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Creative Solutions Gallery


Darijus Gerlikas
Tel: +44 7742 5757 70

Jurgita Gerlikaite
Tel: +44 7990 8696 88

Petronele Gerlikiene. Tapestry "A Red Tree". 1977. Wool, embroidery, appliqué. 180x150

One of the most acclaimed, self-taught Lithuanian-American artists, Petronele Gerlikiene was born in Chicago in 1905 and died in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1979. She spent most of her life working in the countryside but, after retiring in 1972, she moved to the capital to live with the family of her artist son. Gerlikiene began embroidering large scale tapestries in 1972. To make them she used different techniques such as embroidery and application. She was fascinated with big trees and used it as a motive for her tapestries: “An Oak”, “A Rowan”, “A Maple Tree” and “A Red Tree”.

Petronele Gerlikiene. "Looking at the Sun". 1978. Cardboard, oil. 70x50 cm

Petronele began painting in 1976. Encouraged by her daughter-in-law, who brought pieces of cardboard and paint from her son's studio. Petronele was amazed that she could paint so quickly and effortlessly. She always had a clearly formed idea of the painting, its composition and combinations of colours in her head. She painted fast, hurrying as if in oblivion, without sketches, dabbing paint directly from the tube, mixing the colours right on the cardboard or canvas.

Her creative world encompasses whole human life with all its aspects, but most important subjects are woman’s fate and man's and woman’s relationship. The subjects are interpreted with understanding and humour, men are often ridiculed like in the picture “Picking Cherries”: calm, smiling woman pulls a man by the hand into a lake. “If a man is afraid, he can grab hold of a calf’s tail out of fear.” Petronele loved to paint piquant situations, love dramas and psychologically complicated situations. She was positive that she was portraying everything lifelike.

Petronele Gerlikiene. Tapestry "An Oak". 1976. Cotton, embroidery, applique. 202x144 cm

P. Gerlikiene participated in exhibitions since 1974. Since 1976 P. Gerlikiene became a member of Lithuanian Folk Art Association. The artist is included in "World Encyclopaedia of Naive Art". 1985, p. 267, 289.

P. Gerlikienes works are owned by the Lithuanian Art Museum, M. K. Ciurlionis National Art Museum and Modern Art Center Vilnius.

"Petronele Gerlikiene: Tapestries, Painting". Vilnius 2005. £65
Compilers: Jurgita Gerlikaite and Darijus Gerlikas. Text: Jurgita Gerlikaite 

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