Antanas Kazakauskas: All Is Programmed
On September 30 – November 13, 2021, an exhibition of graphic art, book art, and graphic design Antanas Kazakauskas: All Is Programmed will be held in memory of artist Antanas Kazakauskas (1937–2019) at the Vilnius Graphic Art Centre’s gallery Kairė-dešinė. Opening on September 30, 2021, 6 PM.
All is programmed. This was the phrase that Žygimantas Augustinas, who had had a close relationship with Antanas Kazakauskas for the last 30 years of the latter’s life, pointed outin his recollections as having been one of the main pillars of Kazakauskas’ philosophy. “I remember his explanation of what art is: “Say, a man is walking in the meadow, and he starts singing. Maybe he can’t sing very well, maybe he even does not have an ear for music, but still he is singing.” […] Antanas was a fatalist who insisted that nothing depended on a person, that all was programmed.”.
This phrase by Kazakauskas became the foundation of the exhibition and the book concept. Programmed events, style codes, quotations, various ciphers, and links were sought by examining the newly discovered graphic works, posters, examples of book design and magazine graphic art by Kazakauskas, preserved mostly in his personal archive.
In 1962 Kazakauskas graduated from the Graphic Art Department at the resentday Vilnius Academy of Arts, and became the first one to defend a final work in the field of advertising graphic design. Having started working for the Vaga and Mintis publishing houses already in his study years, Kazakauskas designed over 150 books by Lithuanian and foreign authors, and created the design of the popular book series Drąsiųjų keliai (Paths of the Brave) and Noriu žinoti (I Want to Know). During the period between 1965 and 1996 he worked as the art editor of the Mūsų gamta (Our Nature) magazine. Kazakauskas turned Mūsų gamta into a decades-long project of personal experimentation in graphic design.
While creating modern graphic series during the Soviet era, Kazakauskas followed certain self-isolation principles in order to distance himself from the ideologised world of official art. Hence, his most interesting discoveries in the field of graphic art from the 1960s and 1970s are only now being presented to the public for the first time.
The retrospective exhibition also features books, their covers and dust jackets, posters and postcards designed by Kazakauskas. The exposition includes an installation with commentaries on the content of the catalogue created for the 1968 London exhibition and issues of the Mūsų gamta (Our Nature) magazine. In the exhibition visitors will also be able to see drawings the artist made during his study years, artifacts that reflect his work methods, sketches and photographs, as well as a selection of examples from Kazakauskas’ collection of Polish, Czech, French, and Swiss graphic design books and magazines. Most of the exhibits are from the artist’s personal collection. Objects were also lent for the exhibition by the Lithuanian Artists’ Association, Martynas Mažvydas National Library, Julijus Balčikonis, Karolina Jakaitė, Maratas Tairovas, and Dainius Liškevičius.
Curators: Julijus Balčikonis, Karolina Jakaitė
Exhibition architecture: Julijus Balčikonis
Graphic design: Tadas Karpavičius
Exhibition design objects: Julijus Balčikonis, Marija Repšytė, Paulius Vitkauskas
Creative Hours dedicated to Antanas Kazakauskas: Sigutė Chlebinskaitė
Project coordinator: Jurga Minčinauskienė
The project is partly funded by: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius Municipality, Family of Antanas Kazakauskas
Partners: Design Foundation, Design Forum, Ekspobalta, Janina Monkutė-Marks museum-gallery, Knygų šalis, Lithuanian Artists’ Association, Lithuanian National Museum of Art National Gallery of Art, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania,
Publishing house LAPAS, Sodas 2123, Vilnius Academy of Arts
Media sponsor: 7 meno dienos
For more information: +370 5 261 1995
Opening times: II–V 11.00–18.00, VI 11.00–15.00