Opinions on the Artvilnius’12 Art Fair

Elīna Zuzāne


From June 27 to July 1, the Vilnius exhibition center Litexpo was the site of the art fair Artvilnius'12. We've provided video materials in which several notable people state their opinions on the fair: the legendary Lithuanian photographer Antanas Sutkus; the internationally renown art critic Simon Hewitt; and the gallery owners Walter Bischoff from Germany and Kristina Mizgiryte from Lithuania. In addition, the history ofArtvilnius and its conception is summarized by the fair's director, Diana Stomiene, and its creative director, Raminta Jurenaite. The videos are in Russian and English.

Due to its prominent red background and, of course, its featured artists, the stand of Kauno Fotografijos Galerija (Kaunas) was one of the most visible stands at the fair. It displayed some of the most important works done by the Lithuanian masters of photography – Antanas Sutkus and Romualdas Rakauskas – including Sutkus' famous image of a girl watching the city's marathon (which has also made its way into the collection of Sir Elton John).

Simon Hewitt has visited all three of the Artvilnius art fairs, this year as the international consultant for the Paris art gallery Kohn. Hewitt studied art history at Oxford, lives in Geneva, and writes for recognized journals such as Art+Auction, among a long list of other publications hailing from the US, Great Britain, France and Russia.

The young gallery owner Kristīna Mizgirute represented Vilnius' (AV17) Gallery, who's stand this year was awarded the prize for Best Sculpture. Created by the Lithuanian artist Nerijaus Ermino, its creative concept deals with the feeling of homeyness, as reflected in the form of a pet squirrel and its human friend.

Walter Bischoff, head of Berlin's Walter Bischoff Gallerie, was the fair's guest of honor, and has participated in Artvilnius since its beginnings, in 2009. The gallery's crowning glory was a portrait of the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, as photographed by Antanas Sutkus. The German gallery also had works by Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke, and Mel Ramos on display, in the midst of which were paintings by Latvian artist Normunds Brasliņš. Take note that Brasliņš's solo show is going on at Walter Bischoff Gallerie through the end of August. 

From the sculpture section at the art fair

The Vilnius gallery Malonioji 6, which was opened this year by the Lithuanian artist Žilvinas Landzbergas, and colleagues. Landzbergas was awarded the prize of Best Installation at Artvilnius'12.

The Vilnius gallery Pamenkalnio

“Galerija 21” (Riga, Latvia). Artist – Vibha Galhotra


The gallery Collectiva, from Berlin

Following in the traditions of Lithuanian art, again this year many galleries at Artvilnius'12 included photographs in their expositions, featuring works by both well-known and not-so-well-known artists. The gallery Panevėžio miesto (Panevezys) highlighted the meaningful series “Lithuanian Faces”, by Algimantas Aleksandravičius – a reflection of prominent Lithuanian personalities, whose contemplative visages caught the eye of every visitor. Greatly lauded by followers of art in Lithuania, the series has also been shown in Russia, Poland, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ukraine.

One of the most interesting and attractive art stands was the one by the Lithuanian Art Academy's gallery Akademia VDA galerija, whose exposition included the work “Lėktuvnešis”, by Giedriaus Jonaičio, the winner of Best Work of Art.

Alma gallery from Riga

Kristians Brekte, represented by Alma gallery, receives the prize for Best Young Artist Under 35