This year, the art fair ArtVilnius’21 brought together 56 galleries from 12 countries at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center Litexpo. The fair presented private international art collections, installations, sculptures, and performances, and meetings with artists, discussions, and lectures took place in the LRT studio.
The jury, chaired by Laima Kreivytė, an independent curator, artist, writer, and lecturer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, selected the 7 best galleries of the fair, the best young artist of the exhibition, the best artist, and the best authors of sculptures and installations. For three days, visitors of the fair also voted for the Audience Select Gallery and the Audience Select Artist.
“ArtVilnius’21 has reached maturity – interesting artists have been invited, the quality of the exhibition of works has greatly improved, and relevant topics have been examined, from which a map of artistic, social, and even political issues can be formed. The fair also touches on relatively new trends in the world – cryptographic NFT. All this means that the contemporary art fair has kept its finger on the pulse,” said L. Kreivytė, the chairwoman of the jury.
On Friday, the best participants of the fair were selected by the jury, which, in addition to L. Kreivytė and D. Gembickaitė, also included Monika Koziol, curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, art critic, critic, photographer, exhibition organizer Virginijus Kinčinaitis, and curator of contemporary art, critic Neringa.
Among the seven best galleries of the fair was the Vilnius Academy of Arts (VAA) textile gallery Artifex, noted for unexpected artistic cooperation and conceptual use of material. Artifex demonstrated the extraordinary collaboration of two artists – Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė and Rūta Šipalytė.
Oldtimers of the fair, the Nivet-Carzon gallery in Paris, were included in the list of the best for their performance. D. Gambickaitė stated that the French gallery stood out from all others, and everyone who entered it got involved in the art process.
The GOM / TAC gallery from Albania participating in the fair for the first time was also successful. The jury was particularly pleased with the gallery’s ability to expand the concept of gallery and exhibition space to include the city. In the green taxi cars that drove around the city, one could listen to soundtracks created and recorded by 22 artists. The GOM / TAC representatives were not able to attend the fair, so the diploma will be sent to them to Albania.
Vilnius gallery Meno Parkas was awarded for its impressive communication between the works and exhibition culture. At Molėtai gallery, the jury discovered an exclusive paper theme. The gallery was awarded for the liberated drawing and occupied space. The VAA exhibition hall Titanikas was awarded for the quality and integrity of Žygimantas Augustinas’ exposition, and the development of captivating artistic research. At the Vilnius Photography Art Center 7:14 curated by Dovilė Dagienė, the jury discovered a completely new presentation of photography.
The ArtVilnius’21 jury announced the best participant of the exhibition Takas – Goodhearter Wisher – Vytautas Viržbickas. The artist was awarded for the harmony of conceptuality and expressiveness, with relevant themes encoded in his work. The award for the best ArtVilnius’21 installation was given to the artist Dalia Truskaitė, presented by the gallery Meno Parkas. The jury noted the fragile existential minimalism in her work.
The best young ArtVilnius’21 artist Denisas Kolomyckis was awarded the prize of ArtVilnius’21 Maecenas – law firm Cobalt. The artist’s work was presented by the VAA exhibition space 5 Malūnai.
For three days, visitors of the fair voted for the Audience Select Gallery and the Audience Select Artist. The hearts of the visitors went to the Latvian gallery PILOT and the artist Jurgis Paškevičius. The gallery and the artist were traditionally awarded the prizes of the fair’s partner Volfas Engelman.The PILOT gallery, located in the old town of Riga, fascinated the audience with its provocative exposition and rebellious spirit. The work of Kristian Brektė, one of the artists presented at the PILOT exhibition ArtVilnius’21, a lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Arts and the best young artist of ArtVilnius’12, has caused a wave of comments, talks, and accusations in Latvia in recent weeks. “This award means a lot to us,” said Sabinė Vernerė, the head of the PILOT gallery, when taking the diploma of the Audience Select Gallery. – Especially at this time when K. Brektė is being persecuted and attacked in Latvia. Thanks to ArtVilnius visitors for such support.”
Jurgis Paškevičius was chosen as the Audience Select Artist of ArtVilnius’21. His work Alternating Current, created especially for the Contemporary Art Center, drew a group of spectators throughout the three days of the fair. J. Paškevičius is a young generation artist who creates sculpture, installations, performances, theater and film scenography.
The 12th International Contemporary Art Fair ArtVilnius’21 took place on 15-17 October at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center Litexpo. ArtVilnius’21 is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, its patron is Vilnius City Municipality, the Maecenas is the law firm Cobalt.