Pranas Lapė rationalises his choice of creative style by saying: “While painting I feel like Columbus, who sailed for India, but discovered America”. The artist never used sketches, he painted freehand. In his later years, P. Lapė mastered another painting style, which later became his signature style.
Nowadays the art community knows Pranas Lapė as a representative of abstract expressionism. “In the artist’s paintings, real life objects become artifacts of his own imagination”, says Ramūnas Čičelis in regard to the artist’s creations. It seems that the world has recognised the value of P. Lapė works…
While he spent his youth in native Klaipėda, P. Lapė began his creative career in Kaunas. In 1944, when the soviet reoccupation was approching, he emigrated to the West. Later he continued his studies and worked in Stockholm. In Sweden he created a few large-scale wall paintings for public spaces. Since 1949 he lived in The United States of America. P. Lapė worked in such New York publishing houses as “Donbleday“, “Scribners“ and “Random House”. He illustrated more than 300 Swedish, American and Lithuanian book covers.
Lapė began painting full time in 1978. After leaving his job as an educator he relocated to Chamberlain in the state of Maine. The artist displayed his works in several art exhibitions in Long Island, Chicago, Brooklyn and Boston. He also held some art exhibitions with other Lithuanian exodists.
The painter never stopped longing for Lithuania – he returned to his homeland in 1998, after the country regained its independence. P. Lapė passed away in 2010. Following the artist’s request, he was laid to rest alongside his family in Veiviržėnai, near Klaipėda.
Even though the artist is no longer with us, his works still speak to us. Come and you may hear what they have to say!
Exhibition is open until the 4th of December, 2019.
Works on display belong to the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum.
Exhibition is organised as part of the library’s project „Maža žemėlapyje, didi pasaulyje“, dedicated to the Year of World Lithuanians.
Lithuanian Council for Culture
Panevėžys City Municipality