„ Stasys is a mystic, and his mask painting brings out the soul”
(Vittorio Sgarbi, one of the most influential and popular critics in Italy, who showed the Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti at the opening of the Stasys exhibition at the Spicchi delľEst Gallery)
He was born in the village of Mediniškiai in the north of Lithuania. In 1956 he moved with his family to the village of Lepsiai near Panevezys. In the years 1964–1968 he studied at the technical school in Kaunas, majoring in designing leather products, and then in the years 1968–1973 he studied at the pedagogical department of the Institute of Fine Arts in Vilnius.
In 1972, he visited Poland for the first time at the invitation of the bookplate collector Edmund Puzdrowski from Bydgoszcz. In 1973 he was awarded a medal at the 6th International Biennial of Contemporary Exlibris in Malbork. In 1975 he visited Poland again and was again awarded a medal at the 7th Exlibris Biennale in Malbork.
In 1976, he married Lucyna (Lucja) Sinkiewicz, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He became the father of three children: Barbara (1976), Justyna (1977) and Ignacy (1982).
In 1975 and 1978, he unsuccessfully tried to legalize his stay in Poland, and it was only in 1980 that he received a permanent residence permit.
In 1980 he was awarded the Polish Association of Book Publishers Prize at the Exhibition of the Most Beautiful Books for Children for illustrations to The King of Raven.
In 1988, he resigned from USSR citizenship.
In 2000 he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas, and in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis.
In 2019, Eidrigevičius was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
In conclusion, one should ask who Stasys Edrigevičius really is? Is it just an outstanding artist who has reached the heights of success in the world of today’s art, a world man, perhaps more often in Japan or the United States than in Warsaw, where he lives? Or is he also a loner with a deeply wounded soul, full of distance to everything, and only his possibility of artistic expression protected him from being completely closed in on himself? What are His Masks, His Sorrows, to his own soul? I think it is true that Masks and Sorrows are the most living tissue of his soul and they say too much about him, although it is usually covered with a protective veil of paradoxical humor. Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
Wojciech Skrodzki – STASYS 50 “Retrospektywna” exhibition
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