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  Vincas Jomantas

Vincas Jomantas CV (PDF)

James Gleeson reviewed several of Vincas’ sculpture exhibitions in Sydney. Of work exhibited at the Hungry Horse Gallery, Sydney, James Gleeson (Sun, Sydney, 9 September 1964) wrote:

Jomantas works for gentler and more sensuously appealing effects.

In 1967 James Gleeson (Sun, Sydney, 18 October,1967) wrote:

Vincas Jomantas at the Rudy Komon Gallery is one of those sculptors whose talents are spurred to their fullest extent by ideas.

Few sculptors have a more sensitive feeling for the qualities inherent in different materials; but he is not one who abandons himself to a chosen material and lets the character of that material dictate the terms under which he is to work. ------ Under the directive of the idea he persuades the plastic to simulate stone, metal or plaster. The end is the justification of the means- and the ends Jomantas strives for are the projection of complex human emotions into abstract forms.

Later James Gleeson (Sun, Sydney 3 April 1974) observed:

Vincas Jomantas is a sculptor who has resolutely developed his own style. ---- Only five works are on show but each piece carries the imprint of concentrated thinking, long gestation and exquisite resolution.

Then of the same exhibition, Gleeson (Sun Herald, 7 April 1974) said:

Time has played an important role in their creation; time has given them a formal density and a formal lucidity – in delaying the hand it has given the mind a chance to develop, enrich or purify the original conception ….His forms are derived both from the natural world and the machine, the organic and the mechanical; but unlike Klippel (q.v.), who creates a miraculous fusion of the two at an entirely abstract level, Jomantas juxtaposes the different elements in organisations that are heraldic, symbolic or iconic in intent. They are braced on an armature of specific meanings.

He is, in fact, a ‘public’ sculptor of the highest quality. He is able to translate ideas, notions and their attendant clouds of feeling into concrete images with a high degree of communicability. We can read his forms and understand them. Yet he is anything but a simple signmaker.

What makes him one of the most fascinating of our sculptors is his capacity for finding unexpected ways of saying what he wants to say, and his ability to express the ‘public’ part of his art as a deeply personal experience.

Hence his work is both public and private, general and particular, intelligible yet idiosyncratic – a rare combination.

The sense of these qualities, evident from the drawings at Watson Place Gallery, is further reinforced by Simon Klose in his essay for the exhibition of Vincas Jomantas’ work he curated at the McClelland Gallery in 1990:

Jomantas’ sculpture could never be described as light or light-hearted – the depth of conception and commitment in making would rule against that. But they are resonant and powerful sculptures which have the ability to penetrate and convince the viewer of their value.

Vincas Jomantas held solo exhibitions at Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney in 1967, 1974 and 1976. Others were at Crossley Gallery, Melbourne (1976), RMIT Gallery, Melbourne (1982), McClelland Gallery, Langwarrin (1990 and 2003), Shepparton Art Gallery (1990) and Pinacotheca, Melbourne (1996). Vincas Jomantas was also represented in 69 group exhibitions.

Selected bibliography
Lindsay, Robert and Scarlett, Ken: Vincas Jomantas Retrospective 6 July – 1 September 2003
Catalogue, McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park 2003.
Scarlett, Ken: A Sculptor of Memory, World Sculpture News, Vol.9, No.4, Autumn 2003.
Scarlett, Ken: Australian Sculptors, Thomas Nelson Australia, 1980.

Vincas JOMANTAS 2004 Exhibition