Arūnas Gudaitis: Plaster Bust of Socrates With the Beard Shaved by Sculptor

Arūnas Gudaitis: Plaster Bust of Socrates With the Beard Shaved by Sculptor

The piece “Plaster Bust of Socrates With the Beard Shaved by The Sculptor” (black and white photograph) is part of the cycle (series) of artworks “White Series” that Arūnas Gudaitis first introduced at the “Political / Poetical” exhibition at the Tallinn Exhibition Palace (Estonia), and in 2008, exposed at the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius. The plaster beard of the bust, titled “Rolled Away”, was presented at “Sparrows” exhibition (2012), while the digital photographic print of Socrates was shown at the exhibition “Part of a Larger Whole. Lithuanian Contemporary Art” (2013). The artist exposed the rock crystal version of the beard, “Crystal”, at his solo exhibition “Pieces and Parts” (2014) at the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius. The original plaster bust of the artwork has not been exhibited before, and thus is presented for the first time at the apiece single artwork gallery (Didžioji St. 38, Vilnius).

According to “Lithuanian Art 2000–2010: Ten Years” exhibition catalogue, “…Arūnas Gudaitis sent for a copy of Socrates bust from the factory of dummies in St. Petersburg”. In Vilnius, the artist handed it over to another sculptor, who, in implementing the idea of ​​Gudaitis, “shaved” Socrates‘ beard “(p. 24). The artist‘s deed, i.e. the “shaving” off the philosopher‘s beard, is an accurate description of the act characteristic of Gudaitis‘ creative work that is sculptural in the traditional meaning of the word and, to the same degree, also (post)conceptual.

Arūnas Gudaitis (born in 1973) lives and works in Vilnius. He studied sculpture at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The artist has been participating in exhibitions in Lithuania and other countries since 2001. Gudaitis has held his solo exhibitions at “Kunstraum Aarau” in Switzerland (2003), the “Display” gallery in Prague (2003) and the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius (2008, 2014). The artist’s works have been exposed at a number of international art shows, including the following: “Faster Than History” at the Kiasma contemporary art museum in Helsinki (2004), “Ex-voto: dans l’art contemporain” at the Palais du Tau in Reims (2008), “Il gatto è sul tavolo / The Cat Is On the Table” at the “SpazioA” gallery in Pistoia (2011), and „Artapes. Fast-Forwarded” at the MAXXI National museum of the 21st century arts in Rome (2018). In 2007, the KUMU art museum in Tallinn awarded Arūnas Gudaitis its prize for his “White Series”, and also included his work into the museum collection.