October 6, 2020

The best galleries, artists, and artworks were traditionally selected at the 11th contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’20. The best were awarded at the ceremony and the informal opening of the fair at Litexpo.

This year, the art fair ArtVilnius’20 at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center Litexpo has brought together 40 galleries and 150 artists from 9 countries. Private international art collections, installations, sculptures, and performances are presented here, meetings with art stars, discussions, lectures take place in the LRT studio, and an international conference on metamodernism awaits everyone on Saturday.

On Friday afternoon, the jury, chaired by Dr Julija Reklaitė, selected seven of the best galleries of the fair, the best young artist, the best artist, and the best authors of sculptures and installations. “Although the fair has decreased this year, the quality has remained the same. We are particularly happy about that, so we wanted to reward as many artists and galleries as possible, they work in extremely difficult conditions,” said Julija Reklaitė, chairwoman of the jury, architect, head of Rupert.

That is why the jury decided to select not one but two works for the best installation of the fair. Rafalas Piesliakas’ installation Garden, which welcomes visitors to the fair outdoors, at the exhibition of sculptures and installations Takas, was chosen for consistent professionalism and contextuality. The installation of Kaunas artist Morfai, Bird Boxes – in the Architecture Style of Interwar Modernism was awarded for the entertaining actualization of Kaunas interwar architectural heritage. This installation can be found in the sculpture and installation exhibition Takas at booth 5.31.

For the ironic approach and sense of location, a special mention of the jury went to the young artist Kipras Dubauskas for the installation Daynighting presented by the Center for Contemporary Art in the project zone of the fair.

Rūta Spelskytė-Liberienė was announced as the best young artist of the fair, who is presented at the booth of the VAA exhibition hall Titanikas. In her work, the jury noted the concord of scientific and artistic research, a sensitive and fragile approach, bringing back an aesthetic that transcends the boundaries of visual art and includes all the senses. The prize for the artist was traditionally established by Dr Irmantas Norkus, the managing partner of the law firm Cobalt in Lithuania – a long-term patron of the fair.

The title of the best ArtVilnius’20 artist for the constant rethinking of the medium of photography in many years of practice was awarded to the photographer Remigijus Treigys. His artistic photographs are presented at the fair by Klaipėda gallery Baroti. Klaipėda district Artists’ Association’s gallery Baroti was also recognized as the best gallery of the fair and distinguished for mature high-quality art. The jury praised the Eka Gallery of the Estonian Academy of Arts for its strong works by young artists. The French Galerie Nivet-Carzon from Paris was recognized as the best for its irony, non-commercial attitude, and unexpected playfulness.

Panevėžys’ Galerija XX was awarded the badge of the best gallery for having discovered the undiscovered artists. Pilot, the experimental space of the Latvian Academy of Arts was marked for its rich, exceptionally high-quality concentration of young artists. Vilnius’ gallery The Room was distinguished for a good selection of excellent paintings, and Vilnius’ The Rooster Gallery – for a professional presentation of international artists.

Member of the jury, professor, doctor Raminta Jurėnaitė noted that it seemed important for the jury to evaluate the consistent work of galleries and their ability to discover new talent. The jury was also attended by the managing partner of the law firm Cobalt in Lithuania, Dr Irmantas Norkus; artist, musician, winner of the Golden Lion of the Venice Art Biennial for Best National Pavilion (opera-performance Sun & Sea, together with R. Barzdžiukaitė and V. Grainytė), Lina Lapelytė; and ArtVilnius’14 artistic director, Tbilisi Art Fair in Georgia artistic director and exhibition curator, Eric Schlosser.

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.