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 Vytautas Kasiulis  (1918 - 1995)

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Lived/Active: Lithuania/France      Known for: Figure, genre, still life painting

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Ad Code: 3
Vytautas Kasiulis
A Wedding Scene (o/c, 34" x 54)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Vytautas Kasiulis (1918-1995)

He was born in Lithuania in 1918 and before 1943, he taught drawing at the Fine Arts School in Kaunas, the Lithuanian capital.  Captured by the Nazis, he was taken to East Prussia where he worked as a slave laborer on a farm. There, Kasiulis milked cows and painted portraits of local German officials, a service for which he was rewarded with extra food rations.  With the help of Allied officers, he made his way to Paris when the war ended, and got as job as a night watchman.  By night he patrolled a radio shop with a revolver; by day he visited the galleries, marveled at the works of the French impressionists.

Kasiulis had his first one-man show in 1949, and immediately sold all 23 paintings in the exhibition.  Described as gentle and unpretentious, he is quoted as saying: “People are worrying too much.  After all, what do we really need? A room, a bed and one square meal a day. There is still plenty of  sunshine around.”  

His paintings are nostalgic, tender scenes inhabited by loveable lower-middle-class people and in the words of art critic Jacques Chabron “the romantic world of Kasiulis turns us away from the common roads and surprises us with tenderness and nostalgia. The artist pictures the world of his imagination with great joy, where all people are poets and all things are decorations, where all gardens are gardens of paradise.”

As a representative of the Paris school painters of the second half of the 20th century, Kasiulis has received worldwide recognition.  His work is owned by modern art museums in Paris and New York, art galleries and collectors in France, the U.S., Canada, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Argentina, Australia, and Israel.

Vytautas Kasiulis died in Paris in 1995.

At the end of September 2010, his widow Brone Kasiuliene, not long before her own death, donated a collection of 596 works by the artist to the Lithuanian Art Museum which  is now housed in it's own museum in Vilnius.

Sources include:
Joy of Living, Art Section of TIME Magazine May 17, 1954, page 98.
Rokas M. Tracevskis. Masterpieces by Kasiulis reach his fatherland, The Baltic Times October 20, 2010
Information provided by Patrick Coffey

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