Andrius Zakarauskas, As, 2007, Öl auf Leinwand, 100 x 110 cm.

Andrius Zakarauskas: The Artist as Subject, The Artist as Process

Andrius Zakarauskas, Exposition, 2007, Öl auf Leinwand, 170 x 145 cm.

Andrius Zakarauskas, Exposition (cat and mouse), 2006, Öl auf Leinwand, 110 x 125 cm.

Andrius Zakarauskas, Foot Painting, 2008, Öl auf Leinwand, 100 x 120 cm.


Galerie Andreas Binder
Knöbelstrasse 27
+ 49-89-219 39 250
Andrius Zakarauskas
July 18-September 20, 2008

Andrius Zakarauskas' subject in his paintings is himself, his introspection, and auto reflection. He subordinates traditional styles of painting as genre painting: self portrait, landscape and interior, still life and hand study — an observing of the painting process itself. Zakarauskas is equally interested in the act of painting and the detection of impulses of autobiographical facts, environment, art history, and works of contemporary artists.

Beyond motivation it is the spiritual state of the artist that is important to Zakaruaskas. Auto reflection is followed by melancholy and sadness intervening and presenting strange and personal elements of humor. Detailed paradox is characteristic of Zakarauskas' oeuvre. Though the work is figurative there is nothing concrete or strictly defined in his paintings — the interior of a workshop is easily transformed into gallery space or is into a snow field or the landscape of the sky. Almost all the figures on his canvases are self portraits of the artist with a characteristic body composure, in sitting, in the posture and even in attire.

At the same time all these pictures are portrayed without faces like the avatar of the artist`s muse. Grotesque animal masks worn by characters imbue fantasy in scenes in older works. Anxiety is injected Into current works by other means such as the slight tracing of figures making them look a bit ephemberal. People often turn into shadows blending with a wall or soaring in space or even dark spots in the ground surface. Also the self portrait figure is repeated in a mirror reflection, in an imprint on the canvas, or even is multiplied into a formation or crowd. The tension-filled dialogue between the real figures or illusions strengthens even more the motif of a picture within the picture.

The painter is painted in the workshop or in the gallery standing in front of his canvas. He is creator and spectator. The canvas includes quotations or references to great painters and great Lithuanian painters. Zakarauskas also provokes with a sleight of hand that causes the viewer to guess if the figures on the canvas are alive or dead or both at the same moment. Indefinite images and ideas are stipulated by the artist`s choice of color and mise en canvas. His palette is a subdued monochrome, rich in shades, lustrous greys, grey blue tones, and deep dark black and brown tints. The range of colors is enliven by small insertions of shining white, brown, or light blue. Zakarauskas expressively matches flat figures using wide gestures, with contrasting objects, leaving a deep spacious background, which for Zakarauskas allows his expressive style of painting to give rise to snippets of motifs.

His interiors of separate parts enlarge and underscore the cinematic fragments that melt into the atmosphere. In painting himself at work he does away with the separation between himself and the picture. In so doing, Zakarauskas asks himself what it means to be a painter today. He conveys a sense of anxiety and loss and an atmosphere of falseness without concrete direction. At the same time he fills the emptiness with melancholy and an anxiety that brings a vital and magic process of painting to his work.

Andrius Zakarauskas, Your Mistakes, 2008, Oil on canvas, 31,5" x 27,5".

Andrius Zakarauskas, Chasing sheep, 2007, Öl auf Leinwand, 145 x 175 cm.