Simona Rukuižaitė | Foundations (To See) | 29/11-16/12/2022 

According to Pliny the Elder, „a single precious stone can provide a matchless and perfect view of Nature”. Discovered while wandering along the slopes of the river, brought to the studio and housed in a box, the stone breaks away from its geological foundation. It becomes an authentic fragment of the earth's history, absorbed with narratives of origins and discovery.
The surroundings infuses the materials with stories about journeys: Terra verde from Verona or red ochre from Sinope carries the mind back to the locations where they were mined. Before appearing on the palettes of ancient painters, the enigmatic yellow of Naples recedes on the slopes of Vesuvius. How to "unlock" the materials, how to make them speak ? I travel back in time to the XIIth century, to the labyrinths of recipes written with a quill of a monk; I rediscover the complex methods for extracting rare colours that the Old Masters of Renaissance immortalized; and I get lost in the tangled turns of the alchemist's mind and allegorical passages.
I am interested in rethinking the connection between painting and pigment, both while gathering materials and developing fundamental concepts. In the context of the exhibition, I focus on the material nature of painting and all of its elements, such as the stages of transformation into pigment and the search for ferrous ochre layers and plants in far-off meadows. What (and how) can the pigment talk by itself, without referring to painting; or rather, by remaining pure, the material is liberated from its imposed form? 

Simona Rukuižaitė (b. 1994 in Vilnius) is a visual artist and researcher interested in the intersections between pigments, materiality and time. Her observations of pigments as substances and research into their geological origins reveal novel approaches to pigment locality and archival processes. 
Currently, Simona is a doctoral candidate of Fine Arts (Vilnius Academy of Arts). She received BA degree in Monumental Arts (fresco and mosaic) and MA in Site-specific art. Since 2015 she is participating in artist residencies and exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad (Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Spain).

The exhibition is sponsored by Association LATGA


Opening | 29th of November (Tuesday) at 6 PM at the VAA gallery Artifex (Gaono st. 1, Vilnius).