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ZOOM / Julius Ludavičius

JANUARY 17 - FEBRUARY 16

OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 6-9 PM

PLEASE RSVP HERE AND HAVE AN ID WITH YOU


ADDRESS: Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in New York

420 Fifth Ave. 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10018
+1 (212) 354 7911


VISITING HOURS:

Monday 9.00 am - 12.00 pm and 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Tuesday - Thursday  9.00 am - 12.00 pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and on national holidays Consulate General is closed for public.
Or by appointment: 212 354 7840


For Lithuanian transcript press HERE



ZOOM presents a dozen examples of my small paintings from the last 18 years, all of them executed in this millennium. Most works do not exceed 20 inches.

My works are semi-abstract paintings, which have an overall abstract structure, but simultaneously are layered with representational allusions. They can be seen in intimate focus when you get closer and zoom into the painting. My paintings are like clusters of puzzles, maps, architectural plans, scientific drawings and diagrams, with images from news media, encyclopedias, and computer screens united by painterly method.

From the early nineties I was attracted to small painting formats. Now I believe that the maturation of the internet has indirectly given new significance and meaning to the intimate view and to small size art work. The ability to pack almost infinite amounts of information into small screens allows people - who already stare at these tiny screens most of their day, to minimize and condense. They can now also pay attention to the similar spatial complexities of small paintings, or the details of any hand made object. Visual devices like apps, clouds, windows, emoji, and others are minuscule, but imply vast spaces of layered information. 

The most important modern abstract (and not so abstract) paintings are large or an accepted medium size. Frankly I can't remember small painting as important as Vermeer’s. Modernist vast and minimal architecture encourage simplicity and heft, which often was synonymous with strength, integrity, and stoicism. Abundance of detail and specificity was not aesthetically respectable for the past hundred years.  In my work I do use an overall  compositional structuring similar to abstract expressionist or minimalist paintings, but I also use an image infestation to add more interfering frequencies to the main channel (not to oppose the purity of abstract painting).

Reaching For The Stars, 2018. Oil on wood. 9 panels 96” x 25”


In my childhood I spent endless hours drawing fantastic "maps "of constellations, continents, civilizations, countries, cities, and even our microscopic cells. These "maps" didn't have the goal, or the framing of perspective and narrative that representational painting has. If you draw a map on a square format you have no possibility of change, or to expand, or to imagine derivations.  The formats of my paintings are more like organisms. They allow images to remain in a state of flux. My paintings are not really "finished", but they become “left alone” when they don’t require further attention and cease to bother me further. Because of their nature, none of my paintings can be done in one session. They are built not so much from many physical layers of paint, but through a constant process of readjustment and correction, which can also take many sessions to execute.  Most paintings in this show have many years behind them - some of them were previously shown and had a different appearance.

These paintings are more like mental maps, or labyrinths. Yet, they are not representations of my personal experiences. They are more like devices or tools for a kind of visual journey. Some people may consider them as a meditation device. Equivalence might be suggested by meditational patterns, mandalas, rosaries, bead work, or calligraphic sets.

Representational details are very important to me, and it doesn't matter how small or how mutilated they appear to be. I think they work like clues, guides, or suggestions to trigger something in the mind. Representational images similar to Jungian archetypes lead to layers of references. Perhaps these treasures of the past, even possibly our vast trash sanctuaries, impact our understanding of the present and the future. In my paintings I hope they transform passages of paint into something meaningful. It is said that city maps are drawn from a "birds-eye” view and nations from the creator’s point of view (both are seen from above).For that reason, I prefer to hang my paintings slightly lower than eye level.

Most of my paintings of the last thirty years have had a three dimensional aspect to them. I used to love very complicated constructed shapes for my works. It was literally a concept of many paintings stuck together in a kind of cubist cacophony. This particular ZOOM group consists of mostly a simple and basically rectangular orientation. However, most of the perimeter lines are slightly curved, or digress from the 90 degrees angle. Constant inconsistency of expectations allows the painting to interact with outside space and less interference from the wall, where the wall can become part of the painting or vice versa. The fluorescent color reflections from the painted edges also physically expand and open the work and its interaction with the wall.

I believe that my painting should address the history of this art form and all of its structural devices. The references may appear as hints or suggestions, not necessarily as demonstrations:

1. Color, or its absence...

2. Line, or its absence...

3. Texture, or its absence...

4. Representation, or its absence...

5. Geometry, or its absence...

6. What is painted on, or its absence...

7. Mark, or its absence...

8. Size, or its absence...

9. Composition, or its absence...

10. Repetition, or its absence...

11. Title, or its absence...

12. Space, or its absence...


Julius Ludavičius, November 2018

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