On June 6th the opening of the photo exposition of Vladas Žilius entitled “Amsterdam 80“ took place at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania. The exposition was attended by the daughter of the artist Ms Rasa Balčiūnienė and was opened by H.E. ambassador of Lithuania to the Netherlands Mr. Vidmantas Purlys.
Vladas Žilius (1939-2012) is a renowned Lithuanian artist who was forced to leave his home country Lithuania, which was occupied at that time by the Soviet Union, and emigrate to the USA in 1976. KGB constantly persecuted the artist for his ‘disobedience’ to Soviet art rules and aspiration for freedom, which was severely restricted by Soviet regime. KGB banned Žilius’ participation in exhibitions, he was expelled from the Union of the Artists and stopped receiving any commissions.
After emigration, one of the first trips as a free artist he made to the Netherlands in 1980. It is amusing to look at the 40 year photographs through the eyes of an ex-Soviet citizen, escapee, who finally managed to breathe in the air of freedom. Žilius captures everything: landscapes, streets, buildings and people in the streets, cafes, cars.
This year Lithuania is celebrating Žilius’ 80th birth anniversary.
Source: Embassy of Lithuania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands