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Rūta Matulevičiūtė

Rūta Matulevičiūtė is a painter who has exhibited in European countries including Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, and a residency in Bulgaria. She has participated in several art fairs in Europe such as ArtVilnius and Juxtapose. Notable recognition includes a certificate of achievement from the Luxembourg Art Prize and Dalia / Gintaras Gruodis Award. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at T.2 Gallery, John’s Street Gallery, Pamėnkalnio Gallery, and The Room Gallery, all located in Vilnius.

The pristine blue paintings contain blurs and lighting glares as if peering through a hallucination or dream-like daze. Often containing smears of paint with heavy blending, these oil paintings range in subject matter from portraying women, to pieces of crystal and object fragments, elves, classical figures, and portals. Rūta’s work remains unique in portraying fantasy subject matter in a fine art fashion, such a take usually runs unsuccessful but works well with her style of presentation and application. These monochromatic studies almost appear like blurred photographs such as in the works of Gerhard Richter but without the photo realism, with more painterly brush strokes, low saturation and usually low contrast.  The paintings appear to be an exploration as to what representational painting can achieve in contemporary image-making. With blurred, dark and mysterious compositions or flares of bright lights, these works bloom towards reinterpretation of sensory experiences. 

Pigeon (pictured above) depicts a young woman clenching a pigeon with her hands spread apart as if momentarily preparing to release the bird in the air. Her eyes are shut and her nose bleeding as if participating in a ritual, however in Rūta’s portrayal the ceremony remains all too real as indicated by the bloody nose, an effect of the event unfolding. Although there may be no spiritual take to the work at all and the bloody nose may simply be a symbol of struggle while releasing the pigeon may indicate triumph over defeat. A painting which can provide multiple interpretations tends to be the most interesting and more intellectual allowing the viewer to spend time examining the purpose of a painting. With dark hair and a white dress, the female appears like a figure from a play or fluxus / artistic performance. Her arms and fingers are transparent to the point you can almost not see her forearm to the left, even the blurs hide some of her fingers for clear visibility. Pigeon remains a deep painting with purpose, mystery, and allegory. 

As we may find in Rūta Matulevičiūtė’s work, the impression of the subject remains shaped by light rather than color or form. Her distinctive blurs, smears, and light flares contain magical qualities. Not in a surreal manner per say but rather in a study of distorted texture, surface, and light. The shimmering and calm blues throughout the compositions present a sense of calm and serenity as well as unification of her varied techniques and methods of expression. Although not fully expressionistic nor fully realistic and not quite impressionistic, her paintings blur the lines between these specific genres of art. As a fairly young artist, her accomplishments are impressive so far and we will be following her work closely in the years ahead to catch up on the development of these oil paintings. When Rūta’s technical skills increase with experience and as she focuses more deeply towards metaphorical subject matter, the paintings may grow to fully signify a fusion between classical and contemporary aesthetics and ideals.

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