Gallery THE ROOM, 2018, Vilnius

The (Atmo)spheric Forest of Rūta Matulevičiūtė

Ruta Matuleviciute‘s exhibition Sphere teleports us to the forest. Her precise painting manner and mastery convince the mind that we have entered Nature‘s sanctuary. The author identifies the strict following of rationality only as a barrier, a boundary that doesn‘t allow to constantly see anew or from a different perspective. Therefore, it is not strange that Ruta‘s creation is so atmospheric and sense-based.

It seems we can hear the rustling leaves and tree branches swaying with swings tied to them. A mystical light shines in the Park. The souls of trees beam through the bark. This scene slowly dissolves and turns into a wall still remembering and latently holding the reminiscence of it. A window or an opened picture hangs in the wall turned into a winter tale. The deer wading in snow cinematographically turns back and plants his wise gaze. But for Ruta Matuleviciute‘s paintings, the narrative is not characteristic. The miscellany of multiple symbols and hints of potential stories, possible interpretations, not delusive, but of a mysterious and vast forest. To not go astray in this forest, one has to follow the flowing poetry of artworks‘ titles.

Matuleviciute‘s paintings give the scent of resin, crunches with snow, creeks with branches. There is dramatic tension, uneasy waiting, the unknown. But all of that is followed and surrounded as if in a sphere, by a peculiar and unexpected coziness. A pictorial harmony is being built of chaos. In a cold-colored painting warmth burns.

  Everything is subtle, ephemeric, and at the same time – everlasting. This ambivalent effect, perhaps, is created by the author‘s magical realism, full of symbolic accents. Here is a royal well, once more repeats the image of a circle haunting the author‘s creation. This is the coherence with the concept of a sphere, femininity, and spirituality symbol and the echo of the most archetypal image which is the Circle of Life.

The painters‘ creation is based on individually seeing and interpreting the most foundational images of the collective unconscious. The author reads philosophical works non-stop, studies Mircea Eliade’s books on mythology, studies the written works of psychoanalytics as she considers the unconscious the most important guidance of life and creation. She is most fond of theories and concepts of C. G. Jung, whose works linked her to studies of alchemy and various religions She is also very aware of shamanic thought, magical thinking (works by G. Mazeikis). She finds the correlations between Eastern and Western philosophy as well as pagan wisdom, which gives a versatile worldview.

However, the author does not seek to dissociate from the matter and shut in an intellectual hermitage. So Bambi sticks out his tongue and reminds us about the temporal existence and the illusion of omniscience. But it is not a cynical statement, but rather an encouragement to open the eyes wider and see the magic in everyday life. This artist follows the holistic views, where everything is one. Seeing her visionary paintings we too without noticing become more sensitive to the environment. In this case – the art and its perception.

Art critic Austeja Mikuckyte-Mateikiene