Press Release

sekretas (Lithuanian for secret) is an exhibition by Marija Olšauskaitė that peers into her long-standing affinity with the glares of glass. It focuses on a particular facet of her work that is attentive to the ways in which sculptural practice and the social lean into one another.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2023

Marija Olsauskaité, sekretas

Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (Austria)

25.03 - 14.05.2023




sekretas assembles suspended surfaces to look through, resting vessels to hold, vividly colored benches to carry, a vitreous pond, hand-blown tableware, reproductions of flowers in so far as the logic of glass permits, words jotted in notebooks, plants picked in Uzbekistan, and the company of friends and neighbors to keep.

sekretas borrows its name from an urban leisure activity practiced by youngsters in Lithuania and many other countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. Zestfully, children would enter a courtyard and place small objects under a pane or a found shard of glass: flower petals, golden bottle caps, shells, beautiful rubbish, and other idiosyncratic elements to be organized and composed into material expressions of friendship. The glass would then be covered with soil or dust, as a sekretas recedes from view. A fortunate passer-by or friend on the lookout might then find these secrets, these minute compositions of mundane, seemingly nonsensical elements, which would carry the greatest meaning for those who knew.

sekretas looks into that joint where sculpture, composition, and the making of social bonds revel in each other’s presence. Here, glass takes on a distinct role. It frames and shelters composition and friendship, both concretely and symbolically, while simultaneously prefiguring their fragility and potential shattering.

sekretas presents works that are imbued with a whimsical and slippery attitude toward the fixity of sculpture. They quiver between traditions of craft and ornament, the social role of sculpture, and the ways in which objects populate daily lives and customs. At the same time, Olšauskaitė’s pieces also harbor the idiosyncrasies of cryptic abstraction and enigmatic composition. Throughout her work resounds the tradition of stained-glass production, which flourished in post-war Lithuania, then often seen in public sculptures and state commissions. The artisans who remain in these glass workshops and whom Olšauskaitė continues to visit embody and transmit this artistry, which she, in turn, transforms and bends.

sekretas is punctuated by the appearance and vanishing of works by fellow artists, friends, and guests. Unannounced, their liminal presence will manifest itself throughout the exhibition.

sekretas will also be accompanied by secrets, a publication that gathers words, plants, and glass contributed by Elena Narbutaitė, Marija Olšauskaitė, Maria Tsoy, Aleksandra Krivulina, and Tom Engels, designed by Julie Peeters.

sekretas is curated by Tom Engels.

sekretas is realized with the support of the Embassy of Lithuania in Austria and the Honorary Consulate of Lithuania in Graz.

Marija Olšauskaitė, sekretas, 2023. Photo: Marija Olšauskaitė. Courtesy of the artist.

Marija Olšauskaitė, sekretas, 2023. Photo: Marija Olšauskaitė. Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition 25 March -14 May 2023. Grazer Kunstverein, Palais Trauttmansdorff, Burggasse 4 - 8010 Graz (Austria). T +43 316 834141. Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 12–6pm






Marija Olsauskaité, sekretas, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved