The ArtVilnius’21 Art Fair Starting on Friday Invites Everyone To Experience Art Live

October 16, 2021

From Friday to Sunday, the Exhibition and Congress Center Litexpo in Vilnius will be occupied by art. This is where the 12th contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’21 begins. The largest visual arts event in the Eastern European region will present 56 galleries from 12 countries.

Traditionally, ArtVilnius’21 will also present private international art collections, an exhibition of installations, sculptures and performances Takas, as well as meetings, discussions, conferences, and tours with art critics.

“We are happy to see the behind the scenes of the fair bustling with work because two months ago we were not sure whether the event would take place, – said Diana Stomienė, the head of ArtVilnius’21, at a press conference organized on the eve of the opening of the fair. – However, the galleries have almost prepared their stands, so we are waiting for visitors tomorrow. This fair is for everyone who wants to feel art live, experience a sense of communion with artists.”

Visitors who come to ArtVilnius’21 by taxi may enter an artistic performance organized by the fair’s newcomers – the GOM / TAC project from Albania. And this proves once again that the international contemporary art fair in Vilnius is not just a traditional gallery fair. The structure of the event is huge, so during the press conference, the organizers singled out the 10 most important highlights of ArtVilnius’21.

Gallery program

The three ArtVilnius’21 halls already house 56 galleries from 12 countries: Lithuania, France, Belarus, Germany, Ukraine, Albania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Denmark, Italy, and Romania. At the Litexpo Exhibition and Congress Center, visitors will meet their favorite galleries Okapi (Estonia), Tsekh (Kyiv / Vilnius), Nivet Carzon (France), Lithuanian galleries The Rooster gallery, Meno Parkas, Baroti ”, Kristina Norvilaitė Gallery, and many others.

 The organizers of ArtVilnius’21 are also happy to present some new names – Aambulanz Kollektiv (Germany), Gom /Tac (Albania), AP galerija, 8 akys ir ausys from Vilnius, Šiauliai Art Space S-in , Si: Said from Klaipėda, and others.

Another new name is the Belarusian gallery Ambasada Kultury, By +. It has participated in the fair a few times before by the name Galerija Y, and this year, along with DK gallery from Minsk they have been invited to the fair as guests. 

The project zone

Since 2013, ArtVilnius has been presenting a non-commercial project area, where one can get acquainted with the collections of world-famous museums and foundations and see exhibitions of famous artists or their groups.

This year, the always progressive Lewben Art Foundation presents the crypto art – NFT exposition How soon is tomorrow. Collecting NFTs. It will feature works by Lithuanian Robert Narkus and Estonian Tommy Cash and Katja Novitskova. “Just last week, the Lewben Art Foundation acquired the first NFT works,” said Ugnė Bužinskaitė, one of the curators of the exhibition and the head of the foundation, during a press conference. She added that one of the works on display in Hall 4 would be perhaps the most expensive of all at the fair. 

The long-standing partnership links ArtVilnius to the initiative of the Krakow Museum of Contemporary Art Mocak to present the most outstanding international artists every year. The curator of the museum exhibition is Monika Koziol.

In the project area, visitors will find an impressive installation by SetPStanikas, a duo of creators living between Paris and Vilnius. Vilnius Contemporary Art Center will present an installation by Jurgis Paškevičius created especially for the spaces of Litexpo. The organizers of the fair also invite everyone to the stand of Stasys Eidrigevičius Arts Center in Panevėžys, where visitors will be able to see pastel drawings of Stasys Eidrigevičius, the winner of the National Prize for Culture and Arts.

This year, the Visual Arts Center celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Fluxus movement and the 90th birthday of Jurgis Mačiūnas. It will also be celebrated in the project zone of ​​the fair. Dr. GoraParasit, who attracted visitors with a highly visual performance last year, returns here with the performance TikTok Shakespeare

Exhibition Takas 

In the traditional exhibition of sculptures, installations and performances Takas, 22 artists will present their new works this year. The exhibition Takas was curated by the art critic, prof. dr. Raminta Jurėnaitė, later by art critic dr. Elona Lubytė, and Sonata Baliuckaitė, Art Director of ArtVilnius. This year, the helm of Takas has been taken over by curator Vytenis Burokas – an artist, curator of exhibitions and education at the National Art Gallery, one of the curators of the exhibition JCDecaux Prize, and a lecturer at the Sculpture Department of Vilnius Academy of Arts.

