Auksė Miliukaitė (b. 1990) studied at the University of the Arts in London and in 2017 completed her painting studies (MA) at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. She has held several solo shows and actively participates in group exhibitions, artistic projects, workshops and plein-air sessions. She was a finalist of the Young Painter Prize competition (2016, 2017) and received an honourable mention (2017). Her paintings have been included in the collections of the Lewben Art Foundation and Mo Museum in Vilnius.
The source of the painter’s artistic inspirations is painting itself and its history. Focusing on the production, reproduction and postproduction of images, she creates multilayered, fragmented compositions by combining historical art, contemporary art quotes, elements of pop culture and autobiographical details. She replicates, crops and transforms the borrowed elements of paintings, arranges them into new semantic combinations and tells new stories of her own. In her works Miliukaitė develops her personal mythology of painting as an island. It is an idyllic place, a kind of shelter for the artist, where she transports herself while painting. This island does not have geographical coordinates, it cannot be defined by physical parameters, and manifests itself in various shapes: as an exotic island, an oasis (or merely its mirage), or as a nostalgic resort. Her vision combines the ideas of the island of Utopia described by Thomas More and the ocean that covers the planet in Stanisław Lem’s Solaris, producing and reproducing images. It may both comfort you or lead you astray in the enthralling and colourful labyrinth of visual information.
In the recent years, the traces of figurativeness and narrative in Miliukaitė’s painting are becoming less distinct and are turning into an almost biomorphic mass, which pulsates, breathes and writhes in the painting rectangle. While breaking a painting down into its fundamental elements (pigments, layers, texture, brushstroke, surface of the canvas, etc.), she focuses not so much on recognisable motifs as on the painting medium itself and communication that it enables. Referring to spiritual and mystical practices, the artist emphasizes the ritual character of the painting process and asserts that the work is not only a physical object, but also an immaterial phenomenon – a certain state, a presentiment of space and/or time. Thus, moving to the island of painting every time creates a new experience for the artist and the viewer.