The 10th international art fair ArtVilnius’19 kicked off on Thursday evening at the Litexpo exhibition and congress centre. Traditionally, the fair selected and announced the year’s best galleries, artists and artworks.
The jubilee edition of ArtVilnius’19 offers a unique opportunity to experience contemporary French art. For the first time in Lithuania’s history, Vilnius welcomes 11 French galleries and a score of French artists. Many of the names in #FocusFrance programme, dedicated to the contemporary art scene of France, were also on the list of this year’s best participants.
The winners were selected by a jury: chairman, art historian Virginijus Kinčinaitis, art historian Dr Raminta Jurėnaitė, Lewben Group and Lewben Art Foundation board chairman Vilius Kavaliauskas, MO Museum curator Ugnė Paberžytė, and Kadri Laas, project manager of the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, KAI art center and Tallinn Photomonth contemporary art biennial. “As always, picking the best from the fair’s creative variety was a challenge,” according to the jury chairman Virginijus Kinčinaitis.
Under a new rule, introduced several years ago, ArtVilnius awards seven best galleries. The best at ArtVilnius’19 are, in alphabetical order: Bubenberg (France), Galerie Eric Mouchet (France), Galerie Thomas Bernard | Cortex Athletico (France), Kogo (Estonia), Māksla XO (Latvia), The Rooster Gallery (Lithuania) and Titanikas. VDA parodų salės (Lithuania).
Having delved into the great variety of artworks at ArtVilnius’19, the jury unanimously picked the French duet of Émilie Brout and Maxime Marion, presented by the gallery 22,48 m², as the fair’s best artists. The best sculpture/installation award went to Elsa Philippe whose cosmopolitan piece – an on-screen interpretation of the contemporary world via a hypnotising collage – is part of the #FocusFrance exhibition On the Edge.
The law firm Cobalt, the event’s patron, traditionally awards a prize of EUR 2,000 to the best young artist (under 35) of ArtVilnius. This year it is Laura Sabaliauskaitė, presented by Titanikas. VDA parodų salės. The artist’s works give a very personal projected vision built on deep mythology and evaporating in screen pixels, according to the jury chairman Virginijus Kinčinaitis.
Visitors at ArtVilnius’19 can also pick their favourites. They can vote for their preferred galleries and artists until Saturday, June 1. The winners will receive monetary prizes from Volfas Engelman.