Throughout the three days of the fair, visitors will be able to enjoy an impressive performance of Monika Dirsytė’s endurance and will, as well as performances by Nancie Naive, Gabrielė Vetkinaitė, and Edvinas Mikulskis. Different creators will examine the issues of popular culture, its iconicity, the formation of the individual in the family and society, and gender stereotypes.

Takas will also present the work Nothing Holy by Goodhearter Wisher, artist Vytautas Viržbickas. It will also present a new work Self-portrait. The Nightmare by Kristina Ališauskaitė, the first and only Lithuanian artist included in Thames & Hudson’s book 100 Painters of Tomorrow, which lists the most promising painters in the world.

Highlight – works on paper

Every year, ArtVilnius puts emphasis on one creative highlight, which is presented to visitors in more detail. This year, ArtVilnius’21 invites guests to get to know art on paper – drawings, collages, graphics, objects, and more. Organizers, who travel to foreign art fairs a lot, notice that the popularity of paper is growing both among creators, collectors, and art buyers, and special fairs are organized for art on paper. In Vilnius, paper will be only an important accent, but visitors will discover all media in the stands of the fair participants: painting, photography, sculpture, video creation, installations.

Lectures, discussions, meetings, and conferences in LRT studio

Art discussions, lectures, and presentations will take place in the interactive LRT studio, part of which will be broadcast live by The daytime conference Stage Art Fair will be organized by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater in the conference hall.

Young collector’s stand 

Art lovers or those who are just beginning to take an interest in art will be able to discover and purchase their first work of art, or perhaps supplement their existing collection at the Young Collector’s Stand. This stand is dedicated to small-format works of art selected by 27 galleries participating in the fair. The price of small-format works does not exceed 500 euros.

Selection of the best participants of the fair

As every year, the selection of the best exhibitors will take place at ArtVilnius’21. The 7 best ArtVilnius’21 galleries, the best ArtVilnius’21 artist, the best ArtVilnius’21 sculpture/installation will be nominated. The award for the best young ArtVilnius’21 artist was established by the Maecenas of the fair, the law firm Cobalt. The visitors of the fair will choose their favorites – the Audience Select Gallery and Audience Select Artist, for which the prize was established by Volfas Engelman.

Artists, galleries, and works will be judged by the commission: art critic Virginijus Kinčinaitis, curator of contemporary art Neringa Bumblienė, curator of the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow Monika Kozioł, art critic, chair of Lithuanian Union of Interdisciplinary Artists Danutė Gambickaitė, and independent curator, lecturer at Vilnius Academy of Arts, artist Laima Kreivytė.

Tours of the fair with art critics

Visitors to the fair will be able to purchase tickets for tours of the fair with art critics.

ArtVilnius’21 press conference

Gallery festival Art After Hours

On Friday, October 15, when the doors of the Litexpo Exhibition and Congress Center close, visitors are invited to the city of Vilnius, where the gallery festival Art After Hours will take place. 17 Vilnius art galleries, art institutions, and art spaces will open their doors and host meetings with creators and excursions around the exhibitions. The festival will feature works by more than 80 artists. See for more information.

Virtual fair space (3D tours, electronic catalogue of participants)

The virtual fair space is an electronic catalog of participants’ works, which you can find on the fair website Visitors to the site will be able to save the works they like, which will help them better navigate the fair and find what interests them most.

The team organizing the interactive 3D tour of the fair will take three nights to scan the gallery stands and artworks in them. Visitors will be invited to the virtual tour at the end of ArtVilnius’21.

ArtVilnius’21 is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Patron- Vilnius City Municipality
Maecenas is the law firm Cobalt, and the exclusive partner is Lewben.