Indre Ercmonaite (b. 1985) studied painting at the Vilnius Academy of Art. She held several solo exhibitions in Vilnius and participated in group exhibitions in Lithuania, Poland and Estonia. In 2010, she became a finalist of the competition “Young Painter’s Prize”. In 2014, Ercmonaitė was assigned a state grant. The painter is also a member of the Lithuanian Artists’ Union.
The most distinct feature of Ercmonaite’s work is pictoriality. She seeks to use the full range of possibilities offered by painting as a means of artistic expression. Her compositions balancing between abstraction, landscape and figurative scenes have a striking visual expression. Rhythmically aligned horizontal strokes are a trademark of the artist’s style. She is fond of spreading a transparent layer of paint on canvas and combining it with “thick” relief painting. The dominant colours in her compositions are bright red and clear green, which are interspersed with subdued pastel tones.
These means not only serve the formal or aesthetic purposes – paintings are conceptualised and equipped with plots. Elements of visual expression participate in the narrative of the work, become alive in the form of a mysterious character, Mister Paint, and are unfolded in the compositions “Flood of Paint” or “Field of Paint” verging on abstraction. In contemporary art, where the idea and concept of the work play a very important role, its material shape often retreats to the background or even disappears altogether. To Ercmonaite, on the contrary, the material character of painting becomes a point of reference in her creative pursuits. She finds the condition of the physical body of painting and its different stages very important. She is also interested in the birth of a painting: the entire creative process, the materials and tools necessary for creating a work of art (paints, canvas, paintbrushes, scrapers, rollers etc.) are also included in her artworks. The further physical existence of a finished painting is also observed (true, the state of being finished is rather relative, as the environment makes a physical impact on the painting, thus extending the creative process already without the artist’s participation). Thus, in her work Ercmonaite makes constant references to painting as a creative phenomenon, and alongside, reflects upon her own work.
And yet, her paintings are not closed and do not exist for their own sake. The spectators are also important to the artist. She actively communicates with them, provokes and teases them. A typical feature of Ercmonaite’s canvases is complex multi-layered plots containing references to urgent global issues, images of the media and pop culture, advertising slogans and other fragments of the daily information flow, which merge into a well-developed narrative. The scenes are composed according to the principle of a comic strip, several different actions take place on the same canvas, and the strategies of irony and absurd are employed. All that is reminiscent of the stream of subconsciousness, a chain of fragmentary impulses, memories, dreams and persistent traumatic images. The compositions do not easily yield to interpretation, hints are hidden in the titles of the works, but they can lead us astray (on purpose?) in the mythology of Ercmonaite’s painting.