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Eglė Ridikaitė
About the Author
  • Painter.
  • Born 1966 in Kupiškis.
  • Studied at S. Žukas Technical School of Applied Art in Kaunas in 1982–1986. Graduated from Vilnius Art Academy in 1997.
  • Works owned by the Lithuanian Art Museum and private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
About the Artworks
Eglė Ridikaitė's large unframed canvases that are to be pinned directly to the wall make one think of tarpaulins, sails, wallpapers or tablecloths. Although being completely flat, they acquire a certain materiality typical of objects. The artist does not use any specific painting techniques to create spacial depth or a three-dimensional illusion, but rather emphasizes the flatness of the paintings.
The main theme of Ridikaitė's early paintings is emptiness that may bring to mind the blue of the sky, fluffy clouds, a plastered wall, a crumpled bed sheet or a zoomed-in sheet of paper. Against light background, using oil paint but creating a visual effect of black or blue ink or Indian ink, she draws abstract irregular shapes, single sketchy drawings of furniture or other items, or else draws up an entire apartment plan marking and naming every one of its details. Handwritten words, sentences and numbers acquire an important function in these paintings. At times, these entries are included in the title of the painting itself. Along with pictorial motifs, they are paradoxical and contain peculiar humour characteristic of the author: e.g. a pattern of irregular circles is called “A few spirits that protect me”. These entries and the nature of the drawings are close to wall drawings in public spaces. Later on, Ridikaitė went down this road even further and replaced oil painting with aerosol spray used by graphic artists.
Today, the everyday and its aesthetics are the source of creativity for Eglė. The painter has developed a distinctive strategy to relate her own lifestyle and social position as well as those of her close ones. Ridikaitė creates laconic signs that approximate those found in advertising or animated cartoons and that describe the environment and habits of characters who are absent from the paintings. Her depiction of household appliances is fragmentary, focusing only on individual details that are zoomed in or enlarged like on a cinema screen. Old-fashioned Soviet-era items such as carpets, bedspread ornaments, parquet floor, wall decoration, furniture and lamps are of particular importance in her paintings. All these motives are related to her own personal belongings. For instance, the composition of a painting may consist of two red and blue woollen blankets, a typical Soviet household attribute deemed to be of great value and belonging to the painter and her sculptor husband; or else it might depict deadwood furniture units or an infant bed gifted by friends, relatives or acquaintances.
Oldness and wear and tear of objects is also a self-ironic reference to the poor ascetic conditions of life of most artists belonging to Ridikaitė's generation. Some of her objects hide hints to the artistic profession chosen by the author: the note “CAC TV” is shown on the TV screen and a little sculpture is placed in front of the infant bed. There are also items whose functions are absurdly “disrupted”, as with an aquarium placed on the table with unidentifiable tools floating in it. Another theme in the iconography of Ridikaitė's paintings is  that of a woman – an artist, a wife and a mother – withdrawn into a claustrophobic home space.
Ridikaitė titled her 2007 solo exhibition “Persecuting images”. In these paintings, depressing monotony makes all the things that are visible every day acquire some quaint magic, wherein nostalgia and intimacy intertwine with boredom and the burden of loneliness. Through the painting process, the artist turns this crushing power into flat objects and light, pale shadows and transforms the entire environment into canvas wallpaper. The drawn image becomes the central part in the painting, while tonal colour effects perform a supplementary function. Here, the use of graffiti style and aerosol spray to depict the intimate world of home takes on the aspect of self-humour and “liberation”.
Raminta Jurėnaitė
All works by this artist
All artworks Painting Mixed media
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