Kaunas Town Hall
February 6th – March 1st
The influences of colours, the combination of space and the fine details that they create, the slight allusions to the place and time of the action: these are not only the features of the scenery created by Giedrė Riškutė, but also of the scenography at the Kaunas Musical Theatre, where Giedrė was working as an artist. One usually goes to watch performances, which indicates the importance of images created by the artist; the exhibition highlights that at the end of the 1970s and in the 1980s scenography in Lithuania underwent radical changes and distanced from the narrative vividness, imitating the reality. It should be noted that it was used less in musical than in drama theaters, but musical performances also had certain canons, such as splendid and luxurious realistically painted horizons. After graduating from the Academy of Arts, Riškutė started working at the Kaunas Musical Theatre and did not attempt to implement revolutionary changes immediately. The history of the Musical Theatre and the past of the hall and foyer interiors, which dated back to the pre-war glory of the State Theatre, were a restricting factor for the artist. Therefore, her sceneries contain certain luxury, which reminds more of a miracle if one looks carefully at the sketches and splendour. They are created in extremely subtle and innovative ways, refusing literal image construction and gradually evoking associative and indirect references to space and time parameters of the performance. In the paintings of the exhibition, the magical atmosphere is revealed not only in the sketches of scenery and costumes for the performances for children, but also in serious images for adults. This is influenced by the artist’s special colouristic taste, which highlights her ability to create an action mood with both colour contrasts and subtle nuances, complemented by size, texture, and lines, which contribute to the composition. This is not surprising because in parallel with her work at the theater, Giedrė was constantly painting, as well as designed many theater, Kaunas, and other festivals and events in the city. The requirements of the artist for herself are expressed by the fact that no exhibit was created for exhibitions as they all are sketches for the theater. However, in the exhibition, they are so aesthetic and effective that the awards for most performances for children at the festival “Theaters for Children” (“Cinderella,” 1997, “Let’s Create an Opera,” 1979, “The Nutcracker,” 1999) seem to be self-evident. This exhibition is an infrequent opportunity to “see” the long-overdue performances of the Kaunas Musical Theater, while for the theater visitors this is a chance to compare the changes in the contemporary and already historical images.
Curator of the exhibition and author of the text – art critic Dr. Dalia Karatajienė
The exhibition was created by Prof. Giedrė Riškutė Kariniauskienė
Part of the works on display is the property of the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum
The exhibition will be open at Kaunas Town Hall (Rotušės Sq. 15) from February 6th until March 1st