Pranas Gailius Biography

Pranas Gailius

Lithuanian

1928-2015

Biography

Pranas Gailius, painter, sculptor, illustrator, and printmaker, was born in Mazeikiai, Lithuania, in 1928. He relocated after World War II, moving to Strasbourg and studying painting at School of Decorative Arts (École des Arts Decoratifs). In 1950 he was accepted at Fernando Leger's studio in Montmartre, followed by instruction in lithography at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1953. In between, Gailius spent his spare time studying classical works at the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art.

Gailius held his first solo exhibition in 1955 at Paris' Galerie du Haut Pavé, to critical acclaim. It was around this time that he began signing his works "Pranas," preferring a singular name that was easy to remember as he began showing in Sweden, Germany, Japan, and the U.S. He began working in new mediums, including sculpture, ceramics, and book illustration and design, and as the world began to accept Abstract Expressionism Gailius abandoned representational art almost entirely, opting for bold, abstracted forms. His work was soon acquired by the
French National Library, the Georges Pompidou-Beaubourg Center for Modern Art, and several other museums internationally.

Gailius remained active in the art world until well into his later years. A major exhibition of his work, "Les Roses pour Palanga," took place at Gallery of Peace in Palanga, Lithuania in 2013.

Pranas Gailius died in Paris in 2015.