This is how ArtVilnius’15, the only art fair in the Baltic region, was characterised by a member of the art fair panel of judges, art critic Ernestas Parulskis, who further added that the art fair is not only intriguing, but also promoting entrepreneurship and educating the general public. According to the art critic, it’s no longer worthwhile counting how many times ArtVilnius was held, because over six years the art fair has become an important and regular art phenomenon not only in the Baltics but in a much broader region.
“Over the past three years, the key elements of the art fair have developed into a certain pattern. Today the art fair has its leading topics which are different every year. We’ve already had a focus on private collections, photography; this year’s novelty is a guest country which is Ukraine in this event. An intriguing element in this pattern is the very collections that also vary from year to year. Educational and social programmes are also a part of the pattern”, said Mr. Parulskis.
The art critic pointed out that this year Ukraine will present an impressive supply for the art fair which we are not yet familiar with. A total of seven Ukrainian art galleries will participate in the art fair: Kiev-based Tsekh, Karas, Ya, Bottega, Art’14, Ra and Dnipropetrovsk-based Artsvit. For Parulskis, Ya gallery and its owner Pavlo Gudimov represent a phenomenon of Ukrainian art of particular interest. He characterised Pavlo Gudimov as an ambassador of the gallery modernisation age, investing in artists and art scholarships.
According to Mindaugas Ardišauskas, communication consultant and member of the council of ArtVilnius’15, this year’s communication of the art fair emphasises that ArtVilnius’15 is the only art fair for a broad region. It is a great advantage for Lithuanian lovers of contemporary art who don’t need to go anywhere else. “We made efforts to become known to the general public, existing and potential collectors in Lithuania and abroad, and at the same time to build the image of Vilnius as that of a solid regional centre for culture”, commented Mr. Ardišauskas.
The director of ArtVilnius’15 and president of the Lithuanian Art Gallerists’ Association, Diana Stomienė, noted that in addition to the seven Ukrainian art galleries there will be more than a hundred of collectors and journalists from Ukraine present at the art fair. “Although the political situation in Ukraine is very complicated, art continues to live on. Unlike in Lithuania, Ukrainian private galleries cannot expect any help from the state and have to make money themselves. So it’s really important for them to participate in art fairs and look for new contacts”, said Mrs. Stomienė and added that, in contrast to Parulskis, the most impressive Ukrainian gallery for her is TSEKH gallery which is outstanding for big sales volumes and participating in ArtVilnius for the sixth time already. “Collectors appreciated and started buying the works of this gallery after their fourth presentation at the art fair” commented Mrs. Stomienė, noting that commercial success takes some time.
According to the director of ArtVilnius’15, the Ukrainians will present, inter alia, one of the most impressive works dedicated to the consumption topic that will become the central art piece of the fair – installation “Siberia” by Nikita Shalennyi. The work which is 20 metres in length and 4 metres in width will be installed in LITEXPO Exposition Hall 5. The installation requires 1,000 green fabric towels made in China, which has become a symbol of cheap and fast modern production.
The director of ArtVilnius’15 said that with regard to other art fair’s constituents the emphasis should be placed on the traditional exhibition of large-sized sculptures and installations TAKAS (PATH) and the exclusive partner of the art fair, international venture Lewben Group. This company will for the first time present the public a part of its collection of international contemporary artists managed by the Lewben Art Foundation: Charles Avery, Markus Schinwald, Tala Madani, Los Carpinteros, Tony Cragg, Thomas Houseago, Bertrand Lavier, Jonathas de Andrade and Pedro Reyes (curator Francesca Ferrarini, Italy). According to Indrė Tubinienė, director of the Lewben Art Foundution, works by the artists presented in this art fair are on show in the most famous museums, such as MoMA and Tate, and exhibited at the most important biennials and events all over the world, for example in Documenta.
This year, the traditional exhibition of large-sized sculptures and installations TAKAS obtained an international character. Artists from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine will demonstrate impressive art works. Among the authors of the works in this category will be Aigars Bikše, Andrius Erminas, Andrius Pukis, Anton Logov, Danas Aleksa, Daria Krotova, Iveta Laure, Jonas Aničas, Jurga Barilaitė, Kęstutis Svirnelis, Matas Janušonis, Nikita Shalennyi, Rafal Piesliak, Saulius Vaitiekūnas, Tauras Kensminas and Ugis Traumanis.
Video art will be given special attention in ArtVilnius’15. Tasja Langenbach and Jennifer Gassmann (Germany), curators of VIDEONALE Festival for Contemporary Video Art, which is one of the oldest in Europe, will present the best video works selected specifically for the art fair under the common topic THE CALL OF THE WILD. World’s renowned artist and musician Vladimir Tarasov currently residing in New York will invite ArtVilnius’15 visitors to see his heady video installation The Sixties which is debuting in Lithuania.
The traditional selection of the best galleries and artists, as well as their awards ceremony, will also take place during the art fair as usual.
In addition to the main programme, the art fair will offer discussions and conferences addressing art collecting; Vilnius Academy of Arts, Jūratė Stauskaitė Art School, Justinas Vienožinskis Art School, and Indigo Textile will invite visitors to their special educational programme.
And finally, director of ArtVilnius’15 Stomienė has paid attention to one more important aspect – increased participation of artists and collectors, friends and sponsors in the art fair. Assisted by artists, the sponsors of the art fair will arrange their artistic stands to display likely results of art and business synergy.
ArtVilnius’15 is the sixth art fair event this year. Lovers and collectors of contemporary art, as well as professionals of the art world, will gather this year in Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre Litexpo on June 25 – 28. 55 contemporary art galleries from Belarus, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, and United Kingdom will occupy the area covering 12,000 square metres. The organizers of ArtVilnius’15 are waiting to meet about 30,000 thousand visitors.