Arbit Blatas Artwork in the Collection of Lithuanian Art Museum
In 2011, Lithuania received an exclusive gift – collection of the artwork of a prominent Jewish origin Lithuanian artist Arbit Blatas (1908-1999). The artist’s widow, renowned opera singer and film director Mrs. Regina Resnik Blatas bestowed this collection to the Lithuanian Art Museum.
Gaining such an exclusive collection and a possibility to represent it for the society is a great honour allowing Lithuania to pride itself as the centre of A. Blatas artwork research and promotion.
Arbit Blatas artwork collection was already exhibited in Vilnius in the National Art Gallery and in Klaipėda in the Pranas Domšaitis Gallery.
Arbit Blatas’ (birth name Neemija Arbitblatas, was born in 1908 in Kaunas, died in 1999 in New York) creative path began in his homeland, from where he continued studying in art schools of Berlin, Dresden, Munich. There A. Blatas was mainly influenced by the German expressionism. Subsequently artist lived and created in France, Italy and United States. During the Interwar Paris atmosphere crystallized A. Blatas’ artistic worldview. Due to his extraordinary talent and originality, A. Blatas was assigned to younger generation of School of Paris (École de Paris). In Paris – the art Mecca of that time – revealed artist’s expressive artistic and impressionistic styles, subtle colour selection and modelling. Decisive influence on formation of A. Blatas as an artist had direct contact with modern art traditions and a friendly relationship with living classics of the modern art.
Although A. Blatas was a person of world cultural aristocracy, he was proud of his Lithuanian heritage, and he never forgot Lithuanian language. Together with his wife Regina Resnik Blatas the artist visited Lithuania in 1975 and 1988.
For Lithuania bestowed collection of A. Blatas reflects distinct talent of a painter, a sculptor, a graphic artist and a set designer. This collection highlights all beloved genres of A. Blatas: sceneries – impressionistic landscapes of Paris and French towns, nocturnal views of Venice; portraits of theatrical and musical elite – artist’s wife Regina Resnik, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, legendary French mime Marcelio Marceau; artists of Montparnasse – Pablo Picasso, Maurice de Vlaminck, Maurice Utrillo, Giorgio de Chirico, Mané Katzo – portraits and other paintings. Because of this set of artwork, A. Blatas is justly called the art historiographer of the 20th century. The collection is enriched by masterly artwork on Bertolt Brecht's ‘The Threepenny Opera’ subject.
A separate artwork set is dedicated to the memory of Holocaust victims – composition of 7 bronze plaques ‘Holocaust Monument’, expressive and dramatic canvases, drawings and sculptures.