Petras Mazūras is a Lithuanian sculptor, creator of monumental and small-scale sculptures, a representative of the so-called silent modernism, who started to create conceptual sculptures during the years of independence. The artist contributed to the formation of Lithuanian sculpture traditions; his works are part of the public spaces of many Lithuanian cities, and his ideas remain relevant to this day.
From his earliest works, Mazūras reflects on the relationship between art and reality. It was only when the opportunity to create with modern materials became available that the sculptor began to boldly integrate them into his works. In his work, technological solutions are used to combat naturalness, a juxtaposition that is reflected in material and form: the sculptor combines synthetic materials and complex engineering structures with natural elements.
After an eight-year hiatus, Mazūras presents a solo exhibition of recent works. The title of the exhibition, “Liugujie Labos Raitos” (“I wish you a good journey”), borrowed from the old Lithuanian language, reflects the main themes of the exhibition – time, events, road, places. The sculptor transforms the exhibits into artistic time capsules, which are used in the exhibition to tell two stories that are important to him – the nation’s and his own.
In these works, the artist explores the concept and meaning of historical and personal time: contemporary materials are layered with references to historical moments, important episodes in the nation’s history, and ethnic and contemporary signs – from the formation of the state to today’s political attitudes. The sculptor’s works are intertwined with both his cultural and civic identities – through his narrative, Mazūras seeks not only to preserve and update these images but also to draw attention to today’s identity, which tends to distance itself from the signs of the times.
The exhibition is complemented by autobiographical elements – the themes of personal time and memory are developed in parallel – the artist, by telling the story of his family, recreates a work that was constructed in 1963: the traditional forms, fused with modern materials, represent creative continuity. Experiences and stories are materialized in contemporary sculpture that weaves together the signs of the past with today’s issues and touches on themes of personal and collective memory.
Petras Mazūras (b. 1949) is a sculptor who graduated from the Lithuanian Art Institute (now Vilnius Academy of Arts) in 1973. From 1973–89, he taught at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art, since 1989, he has been teaching at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, from 2001–2018, he was the Head of the Sculpture Department of the Vilnius Academy of Arts and a professor. Since 1974, he has participated in exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad. His works have been acquired by the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, the M. K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art, the MO Museum, as well as private Lithuanian and foreign collectors. In 2004, the sculptor was awarded the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Art.
Petras Mazūras exhibition “Liugujie Labos Raitos” is on view until 30th November at the (AV17) Gallery.
The project is partly supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.