The group exhibition Žilvitis (Willow), marking Vartai Gallery’s 25th anniversary, is on display from 19 February through 2 April, 2016. Authors of the exhibition Danutė Gambickaitė and Arnas Anskaitis
From its very establishment in 1991, Galerija Vartai has been a prominent cultural centre, attracting a wide and diverse following both within and outside Lithuania. In addition to exhibitions of modern art, it has hosted book presentations, poetry readings, and chamber music concerts. Vartai has always been open to different initiatives and formats, and over the last quarter of a century Vartai has lived through more than one transformation, rethought its identity, observed the field of culture and changed together with it. Eventually it has become one of the most important and active private galleries in Lithuania, presenting (and selling) works by Lithuanian and foreign contemporary artists who use a variety of media.
The group show Žilvitis is a multilayered display which presents works of artists who have collaborated with Galerija Vartai and are very well known in the Lithuanian and international art field: Žilvinas Kempinas, Deimantas Narkevičius, Svajonė and Paulius Stanikas, Julijonas Urbonas, Andrius Zakarauskas, Jurga Barilaitė, Laura Garbštienė, Ugnius Gelguda, Robertas Narkus, Linas Jusionis, Rūtenė Merkliopaitė, and Vytautas Viržbickas. The display is also complemented by installations created exclusively for this exhibition by the art critic Danutė Gambickaitė and artist Arnas Anskaitis.
The visitors will have an opportunity to witness the diversity of the Lithuanian contemporary art field: from minimalist objects altering the perception of place, time and movement to visually eloquent and erotic painting pieces or expressions of existential personal experiences. From scientific projections of the quality of life and joy to escapist efforts to break free from a vicious circle. From bodily rhetoric and reflections on the intrinsic controversies of contemporary art to a reconsideration of fundamental values. From meditative ecological explorations to stylish consonances of synthesizer sounds and critical texts.
The works by contemporary artists presented in the exhibition, integrated into an original script devised by the exhibition’s authors, represent a certain face of the gallery or become a dedication to it. The meta-works initiated by Danutė Gambickaitė and Arnas Anskaitis subtly intervene into the metaphorical narrative about the flow of time, change and memory, as well as the changing gallery as a place for an encounter of ideas, setting in motion the mute yet all-seeing and testifying elements of the gallery’s space. The title Žilvitis, which is also the name of a sofa that has been standing in the gallery since the beginning of its history, becomes a metaphor open to various interpretations in the context of this exhibition. Žilvitis invites the viewer to take a look at the gallery’s rich history, remember its past and rethink the present, and also to evaluate the organic changes it has undergone over all the years of its existence.
25th anniversary exhibitions patron H. E. the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius
Patrons: Vilnius City Municipality, Rolandas Valiūnas
25th anniversary exhibitions partner Lewben Art Foundation
Exhibition supporters: Clear Channel, Ararat, Džiugas
Official broadcaster LRT Culture
Supporters of the gallery: Vilma Dagilienė, Romas Kinka, Lietuvos rytas daily, Ekskomisarų biuras
Photography: Arnas Anskaitis