Volume 49, No.3 - Fall 2003
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 2003 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


Algimantas Kezys

Nomeda Grumada's art consists of creating sculptural portraits, torsos, and limbs of female figures. One has to admit that, as far as beauty is concerned, the female form is superior to that of the male's, at least when it is viewed through the eyes of men. Occasionally, a concentration on the subject is also exercised by female artists. Grumada is one of them. Her recent show at the Čiurlionis Lithuanian Art Gallery in Chicago consisted of life-size sculptures depicting parts of female anatomy. The sculptures themselves were realistically conceived almost to the point of imitating the mannequins used in store windows to display female apparel and lingerie. Grumada covers the surfaces of the sculptures with intricate designs of symbolically rich materials and paste-ups. These materials—toothpicks, dollar bills, or tiger skins—even bricks nicely filling out the inner space of a beautifully designed black dress—cover the sculptural surfaces smoothly, avoiding any distortion of the fine form of the young female body.

Besides the fine craftsmanship of the torsos, busts and legs, the paste-ups draw attention to the symbolic meanings of the materials applied. Is this lady dollar hungry, is she tiger-like in her dealings with the opposite sex, is she simply dressed up to play dice? The hidden meaning of each personality is probably the main concern of this artist. The thematic aspect is brought to the surface more than the lines and shapes of the body itself, becoming the primary aspect of these creations. The idea of "femaleness" is there to behold and admire, but the decorations imbedded in the surface add further meaning and substance to these objects of art. This arrangement subverts the traditional view of artistic excellence, stating that form is more important than content. Here, the form is ubiquitously the same—identical torsos, etc. of the female body—but the coverings are different in each case, providing excitement and mental surprises about their hidden meanings at every turn.

Grumada admits that the main concern of her art is to expose her own fascination with body forms, using materials to create novel textures and moods. She produces objects with a minimum of detail and color to emphasize the basic lines of the subject's form, but she employs a multitude of materials (linen rope, wood, cotton gauze, paper, toothpicks) to create symbolic textures and surfaces.

Nomeda Grumada was born in Lithuania, studied at the Art College in Kaunas, and graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Art with degrees in architecture and design. She has lived in the United States since 1996 and exhibits her work in the galleries of Chicago and vicinity.

"Torso framed," 2001, twine, 41" high

"Zebra" 2000, mixed media, 42" high

"Nefertiti" 2001, twine, 35" high


"Legs", 2000,toothpicks, 35" high


"Heartless", 2001, mixed media, 33" high


"Flora", 2000, mixed medai, 42" high


"Female Torso", 2000, mixed media, 41" high


"Mummy", 2001, mixed media, 29" high