The Fall 2008 Copernicus Lecture, "My Road," will be given at 5:00 PM on September 11, 2008 by renowned artist Stasys Eidrigevicius. His visit to the University of Michigan is a collaborative project of the Copernicus Endowment of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Institute for the Humanities, and the School of Art & Design. An exhibition of his work, The Earth of Lithuania with the Wind of Warsaw, runs from Monday, September 8 to Friday, October 17 at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer St. (Gallery hours: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM). An Opening Reception will be held after the lecture from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Institute for the Humanities.
Stasys Eidrigevicius, the artist more popularly known simply as "Stasys," was born in Mediniskiai, Lithuania, in 1949. After earning degrees from the Kaunas College of Fine Arts and Crafts and the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, he relocated to Warsaw, Poland, where he established his reputation as a world-renowned artist. A master of many techniques as an illustrator, book cover designer, sculptor, painter, and photographer, Stasys is perhaps best known for his graphics and poster art. The unmistakable Stasys style, characterized by pierced bodies, grotesque demons, and masked faces, was shaped by a communist world in which people learned to hide who they really were and seek new, private identities. In the words of Ryszard Kapuscinski, Stasys portrays seemingly demonic figures that "confirm the meaning of the world and look upon us with benevolence." Stasys's art conveys a full-range of human emotion even while focusing on ordinary objects--his photography, in particular, elaborates on the loss and preservation of everyday life by depicting common items in new ways.
Stasys has had over 60 solo exhibitions in 20 countries. His numerous awards include the Gold Plaque for children's book illustration at the Biennial of Book Art in Brno, Czechoslovakia (1979); the Gold Medal at the International Biennial of Exlibris in Malbork (1980); the Grand Prix for book illustration in Barcelona, Spain (1986); the Grand Prix at the International Biennial of Posters in Lahti, Finland (1989); 3rd Prize at the International Biennial of Posters in Warsaw (1990); the Gold Medal at Toyama, Japan (1994); 1st Prize at the Biennial of Polish Poster, Katowice (1999); and the National Award in Arts, the most prestigious award offered by the Lithuanian Government (2001).