International Art Fair ArtVilnius’16 is already counting sales results for the fair that took place on 9-12 June. During the four days of ArtVilnius’16, Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO was proud to meet 21 thousand visitors; about 200 works of art were sold for more than 260 thousand euro. These figures once again evidence the stable anchoring of the contemporary art fair, which was held for the seventh time this year, both in the local and global art markets, as well as among art lovers.
According to Mrs. Diana Stomienė, director of ArtVilnius’16, the statistical figures for artworks sold at the art fair are not precise. “Not necessarily all art sales should be completed during the art fair; many transactions are finalised after the fair. Art lovers and collectors often contact authors during the art fair, apply to experts for advice, look around, make bookings and purchase the works they liked later. Such transactions fall beyond our records, but we know they have to do with the art fair”, says Mrs. Stomienė.
Great interest in foreign and Lithuanian art
Art galleries from this year’s guest country Poland also caught buyers’ attention: Stalowa Gallery sold four artworks and Czułość Gallery sold three photographs by Nampei Akaki from Japan. The only participant gallery from Estonia, Okapi Gallery, sold four works and enjoyed a successful debut in ArtVilnius. Works by Alexey Lunev were in the centre of attention at the stand of Y Gallery, the Best Gallery at ArtVilnius’16. Great visitor’s attention was also drawn to foreign galleries, such as lokal_30, Zderzak, Nivet-Carzon, F.A.I.T., Maksla XO, Kovcheg, Agijas Sūnas Art Gallery, and others. Many visitors and buyers focused on large-scale steel objects by Dutch artist Ronald A. Westerhuis and new kinetic installation “Something in the Air” by Kęstutis Svirnelis.
This year, Lithuanian galleries and artists enjoyed exceptional success at ArtVilnius’16. The Rooster gallery sold even 8 works of art by young and promising painting artists Vita Opolskytė, Kristina Ališauskaitė, Andrius Zakarauskas and Auksė Miliukaitė. E.K.ART Gallery sold more than ten works, including photographs by Vitas Luckus and Vytautas Balčytis. Aukso Pjūvis Gallery enjoyed having buyers for more than 20 of gallery’s artworks. This gallery showcased the paintings by Aldona Gustas. Visitors of Meno Niša Gallery bought artworks by young painter Paulius Šliaupa and famous classic Rūta Katiliūtė. Baroti Gallery (KADS) sold out all paintings of Radion Petrov. Among other selling artists there were Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė, Andrius Erminas, Eglė Rakauskaitė, Martynas Gaubas, Vilmantas Marcinkevičius, Pranas Gailius, Vytautas Kasiulis and Rūta Jusionytė. Kaunas photo gallery sold several works by Donatas Stankevičius from the series “Old drivers”.
Artist Kristina Norvilaitė sold 8 art works, of which two were bought by Law Firm Cobalt, maecenas of art fair ArtVilnius’16 and its leading partner in Lithuania Irmantas Norkus. The maecenas added a total of 7 art pieces to their collection. He selected a painting by Vita Opolskytė and four graphical works of Linas Katinas.
The best artists and galleries of ArtVilnius’16
The best artists and galleries selected by the panel of experts were announced on the opening day of the art fair. The Best Young Artist’s (under 35) award at ArtVilnius’16 went to Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, presented by 5 Malūnai Gallery of the Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA). The artist received a EUR 1,000 prize established by Law Firm Cobalt. “Kill(ed) for Peace” by Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė was awarded for the Best Sculpture/ Installation at ArtVilnius’16. Polish artist Zuzanna Janin, presented by Warsaw-based gallery local_30, was awarded as the Best Artist of ArtVilnius’16. Minsk-based gallery Y (Belarus) became the Best Foreign Gallery of ArtVilnius for the second year in a row. Nulinis Laipsnis (0º) was announced as the Best Lithuanian Gallery. Audience awards were announced on Sunday, the last day of ArtVilnius’16. The audience favourites were Ulf Larsson gallery from Germany and Lithuanian artist Linas Blažiūnas.
The rise in the number of visitors to the art fair
This year the art fair enjoyed even more visitors than last year. Among the visitors there were buyers and art collectors from Germany, France, Turkey, Italy, Russia and Scandinavian countries. Attention to ArtVilnius’16 was paid by foreign ambassadors who visited the events of the art fair. Presentation of the latest collection of the Lewben Art Foundation organised by the exclusive partner of ArtVilnius’16, Lewben Group, was proud to meet many representatives of business and art elite. On Sunday, the art fair was flooded with families. A broad educational programme drew interest from hundreds of children and their parents. According to Diana Stomienė, the programme of ArtVilnius’16 was designed so that to satisfy the interests of different groups of visitors. “Art fair’s results show that we have reached our target”, the director of ArtVilnius’16 sums up this year’s experience.
Patron of ArtVilnius’16 – Vilnius City Municipality, main sponsor – Lithuanian Council for Culture, main partner – Litexpo, exclusive partner – Lewben Group, maecenas – Law Firm COBALT.