Contemporary Art Center

Gintaras Znamierowski2011

Modern Art Center / Modernaus Meno Centras

Modern Art Center / Modernaus Meno Centras

The title of this painting from 2011 doesn't mislead: we do indeed see within the work the stairs of the Contemporary Art Centre located on Vokiečių Street in Vilnius. It is also easy to recognize the painting's actors: the man in a business suit at the top of the stairs is a curator or, as the artist likes to say, an arts manager or a "promising art history speculator." The elderly woman climbing the stairs is the image of a determined art lover on her way to view a collection. We can also recognize two pieces of art history within the work: Black Square by Kazimir Malevich at the top of the stairs, and the elderly woman's vest adorned with motifs by Piet Mondrian.
Znamierowski describes the scene captured in his painting: "One could say that this is a closed circuit, operating on a looping principle, like a mechanical harpsichord. I aspired to a never-ending climb, as if the old woman were stepping in place and the stairs were an endlessly moving escalator in some shopping mall..."
In our examination of this painting, as with other works by Znamierowski, it is beneficial to keep the artist's position in the art world in mind. He maintains a critical and ironic, "outsider" point of view. The artist holds exhibitions of his works in spaces others consider to be "marginal," in an attempt to separate himself from both modernist traditions as well as contemporary art processes: away from the art market, from ratings, from fashionable themes. Znamierowski is the only artist in Lithuania who has intentionally assumed such a position for a considerable period of time. Remember that he willingly left his studies at the Vilnius Academy of Art and chose a style that was fundamentally opposite to the expressionist tradition prevailing at the time.

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  • Title: Contemporary Art Center
  • Creator: Gintaras Znamierowski
  • Date: 2011
  • Physical Location: Lithuania
  • Physical Dimensions: 120 x 60 cm
  • Medium: oil on canvas