NEWS: Dulwich Picture Gallery Announces M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds Exhibition

The exhibition is set to go on display at the gallery from the 21st September.

M.K. Čiurlionis, Angels (Paradise), 1909. Tempera on paper, 47 x 61.8 cm. Courtesy M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art, Kaunas.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery has announced details of its upcoming Autumn exhibition, which will be the first UK exhibition of work by the Lithuanian artist and celebrated composer M.K. Čiurlionis.

This new display will bring together over 100 pieces by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911), widely credited as Lithuania’s greatest artist. The exhibition will feature paintings created throughout his short but prolific career, with most travelling to the UK for the first time.

On display in chronological order, M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds will explore how he used tructure and colour to create works that sit between mythology and reality. The exhibition will highlight the breadth of Čiurlionis’ interests, with a focus on humankind’s relationship to the universe, and examine the themes and motifs that aligned his art to European Symbolism. This will be seen through works such as Creation of the World (1905/1906), The Zodiac (1906/1907) and Rex (1909).

This exhibition will also oreground Čiurlionis’ cycles: the groupings of works he created where scenes and narrative evolve over time. Highlights will include Creation of the World (1905/1906), a series of 13 paintings in which Čiurlionis manifests his own visions of the creation story, and Winter (1907), a cycle of eight paintings, which illustrates his move towards abstraction.

But it will also highlight his musical compositions through an immersive aural experience that will introduce visitors to Čiurlionis’ first art form, to help develop understanding of his creative world. 

The exhibition is curated by Kathleen Soriano, independent curator and broadcaster. Soriano said: “In 1866, the writer Emile Zola defined a work of art as ‘a corner of creation seen through a temperament’, and via Čiurlionis’ aesthetic and sensitive yet powerful work, we see glimpses of the man whose intense and passionate creativity was cruelly cut short at the age of 35. In this exhibition Čiurlionis invites us all to travel with him between worlds – from the celestial to the earthly, the physical to the spiritual, from music to painting, the fantastical to the real, and from the figurative to the abstract.”

M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds will be on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 21st September until the 19th March 2023.

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