Vartai gallery is pleased to present OMENY, a solo show by Aidas Bareikis, one of today’s most prominent Lithuanian emigrant artists. It feature Bareikis’s newest work not previously displayed anywhere else.
Bareikis’s work is characterized by his critique of social, cultural and political environments. The urbanistic installations created employing the ready-made principle and paintings with their basis in automatism are constructed as chaotic structures evocative of entropy. He plants his objects - both bought and found - as if they were potatoes growing on a roof and harvested in spring. Not unlike some Anthropocene alchemist, Bareikis explores the life of objects and our psychological relation with them. According to the artist, every object is a potential piece of rubbish, and the factors that determine how fast an object is turned into one do not depend on physical quality of things. The possession of an object implies a relation with it that is more complicated than its representation.
In his new show, Bareikis draws on the roots of cubism and investigates ways of reflecting on the fluidity of consciousness through its own continuity. While in the first half of the 20th century this was done by transferring physical solid objects and their strict geometrical forms into painting - a two-dimensional plane, OMENY does the opposite: here painting emerges as a sign of an ever-continuing consciousness in spatial, three-dimensional geometrical forms. Sculpture become painterly, the abstract is no longer completely abstract, but a holistic view is retained - even though the objects that comprise an artwork are still individually recognisable, their essence is revealed only through a new form of the whole.
In Bareikis’s current work on display here his small-form sculptures come to the fore. This is the artist’s attempt to look anew at his own experience as a sculptor through a set of parameters that are stricter from both an aesthetic and economic viewpoint. Through the use of the forms that are simple and more categorical, Bareikis examines the structures behind the textbook cases of formalist sculpture and tries to come to an understanding of its principles , in this way employing a kind of ‘reconstruction of deconstruction’, when an arrangement of different objects within a given system is reduced back into a coherent object, but not necessarily into a coherent conception.
Aidas Bareikis (b. 1967, Vilnius) began his studies at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 1987. While still a student, he became actively involved in the Lithuanian art scene and was a co-founder of Žalias lapas, an art collective focused on happenings, actions, and performance art. In 1992 Bareikis started attending lectures by the New York-based Lithuanian artist Kęstutis Zapkus and became a member of Geros blogybės, a group of artists inspired by Zapkus. In 1993 Bareikis was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and enrolled at Hunter College in New York, from which he graduated with an M.A. Bareikis has held solo shows at the Leo Koenig Inc. Gallery, New York, and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; he has participated in manyle group exhibitions at a wide variety of institutions such as P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Centre / MoMA and many other galleries in the USA and Europe.