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Wish I Could Paint Like That

November 7, 2011

I guess every artist feels anxious before their exhibition, but how many of them doubt themselves and their abilities? How many of them look at their artwork and think that „there‘s no quality“? And will you believe that Algimantas Švėgžda (1941 – 1996) was one of them?

A.Švėgžda - Autoportrait

Algimantas Švėgžda – one of the most prominent 20th century Lithuanian painters, graphics, drawers and philosophers, in my opinion, was too hard on himself – looking through the prism of healthy realism he knew he would never be as good as Rembradt, yet at the same time he couldn‘t stop thinking that his paintings lacked quality.

One of the so called "dialyses drawings" - pencil and watercolours

A.Švėgžda‘s style had changed a lot throughout the years – the youth period resulted in big and bright poster like popart style paintings, but everything changed completely after the artist got ill and moved to Germany – he started painting ordinary objects that could fit on a chair standing next to his bed: apples, wooden sticks, books. His creativity was a form of meditation and as every hour was used for painting or drawing the artist‘s legacy is really vast.

The Green Box (tempera and oil)

Out of 55 the last 20 years the artist was fighting with death, which kept patting him on the shoulder. In 1982 he had his kidneys transplanted in Berlin and afterwards stayed in Germany, yet never forgot his motherland – Lithuania.

One of A.Švėgždas still lives (tempera and oil)

 After the independence he gave most of his artwork, hundreds of paintings, to several Lithuanian museums.

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