Dovile Tumpytė

Portraits of the actors, directors, composers, and set designers of the State Russian Drama Theater, Vilnius – exhibition of photographs

Keywords: avant-garde photography

This series of photographs, created in 1984, was an interpretation of a state commission. Algirdas Šeškus and Alfonsas Budvytis, at the time outsiders of the official art-photography scene, authored the project. “Ignoring the standards of the portrayal of public figures and experimenting with the models’ characters and psychological types and the composition of the shots, these artists have expanded the space of the traditional aesthetics of Lithuanian photography,” noted art historian and curator Margarita Matulytė.[1] The collection of sixty works was first presented at the Yermolova Theater in Moscow in 1984, accompanying the State Russian Drama Theater’s official tour, and then traveled back to be exhibited in Vilnius: it was exhibited in the theater as well as presented at the LSSR Art Workers’ Palace in 1985. The press did not take notice the project at the time, and its innovative character and the artists’ avant-garde attitude have only recently been highlighted.


Margarita Matulytė, Annotation for the exhibition “Portraits of the Actors, Directors, Composers, and Set Designers of the State Russian Drama Theater”, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, 20 April – 27 June, 2010.

Date: January 24–February 14, 1985

Participants: Algirdas Šeškus (1945) and Alfonsas Budvytis (1949)

Organizer: LSSR (Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic) Art Workers’ Palace, Vilnius

Location: LSSR Art Workers’ Palace, Vilnius