Edvardas Kokanauskis [1952-2002]
Lithuanian Modernist Surrealist Painter
People, Cat and Clock, c.1999
Oil on canvas
16 x 36 inches
The paintings of Edvardas Kokanauskis (1952-2002) may be recognised at once. The static brown figures often had more life than in the most extreme “modern” expression.
After the death of the painter, the Polish Art Gallery (Polska Galeria Artystyczna “Znad Willi”) established at Išganytojo Str. 2/4, organised a small exhibition of Edvardas Kokanauskis works. The owner of the gallery Mrs. Wanda Mieczkowska reminded that two thousand (!) works of Edvardas were scattered not only in Lithuania but also in private collections of England, USA, Poland, Norway, Spain, Russia, etc.
The painter was not spoiled by critics, he never searched for protection and never followed fashion. Edvardas Kokanauskis started participating at exhibitions since 1975 and communicated closer with two galleries – Vartai and the Polish Art Gallery. His first personal exhibition was organised in Vartai gallery in 1994 – paintings, Christmas miniatures and still-lives were exhibited. Personal exhibitions of Edvardas were also organised in Kauno Langas gallery, Panevėžys photography gallery, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2000, the painter communicated closely with the Polish Art Gallery.
Talking about the paintings of Kokanauskis, one may state at the first glance that all his naked figures of people are alike – they are sitting or squatting not naturally and seem like autumn leaves. However, if one has the patience to look into their eyes, one may meet the look of those figures and feel the entire spectrum of feelings. There is much human memory in the paintings of Edvardals Kokanauskis. He found the original colour, the method of painting and the authentic composition early in his life. Therefore, his works may never be confused with someone else’s – they attract the eye powerfully even though they are laconic and rational