendencies in Art Deco, Neoclassicism and Neotraditionalism, offering greater freedom to paraphrase folk art, prevailed in the work of young graphic artists in the second half of the 1930s.

According to Galdikas, ‘Graphic art should adapt to the requirements of daily life, and we cannot stick to the academic standard in the studio, for it will suppress the students’ talents (A. Valiuškevičiūtė, ‘Kaunas Art School’, Vilnius, 1971, p. 119). He advocated this utilitarian understanding of graphic art among his students, encouraging them to collaborate in designing periodical publications and book illustrations, and to take part in poster competitions. Since prints could be produced in large numbers at relatively low cost, graphic art was quite often chosen for official publicity campaigns. For example, to emphasise the fact that, having taken over the Klaipėda region, Lithuania had become a maritime state, artists were encouraged to depict scenes from fishermen’s lives.

Text authors Dovilė Barcytė and Ieva Burbaitė

Source: Law firm Valiunas Ellex art album MORE THAN JUST BEAUTY (2012). Compiler and author Giedrė Jankevičiūtė, KAUNAS–VILNIUS / 1918–1945 (2021). Compilers and text authors Dovilė Barcytė and Ieva Burbaitė
Expositions: "1918-1945 / Kaunas-Vilnius", 27 August 202021 August 2021, Lithuanian Art Centre TARTLE (Užupio St. 40, Vilnius). Curators Dovilė Barcytė and Ieva Burbaitė.