Alfonsas Dargis

(1909 - 1996)


Alfonsas Dargis was born in Reivyčiai, but has made his home in the United States since 1951. From 1929 to 1936 he studied art in Lithuania, and from 1936 to 1940 he studied under a Lithuanian state scholarship at the Art Academy in Vienna. Before coming to the United States he worked as stage designer at a number of European theatres.
Since his arrival in the United States, he has won a number of significant awards such as the Lilian Fair-child Memorial Annual Award of the University of Rochester and the Juror's Show Award at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, both in 1961.
He has participated in group exhibitions in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, and the U.S.A. He has had one-man shows in New York City, Rochester, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto and Huntington, W. Va., as well as in Germany, at the Boisseree Gallery in Köln (Cologne) and at the Lore Dauer Art Salon in Mannheim.
His works are owned by the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, the Museum of Fine Art in Dallas, Texas, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Huntington Galleries in Huntington, W. Va., the University of Delaware, the University of Nebraska, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Louis, Mo. He also has works in the Vincent Price collection and in the Washington National Library. His works are privately owned in Lithuania, Austria, Germany, France, England, India, Mexico, Sweden, Canada, and the United States.


After the war, when he moved from Communist occupied East Germany to Göttingen, his talent was soon noticed. Even though he lived in Germany for many years he still got his inspiration from the fathomless reservoir of Lithuanian Folk Art."
Alfonsas Dargis' own words may bring deeper insight into his works: "Before I begin to work I must eliminate and forget what my eyes see around me. In the painting I express what I see with my inner eye and what I feel. When this vision and power of perception grows weak I don't work any more. Repetition of previous forms warns of creative weariness."
Alternately spirited and meditative, realistic and elusive, Alfonsas Dargis’s distinctive work combines the directness of Lithuanian folk art and the abstraction of mid-century Modernism.