Growing Out? Growing Up?


Contemporary Art Collecting in the Baltics
At the Zuzeum Art Centre (Latvia) / 04.06.–20.11.2022.

The exhibition “Growing Out? Growing Up? Contemporary Art Collecting in the Baltics” at Zuzeum Art Centre in Riga introduces vibrant contemporary art collections in the Baltics while emphasising the social aspects of private collecting. It is a project that aims to unite art collectors in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and facilitate public and international access to art in private collections and the emerging art infrastructure in the Baltic countries.

Augustas Serapinas. Sunrise, 2017. Wood. Collection of the Lewben Art Foundation Collection

What often started as passion projects in the 1990s has now grown into an alternative infrastructure with thousands of masterpieces of Baltic art being stored, catalogued, restored, researched and loaned to local and international museums and galleries. Many private collections have grown into foundations, museums, art centres and places of learning. The exhibition touches upon the international dynamics of collections as well as their developmental ambitions as growing bodies and institutions. The exhibition also poses a question: what is the future of collecting?

Vojtech Kovarik. Apollo with Laurel Wreath, 2020. Acrylic on canvas. Zuzāns Collection. Photo: Jānis Pipars

The artworks and collections in the exhibition have been selected by Olga Temnikova, a gallerist and art advisor from Tallinn: “With this show, I took a simple route to point out collections and collectors, selected not by scale but their drive and potential. I want the most exciting people to get together.

We present mainly recent acquisitions as signifiers of the state of affairs of the collecting process. Attention is paid to ‘crossborder consuming’ and artists that appear in several collections.

As a gallerist and therefore experienced Baltic-region art agent, I have been analysing the peculiarities of local art scenes: their up- and downsides. This made me dream of improving social connections, creating a cultural and artistic base for ‘Baltic pride’ – a common identity and starting point, so much more critical in the current geopolitical circumstances.”

Anastasia Sosunova. Feline Temple, 2020. Zinc, salt and wheat flour dough, spray paint, epoxy resin, metal items. Boris Symulevič's Collection

Participating collections include Lewben Art Foundation, MO Museum Collection, Vitols Contemporary Art Collection, Zuzāns Collection, VV Foundation, Collection Kruus, as well as art collected by Boris Symulevič, Riivo Anton, Edgar Aronov and Maria Avdjushko.

Olga Temnikova, founder of Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, is an established art professional who successfully helped internationalise her local art scene, bringing many Estonian artists to international recognition. She believes in connections, networks and know-how and has fully immersed her enthusiasm and experience in shaping the Baltic art scene, including on this project.

Jaanus Samma. Jockstrap with a Black Waistband, 2021. Screenprint. Riivo Anton's Collection

The exhibition features more than 70 artists representing different practices of contemporary art in different parts of the world: Adam Bomb Squad, Alar Tuul, Alice Kask, Amanda Ziemele, Anastasia Sosunova, Andrius Zakarauskas, Augustas Serapinas, Chaz Guest, Cindy Sherman, Cyberbrokers, Damien Hirst, Diana Remeikytė, Dominykas Sidorovas, Edith Karlson, Eduardo Sarabia, Eike Eplik, Elena Narbutaitė, Elza Sīle, Flo Kasearu, Friedrich Kunath, Gabrielė Adomaitytė, Herkki-Erich Merila, Ian Cheng, Jaan Toomik, Jaanus Samma, Kaido Ole, Kamil Pierwszy, Katja Novitskova, Kazimieras Brazdžiūnas, Khanyisa Dada, Kris Lemsalu, Krista Mölder, Kristaps Ģelzis, Kristina Õllek, Laura Kaminskaitė, Laura Põld, Lesley Vance, Louisa Gagliardi, Marcus Jahmal, Merike Estna, Mickalene Thomas, Mikko Hintz, Mindaugas Lukošaitis, Monika Radžiūnaitė, Mykola Bilous, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Neringa Černiauskaitė, Nik Kosmas, Patricija Jurkšaitytė, Paul Kuimet, Peeter Allik, Peeter Laurits, Pieter Hugo, Raoul Kurvitz, Reinis Lismanis, Robertas Narkus, Robert Nava, Rūtė Merk, Sabīne Vernere, Santa France, Sergey Zarva, Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė, Simon De Mai, Sirja-Liisa Eelma, Soshiro Matsubara, Taisia Korotkova, Teresa Margolles, Thomas Lerooy, Tõnis Saadoja, Ugnius Gelguda, Vadim Fiškin, Vojtěch Kovařík, Vytenis Burokas, XCOPY, Yevhen Petrov, Zuza Golińska, Žilvinas Kempinas.

Kristaps Ģelzis. Artificial Peace. Contemporary landscape. Episode 5, 2015. Polythene, plastic adhesive, acrylic pigments. Vitols Contemporary Art Collection

The project was initiated and developed by Ieva Zībārte, architect, writer and curator, and Head of Exhibitions at Zuzeum Art Centre, in collaboration with Karin Laansoo, Artistic Director at Kai, Ugnė Bužinskaitė, Art Curator and Director of Lewben Art Foundation, and Giedrė Marčiulaitė, Art Curator and Executive Director of the The Lithuanian Expatriate Art Foundation. The exhibition in Riga is organised and funded by Zuzeum Art Centre and will be followed by independently curated exhibitions in Vilnius and Tallinn, organised by main project partners Lewben Art Foundation and Kai Art Center.

Title image: Amanda Ziemele. Monotype from the series Lamprey, 2019. Oil on paper. Collection of the VV Foundation. Photo: Ansis Starks

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