Vladas Urbanavičius is one of the most significant 21st century Lithuanian sculptors who have made a significant impact on the formation of the contemporary Lithuanian sculpture tradition, and whose works have become an important part of the cultural field of Vilnius and Lithuania. His works, such as Hanging Stones in Taikos Avenue in Kaunas, The Embankment Arch in the Neris Embankment, or The Cudgel in the sculpture park of the MO Museum, are well-known to everyone, even to those who are not interested in fine arts. The artist’s work resembles that of the Minimalism movement that emerged in America in the 1960s, and whose artists also chose to create from used industrial materials and rusted steel. The artist’s creative field includes sculptures in public spaces, religious and memorial sites. After an eight-year break, sculptural objects created for gallery spaces are being presented again as well. Urbanavičius’ characteristic sensitivity and inventiveness also determine the sculptor’s field of work. This exhibition will be an excellent opportunity to get to know more about.
The solo exhibition Steel Compounds by Vladas Urbanavičius presents the sculptor’s most recent works, which reveal his solutions to the search for materiality and the search for site-specific art. The artist’s work explores the limits of abstract sculpture, the possibilities of scale in space, and the relationship of the work to its environment and its perceiver. Large-scale steel constructions, created specifically for the (AV17) space, overwhelm and, one could say, overcome the gallery. The monumental sculptures, which barely fit in space, reveal author’s extreme attention to the materials used, his subtle sense of form and plastic. By combining various pieces of scrap metal and objects found, the author highlights their importance, conveying both the unique form and the story behind it. The old industrial steel, influenced by time, gives the works a distinctive character and often inspires completely non-technical, conceptual structures. Vladas Urbanavičius invites us to read these stories and analyse our relationship to them in the exhibition Steel Compounds.
Vladas Urbanavičius (1951) – sculptor, 1977 graduated from sculpture studies at the Art Institute (now the Vilnius Academy of Arts). Since 1978 he participated in exhibitions and outdoor sculpture symposiums in Lithuania. The sculptor has been recognized with awards and prizes: the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize (2015), the III Prize of the Vilnius Telecenter Defenders Monument Competition (1991), the I Prize at the Lithuanian Contemporary Art Quadrennial (2005), the Golden Mark of the Lithuanian Artists’ Union (2006). The author’s works have been acquired by private and museum collections in Lithuania and beyond.
Vladas Urbanavičius’ exhibition Steel Compounds will be open at the (AV17) gallery, Totorių str. 5, until the 24th of November 2022.
The project is partly supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.