Nostalgia lives there.
I had not been to M. Žilinskas Art Gallery (unreadable webpage) in Kaunas for a about 20 years. Until yesterday.
So what had changed in that time, I wondered, as I climbed the stairs (passing the giant sculpture of a naked man which has been causing endless complaints since 1989 from the prudent ladies and gentelmen of Kaunas).
|The power of a bare willy! Petras Mazuras managed to produce a sculpture that has be causing discontent among prudent Lithuanians for over 20 years now. No need for Salman Rushdie here.|
The answer is - I don’t know what had changed, if anything.
The building is a good example of grandiose Soviet architecture. It still maintains most (if not all) original features, including crouching toilets and a room Nr 428 accessed from the ladies lavatories. I am assuming that the room is the office/storage for the cleaning lady and it is expected that a lady (not a gent) will be cleaning the toilets.
|Original toilet from 1989. Most certainly adds to the charm and the atmosphere of the gallery.|
There are clear signs ekspozicija, taking you to the exact place where you should be starting. The rooms are minded by a selection of sombre looking old women, who’s watchful eye will prevent you from touching the glass or - God forbid! - anything else.
The arrangement of the objects follows a rather mysterious sequence. I am sure they are expertly arranged. (It is not them, it is me) There is also a noticeable lack of information about the artefacts. Most of the vitrines are titled XIXc Europe. Or XIXc Russia, from Xyz collection. Am I that interested in who owned the object previously? Or am I more interested in what the object is? A lot of paintings are disastrously lit, with frames casting shadows over the work.
|How not to light the paintings.|
The gallery also hosts a special exhibition Mirábile Visu / Nuostabu matyti for the 90th aniversary of M.K.Čiurlionis museum. Some rooms are filled with artworks that the museum had acquired over specific decades. Result? The rooms look like a cacophonous selection of art with a number of surprisingly modern juxtapositions: a huge classical painting along a selection of round 50's pots and opposite a traditional textile. There is certainly something something in it.