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On May 10th an exhibition  “Conversion“ by Lithuanian sculptor Rafal Piesliak has been opened at the “Portfolio“  gallery in Biržai.

The work of Piesliak can be divided into periods, during which the artist dedicates all of his creative energy to the development of a specific theme. In sculptors’ works, social and interpersonal problems are often recognized, as well as the topics of the fragility of collective memory. In his latest solo exhibition, the artist summarizes important, lately developed creative lines – the preservation of memory and the relationship of light with man and his environment. These themes are explored in sculptural objects made of steel, porcelain, crystal, and brass.

Conversion in Rafal Piesliaks’ exhibition defines not only the change of objects’ shape but also the change of their’ meaning. The fractured pottery of various periods, no longer used by people, is collected by the artist and combined into a sculptural body, changing its’ function and giving it another meaning. The created forms help to re-experience the objects that have surfaced from the past and the related contexts of collective memory. The conversion is also visible in space, changing the atmosphere with lighting.  Artist experiments and combines light sources with different sculptural materials and forms, thus analyzing their relationship to each other and to the environment. Light radiating from the objects forms a connection with the viewer and a unique experience of their surroundings. In his sculptures, Rafal Piesliak reveals references to historical, cultural, and social contexts and draws in the viewer to recognize and interpret them.

Rafal Pesliak (b. 1983) lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania. He graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts in sculpture in 2008. The artist has presented his works in public spaces: the object “Wheel” in the Lithuanian Fairy Tale park, a sculptural plate “Art in space, space in art“ near VAA, and a few objects in Krzyżowa, Poland. The artist has actively participated in exhibitions since 2009. He has had solo shows in Lithuania, Italy, and Latvia. The sculptor also creates stage designs for the theatre. In 2010, he was awarded Polish State Award for Cultural Merits and in 2020 he received the best ArtVilnius’20 installation award for the artwork “Garden”, which is now a part of a Vilnius city.

The gallery (AV17) organizing the exhibition is located in Vilnius; this space has been actively working with contemporary art for 11 years. This is one of few Lithuanian galleries that exclusively exhibit contemporary objects, sculpture, and installation art. In addition to regular exhibition activities, the gallery implements various international and regional artistic and educational projects, and carries out exchange programs with foreign and Lithuanian creators, thus promoting the dissemination of contemporary art in our country and Europe.

The project is partially sponsored by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Rafal Piesliak’s solo show “Conversion” will be open until June 29, at the art gallery Portfolio, Rotušės st. 12, Biržai.