22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Marius Jonutis

Portrait Marius Jonutis
© Ali Ghandtschi

Marius Jonutis, born in 1965 in Vilnius, is one of the most renowned contemporary artists of Lithuania and is known beyond the borders of his country mainly for his colorfully painted wooden sculptures and book illustrations. He has presented his work to an international audience in more than fifty solo exhibitions in Lithuania, Germany, Denmark and France, often in conjunction with the conceptual ceramics of his wife Nomeda Marčėnaitė.

His works speak with a reduction of form and an intensity of color to both an adult audience as well to the spirit of discovery and the joy of imagining stories in children. After publishing first and foremost as an illustrator for many years, in 2008 he published the poetry collection »mélyna žalia. žodžių rinkiniai be pavadinimų ir skyrybos ženklų« (tr: Blue. Green. a collection of words without names and punctuation) in a double role as author and illustrator. His alternative resume in the book introduction gives details of his self-image as an artist that consciously seeks to cross the boundaries between the visual arts and literature. In the poetry book Marius Jonutis experiments with language and its meaning, the topic love and the interaction between image and text in the medium of the book. He removes the limits of title and punctuation in his lyrical texts and, in doing so, invites you to discover more meaningful contexts for interpretation. In 2009 he released his first independent children’s book »Kirminas paukš: tavo pirmoji knyga apie skraidymo meną« (t: Worm-bird: your first book on the art of flying), that, with multiple levels of narration in words and pictures, tells about the dream of a worm to learn how to fly. Alluding to Richard Bach’s »Jonathan Livingston Seagull« (1970), the parable recounts the quest for the new and unknown, where flying is only a symbol of the longing for freedom and self-determined identity. »The works of Jonutis recall the myths of world beginning. He, like a shaman, with the help of wood and paints, tirelessly forms cosmos. It is done using the modern arsenal of the means of expression and the auto-ironical tune characteristic to a modern person. So, ode for life in the interpretation of the artist never becomes the overt didactics or infantile sentimentality« says the short description of his work on the website www.culture.lt, that represents the current Lithuanian art scene.

Marius Jonutis lives with his family near Vilnius.