LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 43, No. 3 - Fall 1997
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
Copyright © 1997 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
THE ART OF VIRGINIJA ŠIAUČIUNAITĖ
Virginija Šiaučiūnaitė and her Pagan Symbols, 1996, monoprint, 26' x 18"
The education Virginija Šiaučiūnaitė received at the academy of Art in Vilnius, Lithuania, between 1974 and 1980 was based on the principles of Socialist Realism. A break came during her stay at the House of Creativity in Palanga, a seashore resort town on the Baltic. She spent only one month there, but it was enough to change her approach substantially, both in the choice of subject matter and in freeing herself from the rigidity of conventional techniques. She started creating semi-abstract monotypes, experimented with mixed-media, gave more attention to imagination and the subconscious. These factors prompted her to search for new forms of expression, for novel affinities between shapes and colors, for emotive depiction of her thoughts. Having been freed from the restrictions, imposed form outside, Šiaučiunaitė started working in a more spontaneous and unpredictable manner. Then she moved to the United States. "America has offered me new challenges. The abundant energy of this land has inspired me to seek a more daring originality, to delve into yet unseen relations of matter in space. When I visited such wonderful vistas like Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon, or Zion National Park, I became fascinated watching the flux of nature that constantly paraphrases itself in ever-fresh compositional varieties." Šiaučiunaitė is an artist who constantly searches for new, exciting techniques, for impressive affinities of colors and shapes and who depends on her enthusiasm and intuition to keeping her on the right track in search for proper expression concerning the realm of life that surrounds her.
Virginija Šiaučiunaitė was born in Lithuania in 1953. In 1980 she graduated from the Academy of Art in Vilnius, Lithuania, with a degree in the graphic arts. Upon graduation she received an appointment to teach drawing and printmaking at the K. Preikšas Institute of Education in Šiauliai. Before coming to the United States, she had several one-person exhibitions and participated in many group shows in various cities in Lithuania. She also designed posters, illustrated books, created a series of 27 linocuts depicting the history and legends of the city of Šiauliai. These prints are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Šiauliai. Her large leather panel Šiauliai hangs in the city hall.
In 1990 Šiaučiunaitė came to the United States and settled in Santa Monica, California. Here she continued working in oils and watercolors, but more so in mixed media graphics, monotypes, and textile. She has also returned to teaching. Her work has been displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum Rental and Sales Gallery; Artist Studio Gallery, Palos Verdes Art Center; 242 Gallery, Rolling Hills Estate; and Desmond Gallery, Los Angeles.
Forgotten Land, 1996, watercolor, 4' x 2'
Lilies, 1991, monotype, 29-1/2" x 48"
Sea World II, 1991, mixed media, 29" x 48"
Fragments in space II, 1991, mixed media, 20"x 26"
Composition, 1991, monotype, 29-l/2"x 48"
Spring, 1994, mixed media, 26-3/4" x 20-1/2"