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Linas Liandzbergis
Linas
About the Author
 
  • Painter.
  • Born 1965 in Vilnius.
  • Graduated from the State Art Institute of Lithuania in 1989.
  • Member of the artists' group "Green Leaf".
  • Works owned by private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
About the Artworks
Linas Liandzberis’s creative biography is marked by two important spheres of activity – individual art production and various curatorial projects – which the artist approaches with equally intense passion and inspiration. This artist’s stance is best defined through the concepts of cooperation, collaboration and openness with which he pursues unexpected connections between art and science, intuition and logic, history and the present.
 
Liandzbergis has produced sound and image installations, performances, video art, and paintings with elements of abstract expressionism, post-painterly abstraction, pop-art, conceptualism, irony, connections between different space-time dimensions, and contrasts between nature and new technologies. After studying painting at Vilnius Art Academy, Liandzbergis joined “Žalias lapas” (Green Leaf), a group of young artists who, during the late 1980s, were among the first to explore postmodern art forms in Lithuania. The artist did action art projects with Džiugas Katinas, created several memorable performances and in 1995–2006 organised a series of international performance festivals. Later, alongside his own art production, Liandzbergis steadily worked at curating various contemporary art projects, organizing cycles of exhibitions at the Užutrakis estate and at the Lithuanian Artists’ Union gallery “Arka.” Working in an artist’s loft in the Naujamiestis area of Vilnius, together with his studio neighbour Artūras Valiauga and his son Rokas Valiauga, Liandzbergis organised, in 2014 in the Kaunas gallery “Meno forma,” a joint video projection, object, and installation exhibition titled “Duona, vynas, laikmena” (Bread, Wine, Medium) which questioned classical values and the problem of signs in the contemporary world. In 2016 he curated the 16th Vilnius International Painting Triennial “Nomadiški Vaizdai” (Nomadic Images).
           
Following these interdisciplinary experiments, from around 2000 the artist returned to easel painting and a distinctive Liandzbergis style emerged. This artist often paints with pure, vivid colours so his canvases evoke classic pop-art compositions. Another substantial category of Liandzbergis’s painting is made up of surrealistic collages which contrast images of nature with those of secondary reality. Here idyllic landscapes and romantic fragments of classical architecture transport us to the realm of the great Western European masters. A the same time, aggressive, brightly coloured objects that the artist calls “stickers” disrupt the painting’s – and, in a sense, the world’s – harmony, while symbolizing the emotional states and experiences of the contemporary individual. The element of collage in Liandzbergis’s work is related to the ideas of the famous conceptual artist John Baldessari, in particular, that artist’s post-1980 multi-layered compositions in which he rejected textual fragments, instead depending solely on the expressive capabilities of the image. Baldessari began using coloured adhesive film to cover characters’ faces and bodies, thus seeking to eliminate any signs of the object’s individuality.
           
Within the contemporary Lithuanian art context, Liandzbergis stands out for his great attention to the interactions of art and contemporary technologies. He looks at the world – at global phenomena and everyday life – not as a romantic savouring colour and the freedom of the brushstroke, but rather as a researcher or contemporary alchemist who is testing the limits of today’s advanced media and searching to understand how they function. In addition, the decorative, poster-like forms of his paintings strongly differ from the expressionism typical of Lithuanian painting.
           
This artist likes to paint in series in which the technologies that have taken over today’s world are transformed into intriguing art objects. Liandzbergis can become so obsessed with a new idea that it often takes him a dozen or so paintings to unravel it. At one point, for example, he was “crazy” about the magic of RGB luminophores. The artist was inspired by the fact that luminescent paint has a memory. RGB is a colour-mixing system which uses red, green and blue light, corresponding to colour receptors in the human eye. It is often used in electronics, computer screens, in coding kinescope screen images, and in programming. Luminophore [L. lumen, light, + G. phoros, bearing] is a material capable of collecting light energy within itself.
 
Liandzbergis is also interested in the most current nanotechnologies, to which he has devoted a series of “nanopaintings.” Contemporary nanotechnologies use especially small material parts to create resilient surfaces with natural cleansing mechanisms, while special “nanorobots” can, according to scientists, be programmed and introduced into the human body in order to perfectly “repair” damaged areas. The curious artist attempts to discover and convey the visual and aesthetic expression of these incredibly powerful micro-particles by utilizing the rhythm and repetition of decorative, abstracted elements and variations on the circle form.
 
At first glance, Liandzbergis’s cold and “calculated” compositions are also full of (auto)irony as well as metaphors of human relations, socio-political references, and existential experiences. Through juxtaposition of the mysterious world of science with the reality surrounding us, through oppositions between organic and “synthetic” bodies, and between images from previous times and our own, the artist conveys the contemporary human disconnection from nature and our deficit of emotion and communication.
 
One would not say that this artist seeks to shock or disturb the viewer with frightening scenarios of the future in which contemporary media will turn the individual into a robot, a faceless cog within an all-encompassing technological system. His imagination generates strange, disturbing situations about the differences, miscommunications and incongruities between eras, periods, generations, lifestyles and worldviews. It may sound like a warning, but Liandzbergis’s works also reveal the attraction of scientific advancement and new technologies, which can, it turns out, be conveyed through the language of painting – through colour, form and rhythm.
 
Kristina Stančienė
 
All works by this artist
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