Kairienė Joana

5.NebeaktualusPortretas

Irrelevant portrait. 2013, woodcut, oil on canvas, lace, left side 170х120cm, right side 200×120 cm

The self-portrait here is submerged in the very abstract image of the past. Certain transformations of colour and scale do not help to make it relevant, but merely render it into a pretty image. The initial frame fades out, loses its convincing shape and exact contours. Plant is constantly changing its visual appearance according to its own peculiar rhythm. The changes can be noticed very quickly as it grows up slightly every day/moment/second. Every moment becomes unique.


4.Uzlipdavau cia 100x120cm 2012mI used to climb there. 2012, woodcut, oil on canvas, 100×120 cm

That feeling when you come across an object from your past, which makes you to remember old events. The object tells a story and wakes memories, stretching them out over time. It is not a way of nostalgia, but rather inevitable signs that stays in your memory for long.


3.lyg seni sapnaiLike old dreams. 2012, woodcut, oil on canvas, 120×110 cm

Unrealistic colours and scales distance the reality and refer to emotional processes rather than rational perception. Some parts are so abstract, that can only but remind about imperfection of the gaze and its inherence to ignore certain details. Emphatically homogeneous lines and stains here and there create a feeling of routine and repetitive actions.


2 8:04. 2012, woodcut, oil on canvas, 90×125 cm

I imagined as if I was observed by someone, whereas the actual observer was myself. The inner detective recorded my surrounds and things I was touching or using every day. The role assumed made me look for various changes in the arrangement of things – those that might have helped to trace the whole process of the supposed event. Every single thing could become an evidence, as every cause has its peculiar process.


1. Lokalizacija po 80.2х120cmLocalize: under. 2011, woodcut, oil on canvas, 80,2х120 cm

The work brings to the surface things that usually are given little attention, as their visual appearance is dwarfed by their more than obvious utility. Representing them on canvas I pay back homage to them simultaneously raising a question if they have meaning at all and what might be their use besides the practical life? How much the visual side of everyday things is important? What is their place in the hierarchy of useful things?


Studies, fellowships

2010-2012 – MA in Fine Arts, Printmaking, Vilnius Academy of Arts

2006-2010 – BA in Fine Arts, Printmaking, Vilnius Academy of Arts

2012 – Creative workshop with philosopher and painter Rudolf zur Lippe and painter Ingeborg zu Schleiswig–Holstein, Vilnius

2009 – International creative workshop of artist book; Workshop for traditional Asian printmaking (prof. Wayne Andrew Crothers), Vilnius

2009 – Artist book under influence of poetry by Claudio Claudi, International centre for printmaking KAUS, Urbino, Italy

Selected Exhibitions

2013 – Selective exhibition to international biennale JCE, Young Creators of Europe 2013/2015, KKKC, Klaipėda, Lithuania

2012 – ArtVilnius’12 art fair, presented by Titanikas gallery, Vilnius

2012 – Weekly Review in bureau of Modern Art Centre, Vilnius

2012 – Solo show Motyvas (The Cause), Meno niša gallery, Vilnius


Art critic on…

[One] of the three main characteristics of Joana Kairienė’s work that seemingly catch the audience so fast and intensely is the mystery-like nature of her works. In her wood prints she depicts hardly intriguing objects from her close surroundings (studio and home). However from her point of view they are evidences of the events past and causes for future ones. Looking at things depicted, especially at intersections between them, one can imagine stories of those who have lived among them. Her series Localization (2011) and Evidences (2012) attempt to investigate conditions necessary to create intrigue and drama, while depicting peacefully standing things so usual in everyday routines that nearly invisible. The Localization series, the earlier one, plays and creates the tension by confronting different things in the way that radically changes their relation to each other and with the help of dramatic angles. For instance in the work Localization: Clay a decorative clay object is sized up and put in the centre of the artist’s studio. The clay object is black and glossy, and there is a hole on its top. If one does not know its decorative meaning, the purpose of it becomes absolutely unclear making its presence rather sinister.

In the Evidences series unexpected angles and juxtapositions create a consistent mystery-like condition. Titles of the works point to the exact time moments in the morning: 8:03 am, 8:04 am, 8:10 am, 8:22 am. We can follow one’s morning toilet as thoroughly as if we were reading a judicial expertise: to cast a look at a bathroom sink, a washing machine, a towel rack, and a pyramid of seven toilet paper rolls. Everyday routine becomes worth of this sort of inquiry only when something horrible has happened. Fatalists search in one’s routine for signs that might have warned of forthcoming horrors. Pessimists savour the very possibility of horror that might strike any time – dramatic conditions are not nearly obligatory.

Eglė Juocevičiūtė


Keywords of creative practice

time, layering, colour, flat, things and surrounds


Artists I admire

Viktoras Petravičius, Anselm Kiefer, Emil Nolde, Franz Kline


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