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Glass sculptor Remigijus Kriukas: After thirty years, glass still plays tricks on me

Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė ir Remigijus Kriukas
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė and Remigijus Kriukas
Šaltinis: 15min
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“Why do you keep wandering about abroad? Do a show in Lithuania, no one knows about you here,” Remigijus Kriukas, a celebrated glass artist who is somewhat better-known in other countries than in his own, kept hearing from two women of his life.

“Even though I've been living in Lithuania for half a century, it wasn't until last year, upon the suggestion of my wife and mother, that I held my first personal show in my own country, in my native Panevėžys,” smiles the 51-year-old, who has been presenting his works and receiving awards internationally since 1985. “A year ago, my friends decided that I should be known beyond Panevėžys and foreign countries – in Vilnius, too. So they organized a show in this unique setting.”

Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.
Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.

Kriukas has recently opened a show in the Merchants' Club, on Gedimino Avenue, exhibiting pieces created by him and his 37-year-old wife Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė.

The show consists of mystically-lit original glass sculptures, pushing the boundaries of the art of glass which is still rather under-explored in Lithuania.

Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.
Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.

Beyond cups, vases, and chandeliers

The Kriukas family have exhibited their works in seven countries this year alone, as well as in Dusetos, Zarasai District. Seven more personal shows are already planned for next year.

“I must say that Lithuanians have little idea of what glass sculpture is, so we want to show that glass is something more than just a cup, a vase, or a chandelier – it is capable of much more. In other countries, they appreciate the art of glass, while Lithuanians have had little contact with it, even architects are often ignorant of what it can do,” Kriukas notes.

Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.
Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.

He says there are practically no glaziers in Lithuania. In order to become one, you must be a fanatic, love glass as much as you love your wife. “Glass is volatile like women, it does not allow to be approached easily. I've been working to tame it for over thirty years, but it still plays tricks on me. A lifetime will probably not suffice to figure it out,” he sighs.

Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.
Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.

Different styles

Stulgaitė-Kriukienė insists that she and her husband have very different styles when it comes to sculpting in glass.

“In my works, I try to purify an idea, an emotion, a state in a particular form, while Remigijus prefers abstraction, he calls himself a free-thinker. I am more biased towards cold glassmaking techniques, casting, while Remigijus likes heat – since 1995, he has been using his own technique that requires much fire, smoke, and sparks,” the artist explains as she shows the pieces. “Our works are of different scale as well – oftentimes, I cannot even lift his sculptures. So we work separately, the material we use is the only thing in common. We have co-authored only one piece – our daughter.”

Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.
Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.

“And she's the best sculpture of my life!” Kriukas smiles, adding that he has been quite prolific these last few years, leaving little time to spare. The “running sculpture” demands his attention, too.

“Glass is my job, glass and also my glazier wife are my hobbies. We might as well sleep in a glass bed,” Kriukas laughs, declaring his eternal love for glass.

In their Vilnius show, the artistic duo present over 40 pieces, most of them created over the last two years. The exhibition runs until holidays in the Merchants' Club.

Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.
Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr./Remigijus Kriukas ir Indrė Stulgaitė-Kriukienė Vilniuje pristato meninio stiklo kūrinių parodą.

 

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