The contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’17 has started

2017 06 09
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The contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’17, which kicked off on Thursday, has awarded the year’s best galleries, artists and artworks.

“For the eighth year in a row, the culture and art community, artists, art industry representatives and art lovers will be gathering at the biggest art fair in the entire Central European region. The ArtVilnius fair, which has become a special event in cultural life, not only presents a diverse panorama of contemporary art galleries and individual artists and makes it possible to feel – first-hand – the pulse of the content, themes and forms of expression of today's art, but also opens up new opportunities for the dissemination of art and development of the art industry. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the organisers of the ArtVilnius fair who curate the presentation of art and the development of the cultural industry in Lithuania, and who have integrated Vilnius into the context of the most significant European centres of contemporary art,” Liana Ruokytė- Jonsson, Ministre of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania said at the opening ceremony.

One of the novelties introduced in this year’s edition of ArtVilnius is that as many as seven galleries were named as the best. “Very many fine galleries take part in the fair, so the old format of two nominations (for best Lithuanian and best foreign gallery) was out of touch with the event’s realities,” Diana Stomienė, head of ArtVilnius’17, said during a press conference at Litexpo exposition centre, noting that it was habitual to pick multiple award-winning galleries at similar art fairs abroad.

The winners were picked by a jury of art professionals chaired by art historian Virginijus Kinčinaitis. Other jurors were art historians Dr. Virginija Vitkienė and Ernestas Parulskis, artists Deimantas Narkevičius and Žilvinas Landzbergas. Linking in challenging ways the concept of artworks, their storylines, creative expressions and exhibiting solutions was one of the main criteria in selecting the best galleries, according to Mr. Parulskis. Another important aspect that the jurors looked at was the galleries’ tactical criteria for selecting artists to be presented at the fair and, of course, how conductive the quality and aesthetic of the artworks were to the fair’s main mission – to sell the pieces.

ArtVilnius’17 best galleries (in alphabetical order): ARgenTum, the Vilnius Academy of Art gallery (Vilnius); Dusetai Gallery and Arts Centre; Foku (Tallinn); Kuldīga Artists‘ residence (Kuldiga); Stalowa (Warsaw); Meno Parkas (Kaunas); gallery-apartment Trivium (Vilnius).

ArtVilnius’17 best artist is Mindaugas Navakas. “His monumental 5-metre-height 20-tonne sculpture Tower G, installed outside, rivalled the architecture of the exposition centre. Study the scale and go to space,” according to the jury chairman Virginijus Kinčinaitis.

ArtVilnius’17 best sculpture/installation is #selfie by Raimonda Sereikaitė, part of the Path show.

ArtVilnius’17 best young artist (under 35) was awarded €1,000 prize provided by the event’s sponsor Cobalt law firm. The award went to Povilas Ramanauskas (Meno Parkas gallery) who won over the jury with his three-dimensional paintings. The winners of best artist and best installation awards received prizes provided by Nescafe Baltic.

The 8th edition of the international art fair ArtVilnius is running June 8 through June 11 at the Litexpo exhibition and congress centre, presenting 55 galleries and 200 artists from 20 countries. Performances, discussions and educational events are held every day of the fair. For detailed programme, visit www.artvilnius.com/programme.