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On the edge of change 0

An overview of the ArtVilnius’19 art fair

Auguste Petre
31/05/2019

From 30 May until 2 June, the vast and extensive Vilnius exhibition hall LITEXPO is once again placed under the authority of art. One of the most important international art fairs of the Baltic States, ArtVilnius 2019 celebrates its 10th anniversary these days, presenting a total of 65 galleries from 20 countries around the world. A special emphasis this year has been placed on French contemporary art. Under the title #FocusFrance, the presence of several French galleries and an impressive exhibition of young artists has been curated by one of the brightest curators of the new generation – Aurélie Faure.


#FocusFrance exhibition "On the Edge"


#FocusFrance exhibition "On the Edge"

Alongside the gallery and #FocusFrance programme, a number of independent projects from the Lewben Art Foundation, MOCAK (Museum of Contemporary art in Krakow), Vilnius CAC, NOAR & Nordic and Baltic Young Artist Award, Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Centre and others are included as part of the art fair and undoubtedly contribute to the anniversary event, expressly demonstrating the importance of ArtVilnius in the international context.


Lewben Art Foundation exhibition

Back in February, in a conversation with Arterritory.com, the director of ArtVilnius Diana Stomienė and the artistic director of the fair Sonata Baliuckaitė commented on the importance of general support for arts and the positive development of the contemporary arts processes in Lithuania, expressing thoughts on the importance of working with independent curators: “The art fair must constantly change and renew itself; galleries cannot display the same works two years in a row. Artworks can travel through different fairs, but when we think of a collector or a buyer, we have to provide diversity and offer the most relevant or fresh works.”


It must be said that the collaboration with Aurélie Faure has paid off a hundred percent, because “fresh” is the exact word that comes to mind after walking through the exhibition. The presence of French art in the usual range of galleries from the Baltic states and surrounding region is encouraging and allows viewing these art presentations in a completely new context. Galleries like Galerie Nivet-Carzon, Hors-Cadre and Galerie Eric Mouchet surprise with conceptual playfulness. A combination of modern possibilities and classical traditions leads to a wider set of presentations, offering the visitor of ArtVilnius a view of the French contemporary art scene and allowing them literally to immerse themselves in it, if only for a moment, by entering the gallery booth. In contrast with the participating galleries, where art is just rarely restricted by social messages, the curator’s exhibition “On the Edge” tells the story of political and artistic problematics. Designed as a public space, “On the Edge” is set at an intersection of various mediums, artists and their practices.


Galerie Nivet-Carzon

A totally different set of art traditions are reflected in the fair by the contribution of galleries from the Baltic States. The Rooster gallery from Vilnius and Kogo from Tartu show Nordic attractiveness of things and colours, whereas Baroti and Dusetų dailė galleries from Lithuania, and Māksla XO gallery from Latvia display a selection of pure high-quality art that at times feels like a breath of fresh air in the saturated exhibition hall. Amidst the booths of the art galleries, the exhibition by the three art academies of the Baltic States is also quite enjoyable with its completely fresh interpretations, the potential and ideas of just-emerging artists.


The Rooster Gallery

In all, ArtVilnius seems like a clash between the already-known and the yet-undiscovered. The unknown art boundaries can be sensed in the confrontation of veteran galleries, which have become an important part of the art fairs over the years, and those galleries that can be considered newcomers in this region.


Galerie des petits carreaux


Māksla XO gallery


Panėvežio miesto dailės galerija


Estonian Academy of Arts


Estonian Academy of Arts


Latvian Academy of Arts


Latvian Academy of Arts


Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve


Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve


Baroti gallery


Artwork by Jake and Dino Chapman at the Lewben Art Foundation exhibition


Artwork by Andres Serrano at the Lewben Art Foundation exhibition


Artwork by Le Corbusier at the Galerie Eric Mouchet


Galerie Eric Mouchet


Galerie Eric Mouchet


Galerie Gans


Galerie Nivet-Carzon


Galerie Nivet-Carzon


Meno niša gallery


Meno niša gallery


Galerie des petits carreaux


Galerie des petits carreaux


Agijas Sūnas galerija


April Gallery


Arty Cube


Dusetų dailė galerija 


Everything is Art gallery


Galerie van Cauwelaert


Gallery Tifāna


Maarit Murka


The Rooster gallery


Povilas Romanauskas


Tadao Cern


Vilnius Art Academy exhibition hall "Titanikas"