Best ArtVilnius’20 Installation Acquired – for All Vilnius Residents to Enjoy
The results of the contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’20, which ended over the weekend, are really great. Many works of art have been sold, one of the largest of which – Rafalas Piesliakas’ Garden, chosen by the jury as the best installation of the fair, marked for consistent professionalism and contextuality.
The ArtVilnius’20 jury announced the work Garden, consisting of 10 sculptures by Rafalas Piesliakas, who participated in the sculpture and installation exhibition Takas, as one of the two best installations of the fair. Visitors to the fair could see the work outside the LITEXPO in an environment that was especially suitable for it – the largest antenna in the city, the Vilnius Television Tower, which emerged in the distance, naturally blended into the garden of metal antennas.
“This place for the installation was not chosen by chance,” said artist Rafalas Piesliakas. “The antennas in the city inspired me to create this work.” The garden, which consists of ten metal antennas, talks about the development of communication technologies and their impact on human life. “If a hundred years ago people passed information by word of mouth, today it is antennas that control huge flows of information. Information changes our worldview, our communication, and our whole life,” is how the artist explains the idea of his work Garden.
Rafalas Piesliakas is a conceptual sculptor, who often examines the connection between human well-being and emotions and the environment in his work. In his installations, the artist reveals this theme in various ways by changing and reshaping the exhibition space and involving the viewer and their experiences in the creative experiment. According to Rafalas Piesliakas, the objects themselves have no separate meanings in his works, while their totality serves as an instrument for the formation of the observer’s new experience.
Rafalas Piesliakas’ installation Garden was acquired by a long-term patron of ArtVilnius and managing partner of the law firm Cobalt in Lithuania, Dr. Irmantas Norkus, who plans to donate this work to the city of Vilnius. “The installation Garden, which consists of ten metal antennas, is a symbol of connection, so it already seems to indicate that this work must be exhibited in public places, and not stored in closed, private collections. This work of art reveals how everything is connected – we are connected by invisible links, which are woven or broadcast by specific objects, often ourselves. So, the Garden should be located in a place that is accessible to everyone. We will look for the most suitable place in Vilnius,” said Dr. Irmantas Norkus.
When Rafalas Piesliakas was asked in which place of the city he best imagines his Garden, he had no doubt that his work would be most suitable in the new part of the city, behind the river Nėris, where modern high-rises spring up and which is difficult to imagine without communication.
“I am extremely glad that the works in the sculpture and installation exhibition Takas for years have been attracting the attention of art collectors,” says Diana Stomienė, the head of the fair. “A number of works of Takas are distinguished by their size, as is the installation created by R. Piesliakas from metal, the contextuality of which attracted the attention not only of the jury but also of our patron.”
Garden is not the first work of art that the patron of the fair, the managing partner of the law firm Cobalt in Lithuania Irmantas Norkus, acquires during the fair and donates to the city. Last year, the work Water Lilies by Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė, the creator of the best ArtVilnius’16 installation, which was initiated and sponsored by Irmantas Norkus, was presented to Vilnius public spaces. The artwork is currently on display near the old Vingriai well (the oldest Vingriai springs), close to the nearby MO Museum of Modern Art.
Each year, the patron of the fair also selects the best young artist of the art fair (under the age of 35) and awards them a cash prize to help young talents at the beginning of their creative path. This year, Rūta Spelskytė-Liberienė, presented by the VAA exhibition halls Titanikas, won this award. She was.
ArtVilnius’20 is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, under the auspices of Vilnius City Municipality, and under the patronage of the law firm Cobalt.