Drawings-paintings

04 09 2019 – 12 10 2019

At 6 pm, Wed, September 4th, THE ROOM gallery (Polocko St 17, Vilnius) opens Leo Ray’s exhibition of drawings-paintings ‘Summer-autumn’.

On view till 12 October 2019

‘While nature and its cyclic flow goes through dramatic changes of summer giving its place to autumn, the artist Leo Ray working from Lithuania and Israel, catches the fleeting moment in a Faustian manner with his collection of drawings-paintings ‘Summer-autumn’ hosted by THE ROOM gallery in Vilnius, Užupis.

Drawing and painting coexist in the artist’s work like do these natural seasons. Just like autumn would not be there without summer (and finally, maybe in a less straightforward manner, after the period of winter-spring repose, even the opposite is true), so cannot colour exist without line. Neither is the latter thinkable without the former. In the title, with ‘summer’ being capitalized, and ‘autumn’ spelled in lower case, this seems to prompt that the artist dedicates more attention to the hot season of the year. The emotionally sizzling, scorching and melting atmosphere of Ray’s work corroborates the assumption. While the exuberance of colour that marks out the strategy of this artist, is characteristic of autumn too…

The backbone of Leo Ray’s expression is his calligraphically fluent line, while his vibrant colours, dazzling by their jazzy combinations are both the aim and the outcome of his work. Colour reinforces the structural character of a drawing, while the line gives colour structure and makes it speak in the most potent ways. Leo Ray is also a natural storyteller. He resorts to motifs, symbols and all other imaginable iconographic devices to render his fascinating ironical mise-en-scènes. In his work, we encounter quotations from classical art and attributes from mass culture, relics of domestic life, his personal insights and observations. The compositions teeming with plastic, formal and narrative, literal substance lure the viewer’s eye, mind and intuition into belief that it is the reality of realities, the essential topicality of life. Very similarly does autumn when it enters to take the place of summer…’

Text by the exhibition curator dr. Vidas Poškus

Leo Ray was born in 1950 in Vilnius, where he graduated from Vilnius University and Vilnius Academy of Arts. Since 1991, he lives in Tel Aviv (Israel). The artist produces paintings and graphic works, combining his artistic career with teaching of painting and calligraphy at the New Artists’ Collegium (CAN) and a Basis art school in Israel. Leo Ray has given over 25 solo exhibitions in Lithuania and Israel and has taken part in over 40 group events in Lithuania, Israel, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Japan, Romania, Sweden, Finland, USA and elsewhere. The artist holds a jury diploma from the Baltic medal art triennial (1986), a jury prize from the Lithuanian medal art triennial (1987), the Buchman-Heyman Foundation prize for painting (1998), the first jury prize from the International small graphic work salon at Baia Mare, Romania (2000). His work is held by museums and private collections in Lithuania and abroad.