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Jurgis Daugvila : Lithuanian Folk Art

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 216 N Main St Wheaton IL 60187  See map

Burning Bush Gallery is proud to announce the upcoming show Jurgis Daugvila: Lithuanian Folk Art


The Burning Bush Art Gallery in Wheaton, Illinois invites the community to be challenged and inspired through the works in its upcoming show: "Jurgis Daugvila: Lithuanian Folk Art".  The show will feature shrines, grottos, altars and many other works by this world renowned artist.  


The religious shrines of sculptor Jurgis Daugvila are rooted in the folk art tradition of his native country Lithuania. Carved out of wood, the exuberant shrines incorporate an array of religious figures and scenes. They often make reference to traditional Christian iconography – the Annunciation, Madonna and Child, Suffering Christ – or to popular legends of village patron saints. The motifs incorporate religious subjects derived over centuries from Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance sources and art forms, particularly devotional panel painting and exterior sculptural decoration found on European churches and cathedrals.


Daugvila’s rough hewn shrines have the remarkable capability to combine color, form, and subject matter into a unified expression of fervent religious faith and respect for native tradition. The shrines offer viewers a look at indomitable spirit in the face of an oftentimes modern world. The roughness of the wood, at time punctuated with nails and iron, is heavily laden with the gouge marks of the artist’s tools. This imbues the pieces with an immediacy raw personal expression. This in turn enables an intimate rapport between object and viewer.


“We are excited to host this collection of Mr. Daugvila’s work”, says Tony Asta, co-director of the gallery, “this show will invite the viewer to reflect on cultural influences on faith and belief”


The show will also feature other expressions of traditional classic Lithuanian folk art. Some of the works, like applied wood carvings such as spindles, distaffs, towel holders, carved spoons, window shutters, dowry boxes, even though they have lost their practical usage, remain as interior decorative items and are very desired souvenirs. All these objects are decorated with elaborate floral and geometric patterns.


Jurgis Daugvila was born in Lithuania in 1923 and attended the School of Applied Arts in Kaunas before fleeing the advancing Russian forces in 1944. He studied in Berlin and then found his way to the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Freiberg im Breisgau. This art school, established in 1945 by Lithuanian refugees in the French-occupied zone of Germany, sheltered artists of many nationalities. After graduation in 1949 he emigrated to Chicago and fashioned stained glass windows while working in a religious art studio. He spent most of his professional career as a retail display designer and commercial interior planner for an international bank. His aim in wood carvings was to continue the folk art tradition, to revive the symbolic meaning of the ornaments and to recreate primitive Lithuanian village art.  In recognition of this lifetime achievement, in November 1999, Jurgis Daugvila was awarded the Cultural Prize of the Lithuanian Community, the highest honor an artist can receive in the world wide diaspora of his countrymen. Mr. Daugvila passed in 2008.


The show opens Saturday, October 13th. Regular viewing hours are 10 am to 12:30 pm Sundays, 5:30 pm to 7 pm Wednesdays, and 9am to 4pm Monday through Friday. Alternative viewing times or special showings can be arranged by calling Tony Asta at 708-705-8669. Join us for the Artist's Reception, Saturday, October 13th from 6 to 9pm or Sunday, October 14st from 3 to 6pm. The show will end on Sunday, November 11th. The Gallery is located on 216 N. Main St. Wheaton , Ill 60187 . For more information, contact Bill Austin (630-682-1656/bau5142277@aol.com), Rachel Tillman (773-960-5903/rachel.tillman@gmail.com) or Rev. Tony Asta (tonyasta@ameritech.net). The Burning Bush Art Gallery is a ministry of Gary United Methodist Church.


Contact: Tony Asta 708-705-8669 or Cheryl & Marius Daugvila 708-579-5879


 


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The religious shrines of sculptor Jurgis Daugvila are rooted in the folk art tradition of his native country Lithuania. Carved out of wood, the exuberant shrines incorporate an array of religious figures and scenes. They often make reference to traditional Christian iconography – the Annunciation, Madonna and Child, Suffering Christ – or to popular legends of village patron saints. The motifs incorporate religious subjects derived over centuries from Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance sources and art forms, particularly devotional panel painting and exterior sculptural decoration found on European churches and cathedrals.


Daugvila’s rough hewn shrines have the remarkable capability to combine color, form, and subject matter into a unified expression of fervent religious faith and respect for native tradition. The shrines offer viewers a look at indomitable spirit in the face of an oftentimes modern world.


Traditional classic Lithuanian folk art is the country person’s creative work. The home was the center of production and focus for enjoying simple objects that would decorate their daily activities. Some of the works, like applied wood carvings such as spindles, distaffs, towel holders, carved spoons, window shutters, dowry boxes, even though they have lost their practical usage, remain as interior decorative items and are very desired souvenirs. The spindles or the distaffs were an object of pride, usually a gift from a family member or fiancé. It was attached on the outside of the spinning wheel and held raw linen or raw wool to facilitate the spinning process. All these objects are decorated with elaborate floral and geometric patterns.


 Mr. Jurgis Daugvila’s aim in his wood carving was to continue the folk art tradition, to revive the symbolic meaning of the ornaments and to recreate primitive Lithuanian village art.


The religious shrines of sculptor Jurgis Daugvila hearken back to a folk art tradition that once prevailed in his native country of Lithuania. Wooden shrines once dotted the roadsides of country villages and cemeteries in Lithuania denoting places of rest, devotional prayer and thanksgiving. In other cases, they were carved as markers of causes, remembrances of deceased loved ones, and talismans of miracles.


 Jurgis Daugvila has attempted to revive and preserve this once thriving, but rapidly disappearing tradition.


The roughness of the wood, at time punctuated with nails and iron, is heavily laden with the gouge marks of the artist’s tools. This imbues the pieces with an immediacy raw personal expression. This in turn enables an intimate rapport between object and viewer.


Color in Daugvila’s shrines also carries expressive possibilities. Color patterns and interactions create moods in the world that often heightens the meaning of the carved religious figures. For example, beautiful harmonies of blue and violet emphasize an impending blood sacrifice of a Christ soon to be crucified. Ironically, Daugvila’s color application harkens back to medieval and Renaissance technical practices where ground pigment is mixed with gesso (a mixture of chalk and glue – binding material) that produces the milky but rich color harmonies or dissonances in his work.


 Daugvila’s shrines have the remarkable capability to combine color, form and subject matter into a unified expression of fervent religious faith and respect for native tradition. The shrines offer viewers a look at indomitable spirit in the face of an oftentimes confusing, modern world.

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