22 January – 23 February, 2013

Opening reception 22 January (Tuesday), 6 p.m. 

The solo show of Nerijus Erminas opening in Vartai Gallery will feature the artist’s latest works sensitively speaking out on existential and spiritual experiences and searches through the use of different objects. Two rooms will display two different installations interconnected by joint atmosphere and multi-layered content. 

Containing a certain surreal subconscious layer, Erminas’ works reflect a notably sensitive, sharp and subjectivised approach towards casual environment looking for symbols, references and answers hidden in familiar items. The works can also be distinguished for material and empirical diversity (wood, amber, organic glass, ready-made) manifesting mature conceptual and aesthetical solutions for using the materials as well as technical excellence of the artist. 

The title of the first installation, The Cabinet of Mary Magdalene (Marijos Magdalietės kabinetas), refers to the Biblical story about the sinful woman who became Christ’s follower and whose role in the Bible has been subject to infinite controversial interpretations and has almost become a part of pop culture. The artist sees the character of Mary Magdalene as a multi-layered metaphor of spirituality, faith and devotion perceived in a variety of ways ranging from genuine (self-)reflection, identification and fetishizing to irony and criticism. Objects of different materials, purposes and content are arranged following the principle similar to that of creating scenography. Each object is individual on its own, but in the context of other items each of them acts as an active participant and a reference creating a certain joint message or story. 

The same principle applies to the other installation titled The Unseen (Tai, kas nematoma), which is a reflection on the topic of retribution and insight. The artist sensitively arranges different items and elements avoiding both verbalisation and straightforwardness. He focuses on the atmosphere created by the internal interconnections of the work, the emotional experience and confrontation with the issues that are relevant and familiar to everyone. 

Nerijus Erminas (born in 1976) is one of the most exciting contemporary creators of Lithuanian sculpture and objects. He lives and works in Vilnius. He has graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts in Telšiai ant Vilnius with a degree in sculpture. He won an award for the most prominent small plastic work in the Sculpture of the Year 2009 competition, and a jury prize for the best presentation of a sculpture in the contemporary art fair ArtVilnius in 2012. 

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