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Laima Drazdauskaitė's work Dried Field II was painted in 1996 and is part of a series with the same theme. At first glance we see only a tangle of disorderly and chaotic strokes, the most prominent of which are deep brown, orange and yellow in color. This is a fairly typical work by the artist: it is an abstraction, presenting mood and brushstrokes as its most important features, rather than an embellished, recognizable model.
The painting's title contains the key to understanding the subject of this painting. Laima Drazdauskaitė is a painter who attaches great importance to a specific motif. Many of her works appear to have been created by the artist without recognizable objects in mind. But this is not, in fact, the case. "Each piece has a very specific motif. But as I work I search for the pictorial expression of that motif," says the artist. The riot of browns, yellows and oranges here was inspired by images of a specific field. What we see is a reflection of the field that remains in the artist's memory, passed through the "grinder" of the painting process.

We can find fields like the one depicted by Drazdauskaitė in the autumn, when the grass turns brown and wilts, decked with fallen yellow leaves. Or when a field has been destroyed by fire – after it is put out, all that remains is dried earth and clumps of grass. The main themes this painting calls to mind, then, are heat, fire, drought, and autumn. It is not surprising that colors reflecting these words were chosen for the piece.
This landscape was painted in the action painting style that appeared in the 1950s. According to practitioners of this style, such as a Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollack, a painting is a space in which a painter analyzes and creates what he has seen. Of greatest importance is the artist's hand, moving swiftly and confidently across the surface of the canvas. The brush gestures must remain clearly visible – they create the entire image. When looking at Drazdauskaitė's painting, doesn't it seem that we can see the action captured in the painting? That is why it is often said of action painting works that they are not paintings, but events. The field seen by Laima Drazdauskaitė and depicted in this painting seems to be still on fire and drying up right in front of the eyes of the viewer.

Details

  • Title: Dried Field II
  • Creator: Laima Drazdauskaitė
  • Date: 1996
  • Physical Location: Lithuania
  • Physical Dimensions: 194 x 150 cm
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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