Paulius Šliaupa and Manu Engelen Present Two Exhibitions in Vilnius

January 8, 2024  20:33  |  News

On 10 January, Vilnius City Hall and Vilnius City Gallery Meno Niša invite you to the opening of two exhibitions by artists living in Belgium. These are the exhibition As if Night Were Dreaming of Day by the award-winning Lithuanian artist Paulius Šliaupa and the exhibition Agency of Matter by Belgian artist Manu Engelen, who is presenting his work in Lithuania for the first time. The opening of both exhibitions will take place on 10 January, 6 pm, at Vilnius City Hall.

Paulius Šliaupa and Manu Engelen Present Two Exhibitions in Vilnius

Photos – courtesy of the Gallery Meno Niša © Manu Engelen

P.Šliaupa’s collaboration with Belgian artist Manu Engelen began during their residency in Ghent, Belgium. While working together at the HISK residency and travelling, the artists got to know each other even better and thus started a dialogue between their different works. “Together we want to shed light on the structures of images, patterns of observation, poetic energy, and man’s relationship with technology,” said the Belgian-based artist on the idea of the two joint exhibitions.

“This is not the first time Paulius has collaborated with international artists. In 2022, Meno Niša Gallery presented the exhibition Earth Drama by Šliaupa and Swedish artist Finn Anton Örstrand, in which the artists, inspired by nature, embarked on an exploration of contemporary man’s relationship with the landscape. We strongly encourage such creative international collaborations between the artists we represent,” said Diana Stomienė, director of Vilnius City Gallery Meno Niša, stressing that the gallery has been cooperating with Vilnius City Hall and organizing exhibitions of its own artists for many years.

In two spaces, Vilnius City Hall and Meno Niša gallery, P. Šliaupas’ exhibition As if Night Were Dreaming of Day will examine the changing relationship of man with nature: in Vilnius City Hall, the artist’s video works and paintings created during his studies and residencies in Belgium will be shown. In the Meno Niša gallery, paintings, laser engravings of landscape models, and objects based on natural structures will be exhibited. Insects printed in 3D, glowing at night, hang between the works and bring another interpretation of the modern relationship with nature.

“I come from a family of geologists, so I have a strong connection to the earth. I spend part of the year in Bartelių village, it becomes a refuge, a small world with six inhabitants, where I can hide by the Merkys River, observe the light, feel and connect all the motifs before I return to the wide world. Motifs from different countries intertwine with the fields of Bartelių village and grow on canvases painted in the countryside,” says Šliaupa.

Belgian artist M. Engelen depicts energy – from mechanical to nuclear – in the paintings of the exhibition Agency of Matter in the City Hall. He uses the motifs and concepts of science and geometry in his work. Manu’s fascination with technological artifacts and their fragments inspires him to combine the sensory and poetic realms. Industrial motifs turn into allegorical expressions, turbines into abstract wall paintings, and airplane silhouettes transform into laconic forms.

Since his childhood, Manu was surrounded by models and various vehicles, as his father was a pilot. Together they watched air shows, which formed a unique feeling, combining the poetics of everyday life and mechanical templates. Later, while studying at Hasselt’s PXL MAD Academy of Arts, he cut the fuselage of an F84 jet into 5 uneven sections and displayed them in an exhibition space as his final project.

Paulius Šliaupa and Manu Engelen Present Two Exhibitions in Vilnius

Paulius Šliaupa

Paulius Šliaupa (b. 1990) is a young-generation Lithuanian artist currently living and working in Belgium. Having started with painting, he also makes videos and photographs and writes art texts. Paulius holds a BA in Painting, an MA in Contemporary Sculpture from Vilnius Academy of Arts, and an MA in Media Arts from KASK and the HISK post-academic residency program in Ghent, Belgium. Last year he won the main prize of the ArtContest22 competition for young Belgian artists (Brussels) and this year, the main prize of the INPUT / OUTPUT 2023 competition (Bruges). Over the past year, Paul has participated in art residencies in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Iceland. His works have been acquired by private collectors in Lithuania, Berlin, Ghent, Rome, Brussels, Rotterdam, Paris, and Istanbul. Paulius’ works are in the collections of museums M HKA, Antwerp, Mu.ZEE, Ostend, IKOB, Eupen, and SMAK, Ghent.

Manu Engelen (b. 1984) lives and works in Leuven, Belgium. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Kunstacademie Münster in 2017, a Master of Arts degree from Kunstacademie Münster in 2010, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg, Haselte in 2009. In 2021, he participated in the HISK residency in Ghent. In 2020, the Flemish community-acquired his works, which are currently housed at SMAK Ghent. Manu’s second solo exhibition took place at Callewaert & Vanlangendonck Gallery in 2020, and since 2022, he has collaborated with Gallery Ponti in Antwerp.

Paulius Šliaupa’s exhibition As if Night Were Dreaming of Day and Manu Engelen’s exhibition Agency of Matter will be open at Vilnius City Hall until 27 January. Šliaupa’s exhibition As if Night Were Dreaming of Day will be on show at the Meno Niša Gallery from 10 January until 24 February.

The organizers of the exhibition are Vilnius City Gallery Meno Niša and Vilnius City Hall. The sponsor of Meno Niša is Vilnius City Municipality. The exhibition is sponsored by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Flanders State of the Art.