31 May, 2024STARTS 3 November, 2024eNDS
Exhibition Hall III

On this day… Stasys arrives back at his home village, Lepšiai… It all happens in May 2024… That’s when the Stasys Museum opens up to the public, a museum titled after him. This was never predicted – the future from there, a little village, in the house within a disorderly wooden structure, run down with dripping roofs, filled with bellowing, roaring farm animals… No fairy tales could be heard there… But just one hour’s walk away from Lepšiai, the white rectangular building stands proudly in the city centre of Panevėžys… Stasys’ family farmhouse could fit into the space of the newly built museum, just like Legos, or how a relic found by children will fit in a matchbox. The old, long-gone farmhouse decayed years ago…

Though artefacts and memories still exist… They exist, vivid and frozen by Stasys’ recollection… The house, a well, shovel, rake, scythe, ladder, carriage wheel, pile of straws…

Unsafe Kiss. Pastel on paper, 239×152 cm, 1995.

Striking and gloomy was the site of his childhood… but all same provocative and inspiring… Little Stasys always found his way to escape to his imaginative world – the world of his creativity. He used found objects, such as wire from the chain link fence or straw from the barn, to make up imaginative characters who became inspirational and emblematic in his artworks, which in the future he would call his one-line drawings.

Stasys Eidrigevičius was constantly caught by unique ideas and artistic expressions that still nowadays go beyond pencil and paper. He is a multi-instrumentalist visual artist. Stasys’ oeuvre consists of paintings, posters, illustrations, pastels, graphic arts, drawings, watercolours, sculptures, installations, photography, performances, scenography, costumes, writing, directing and even acting. The most visualized subjects in his work are humanoid bodies, often given body parts augmented with household or farmhouse tools, animals or dwelling structures. His human-like creatures often do not have limbs. They are still able to move and stay alive with the help of other humans, objects, plants or animals, but in a rather constrained, uncomfortable and restricted capacity. His subjects and objects combine into continuous, uninterrupted chain.

Blue Tale. Pastel on paper, 239×152 cm, 1995.

Stasys’ human has a few iconic faces: one with no face, as in most of his so-called one-line drawings; the other one depicts a face within a face or combined with regular objects, and are decorative as well as richly coloured, with Stasys’ deep-gazing, iconic eyes; yet another might be condemned to act like Pinocchio, a long-nosed lad – the character which first appeared in 1976 in his Ex Libris, and later in other artistic genres. Stasys is able to connect across generations due to his ability to create meaning in diverse techniques and genres. He has made illustrations for dozens of books for children and adults, printed in many languages around the globe.

The title of Stasys Eidrigevičius’ exhibition, ICON-O-STASYS, might sound puzzling, but its meaning is revealed playfully. There are several suggested interpretations, and they could be followed by others yet: it is ultimately open to the visitors. We could pronounce it “icon” or “icono” Stasys, but we would still recognize the word icon. But if we separate out the symbol O, then it would have a different implication, being associated with a face or an eye expressed in the Primitive style. Both are significant subjects in Stasys’ oeuvre. It might also mark a focal point, representing the intersection between Stasys and the public, and between the public and the museum…

Palace. Bronze, metal, 347×60×60 cm, 2011.

The exhibit ICON-O-STASYS encompasses more than 1,000 square metres, including the three floors of the museum and the installation outdoors. The whole second floor is dedicated to moments from Stasys’ biography, which introduces the timeline of his creativity as well as the landscapes of his childhood and relatives. The third floor will remain a permanent exhibition of almost all the techniques the artist has worked with. The fourth floor has a more interdisciplinary approach, consisting of short cinema and video documentation of performance, and will also be a temporary exposition.

Question. Tempera on paper, 11,6×8,4 cm, 1979.

Author of the text: Lina Albrikienė
Exhibition curators: Lina Albrikienė, Ignacy Eidrigevičius
Exhibition architect: IMPLMNT
Designers: Rūta Rancevaitė, Sigutė Chlebinskaitė
Light artist: Renaldas Bartulis