ArtVilnius’21 Visitors Chose Their Favorites

The 12th International Contemporary Art Fair ArtVilnius’21 ended yesterday at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center Litexpo. 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 have traditionally been awarded the prizes of the fair’s partner Volfas Engelman.

The audience of the fair gave the most votes to the Latvian neighbors this year. The experimental art space of the Latvian Academy of Arts PILOT has been recognized as the Audience Select Gallery. The gallery, located in the old town of Riga, fascinated the audience with its provocative exposition and rebellious spirit.

“PILOT has been participating in the art fair ArtVilnius for many years, I am very glad that our visitors have good taste – the works of Latvian creators are really striking,” said Sonata Baliuckaitė, the art director of the fair, after the awards ceremony. – This is an innovative, bold, and modern gallery. Its artists are actively responding to social phenomena and situations, and the gallery has brought together not only the students of the academy but also the teachers.”

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 Audience 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.

“We are glad that the audience notices the works presented by the Vilnius Contemporary Art Center,” said Diana Stomienė, the head of ArtVilnius’21. – Last year, the installation Daynighting by the young generation artist Kipras Dubauskas, presented by the center, was awarded by our jury for its ironic attitude and sense of place.

On the first day of the fair, the ArtVilnius’21 jury, chaired by artist and art critic Laima Kreivytė, also selected the other best of the fair. The 7 best ArtVilnius’21 galleries (in alphabetical order) were: VAA textile gallery Artifex, French Galerie Nivet-Carzon, Albanian GOM / TAC gallery, Lithuanian Artists’ Association gallery Meno Parkas, Molėtai art gallery, VAA exhibition halls Titanikas, Vilnius Photography Art Center 7:14.

Goodhearter Wisher (Vytautas Viržbickas) was selected as the best ArtVilnius’21 artist. Denisas Kolomyckis received the title of the best young artist of ArtVilnius’21 and the award of the Maecenas of the fair – law firm Cobalt. The title of the best installation of the fair went to Dalia Truskaitė’s installation Unsay presented by the gallery Meno Parkas.

ArtVilnius’21 is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Patron – Vilnius City Municipality
Maecenas is the law firm Cobalt.