During the four days of ArtVilnius’15, Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO was proud to meet 18.5 thousand visitors of the art fair; about 100 artworks were sold for 200 thousand euro. These figures once again evidence the stable anchoring of the contemporary art fair, which was held for the sixth time this year, both in the local and global art markets and on the list of the events to visit by art lovers.
ArtVilnius’15 presented 55 galleries from 15 countries of the world, including Ukraine which was this year’s guest country. The panel of judges composed of art critics and journalist, chaired by Prof. Dr. Raminta Jurėnaitė, traditionally selected the best participants of the art fair. Among the winners were Kyiv-based Tsekh Gallery and Vilnius-based Prospektas Gallery (Best Galleries), Laima Oržekauskienė-Ore (Best Artist), Petras Lincevičius (Best Young Artist, nomination and EUR 1,000 prize from Law Firm Cobalt, maecenas of the art fair). “Siberia” by Nikita Shalennyi (Ukraine) attracted great attention and was awarded in the nomination of the Best ArtVilnius’15 Installation. The most visitors’ votes went to ArtCo Gallery (Germany) with its exotic artists from the South African Republic, and to Monika Dirsytė selected by the audience as the best artist for her performance “I’m your sun”. The winners received prizes established by art fair partners Nestle Baltics and Lietuvos Rytas.
Sales continue after the art fair
According to Mrs. Diana Stomienė, the director of ArtVilnius’15, the number of artworks sold at the art fair and the sums paid for them are not yet final, as many art pieces are still under negotiation after the end of the art fair. Transactions entered during ArtVilnius’15 are to be continued: many buyers first looked around and made pictures of the works they liked and want to purchase later. The art fair was also visited by foreign delegations of collectors. French collectors invited by Eric Schlosser, French art advisor to ArtVilnius’15, arrived in Vilnius by a private plane and bought several artworks here”, commented the director of the art fair.
Art galleries from this year’s guest country Ukraine also caught buyers’ attention. For example, the stand of the Tsekh Gallery, the best ArtVilnius’15 foreign gallery, already on the first day of the art fair had two artworks by Ievgen Petrov marked with the red dots meaning “Sold artwork”. “We are at ArtVilnius’15 for the sixth time, actively integrating Tsekh artists in the Lithuanian art market. This year’s results show that we are moving in the right direction”, said Oleksandr Shchelushchenko, the owner of the gallery. The art fair was successful for other Ukrainian art galleries as well, including Kyiv-based RA which successfully sold Eduard Potanenkov’s paintings.
Many foreign galleries, such as ArtCo from Germany, the Art Academy of Latvia, Le point Fort Galerie and Karavan Gallery from France, Danish NB galleri, Ufofabrik from Italy, Container Gallery from Georgia, Polish Stalowa, and conceptual Eightfold gallery from the Netherlands, also succeeded in capturing buyers’ attention.
As for Lithuanian galleries, the most favoured by buyers included Algimantas Kunčius’ works from the cycle “Palanga” displayed on the stand of Kaunas Photography Gallery, Menų Tiltas exposition, Baroti stand, artists from Post gallery. Among the selling authors and galleries were Kristina Norvilaitė, Aukso Pjūvis gallery (Klaipėda) and Pylimo gallery. Installation of paintings “A cabin for time/There will be no morning” by Petras Lincevičius, winner of the Best ArtVilnius’15 Young Artist award, was bought by the Modern Art Centre.
Also, this year the organisers of the art fair were happy to see great visitors’ attention to additional projects of ArtVilnius’15 – performances, VIDEONALE Festival for Contemporary Video Art (Germany). In the exhibition of large-sized sculptures and installations TAKAS (PATH), the piece that caught most of the collectors’ attention was the sculpture of an impressive size, “Baltic Pallets”, created from pallets by Latvian artist Anton Logov.
Business and art synergy
Particular attention was also paid to ArtVilnius’15 project zone. In Litexpo Hall 4, dedicated spaces were designed by Rokas Kilčiauskas (Processoffice), the managing architect of ArtVilnius’15, for the exclusive partner of the art fair – Lewben group, Dainius Liškevičius’ work “Labyrinthus”, Jonas Mekas Visual Art Centre, and video installation “The Sixties” by Vladimir Tarasov.
The exclusive partner of the art fair, Lewben group, presented the public for the first time a part of its collection of international contemporary artists managed by the Lewben Art Foundation (curator Francesca Ferrarini, Italy). Their exposition included everyday’s performances by Kęstutis Pleita playing Pedro Reyes’ violin made from transformed guns. In addition, Lewben group was a host of the traditional business class evening held during the art fair every year. The leading businessmen enjoyed presentation of the Foundation’s collection and a tour across the art fair guided by art critics.
Likewise, visitors of the art fair paid attention to the remarkable stands of art fair’s partners Volfas Engelman, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Neptūnas, IQ, Prike Zonin designed by ArtVilnius team of architects and its members Miglė Nainytė and Austė Kuliešiūtė (MOA). “We didn’t want presenting our partners in a traditional way. Instead, we sought the full synergy between business and art. Sponsors often use their presentation attributes for many times in various events and thus are hardly noticed by people. Relying upon the best practices of foreign art fairs, we presented the trade marks of our partners through artistic solutions perfectly integrating into the overall architecture of the art fair and making an integral part thereof”, emphasised Mrs. Stomienė, the director of the art fair, mentioning the golden stand of Volfas Engelman as one of the most frequently photographed during the art fair.
Summing up ArtVilnius’15 that has just ended, Mrs. Stomienė said that a special focus this year was on promoting the art fair in foreign countries and gathering collectors, journalists and representatives of art institutions. Efforts were taken to achieve a perfect architectural completeness of the art fair by taking into account the pettiest details and conducting a strict artistic screening of participant galleries. “We followed the rule of quality rather than that of quantity”, finished her interview Diana Stomienė and invited everybody to next year’s ArtVilnius’16 with Poland as a guest country.