From August 17, Vilnius gallery Meno Niša is inviting to the debut personal exhibition New Seas by Paulius Makauskas. At the exhibition, the artist will present a series, which last year made him one of the winners of the International Photography Awards, one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world.
Paulius Makauskas, a native of Palanga, graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts with a degree in audiovisual arts, and has worked as a film photographer and in advertising for many years. He has participated in group reportage and creative photography exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad.
In 2020, the artist became one of the winners of one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world, the International Photography Awards. In total, more than 13 thousand works from more than 120 countries were submitted to the competition. Paulius Makauskas’ series New Seas won first place in one of the main categories of analog photography and at the same time was among the 13 best candidates for the IPA 2020 Photographer of the Year award.
According to Sonata Baliuckaitė, the curator of Meno Niša, the gallery is constantly looking for new talents, therefore Paulius Makauskas, despite having many achievements and awards in the field of photography, is just beginning his creative exhibition activities and is a kind of a new discovery that the gallery wants to help integrate into Lithuanian and international art market.
“When I saw Paulius’ series of abstract photography New Seas, I was very interested, because it reflects the gallery’s profile – in addition to the figurative, we have a number of representatives of abstract painting, such as Rūta Katiliūtė, Gustas Jagminas, Paulius Šliaupa. Therefore, Paulius Makauskas really fit in with the group of artists represented by the gallery,” said the curator of Meno Niša, adding that the gallery represents artists of various media: painters, sculptors, installation and video creators, but there are few photographers in this circle.
Reflecting on the complex and multi-layered problems of the climate crisis, the whole path of the New Sea series is analog. The process is long, slow, and meditative. The works were photographed on slides, with a large 4×5 format camera. Prints were done by hand, in a complex and rare reverse chromogenic way.
“Timothy Morton calls climate change a hyperobject. It is an incomprehensibly large object that extends over time and space. Knowable only in parts, but never all at once. I realized that this pattern is like an echo replicated by microplastic. Particles barely visible (or completely invisible to the naked eye) but ubiquitous in the ocean. Like a synthetic plankton of various colors, an unobtrusively wandering superorganism. Watching the see for a long time, I would even say obsessively, I realized that the ridges of white waves create a vast, white-gray leaf in space and time. In order to reveal what is invisible, I have only to fill it with light,” says Paulius Makauskas about his starting points.
The photographer emphasized that the series New Seas symbolizes not only changes in the seas and the ocean. A very important question for him is how the unforeseen side effects of our way of life could form the basis for global action to develop new and sustainable models.
Paulius Makauskas’ photography exhibition New Seas at gallery Meno Niša will run from August 17 to September 4.
The project of the exhibition is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
The gallery is sponsored by Vilnius City Municipality