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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus


The opening of Y. Kovarsky artworks exhibition "From Chaos to Covenant"

Published: 2019-06-06
This spring the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum recieved a collection of artworks from Yehoshua Kovarsky (1907-1967), a gift from his nephew, niece and their families – 28 large canvas pieces, created in the 20th century during the 6th and 7th decades. David Finkelstein and Sandra Ben-Artzi – Kovarsky’s wife and muse, a well-known dancer and artist Corinne Chochem sister Fania’s children – gifted the valuable legacy to Lithuania. The opening of the Yehoshua Kovarsky painting exhibition “From Chaos to Covenant” took place on the evening of May 29th at the VGSJM Tolerance Center. During the event the museum hosted many guests who visited the Tolerance Center to enjoy the artwork, as well speak to Kovarsky’s relatives, among these guests were the VGSJM board of directors and managers, as well as the Vice Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Veliutė and other representatives from various cultural institutions, art lovers, and collectors of the sorts. During the evening, the Vilnius Ballet Theatre performed specially choreographed ballet recitals which were inspired by Kovarsky artworks.
The director of the VGSJM, Kamilė Rupeikaitė, thanked the guests who gathered that evening as well as the whole team who worked together to open the exhibition, symbolically commemorating the 30th year since the Museum’s opening.
The Vice Minister for Culture Ingrida Veliutė thanked not only the Museum staff and family members of Kovarsky, but also highlighted the originality of the exhibition: “Let the bright colors of the artwork today be a reminder for the end of spring, the rebirth of chaos, which slowly goes forth to a rhythmic and evolved summer. This is like the beginning of deception, we think a certain way, like we are the overseers to the situation at hand, when in reality there has been a long-established standing order, structure and peace, which radiated throughout this exposition, we can only be the onlookers of this narrative”.
Curators of the exhibition Ieva Šadzevičienė (the Head of the Museum’s Tolerance Center and Samuel Bak Museum) and Vilma Gradinskaitė (VGSJM exhibitions curator and art critic) told the gathered guests about Kovarsky’s creations, within which the artist retained rituals, during which abstract and surrealist forms, pure colors and motion of archetypes the observer can understand that only from darkness comes lights.
“When I was in eighth grade, I found an article in the ‘Times” magazine which I was very proud of and took to my classmates. Unfortunately, during my youth I did not look into my family roots too much, and truth be told, only now, preparing for the opening of this exhibition, I finally uncover information regarding Yehoshua that he spent his early life in his home-town of Vilnius, and for a fact, he lived near to this Museum. Thankfully to the good circumstances, some of the best and most protected works of art finally returned to the artist’s birthplace”. – David Finkelstein explains and rejoices about his uncle and artist Kovarsky.

The presentation of the exhibition catalogue was also introduced during the evening, where photographer Paulius Račiūnas captured the artwork profoundly. The VGSJM Tolerance Center souvenir shop is selling the catalogue in both Lithuanian and English where visitors can purchase their own copy (at Naugarduko str. 10/2, Vilnius). 
The exhibition will be opened until September 19th 2019 at the VGSJM Tolerance Centre (at Naugarduko str. 10/2, Vilnius).
Photographs by Paulius Račiūnas




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