The contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’17, which kicked off on Thursday, has awarded the year’s best galleries, artists and artworks.
One of the novelties introduced in this year’s edition of ArtVilnius is that as many as seven galleries were named as the best. “Very many fine galleries take part in the fair, so the old format of two nominations (for best Lithuanian and best foreign gallery) was out of touch with the event’s realities,” Diana Stomienė, head of ArtVilnius’17, said during a press conference at Litexpo exposition centre, noting that it was habitual to pick multiple award-winning galleries at similar art fairs abroad.
The winners were picked by a jury of art professionals chaired by art historian Virginijus Kinčinaitis. Other jurors were art historians Dr. Virginija Vitkienė and Ernestas Parulskis, artists Deimantas Narkevičius and Žilvinas Landzbergas. Linking in challenging ways the concept of artworks, their storylines, creative expressions and exhibiting solutions was one of the main criteria in selecting the best galleries, according to Mr. Parulskis. Another important aspect that the jurors looked at was the galleries’ tactical criteria for selecting artists to be presented at the fair and, of course, how conductive the quality and aesthetic of the artworks were to the fair’s main mission – to sell the pieces.
ArtVilnius’17 best galleries (in alphabetical order): ARgenTum, the Vilnius Academy of Art gallery (Vilnius); Dusetai Gallery and Arts Centre; Foku (Tallinn); Kuldīga Artists‘ residence (Kuldiga); Stalowa (Warsaw); Meno Parkas (Kaunas); gallery-apartment Trivium (Vilnius).
ArtVilnius’17 best artist is Mindaugas Navakas. “His monumental 5-metre-height 20-tonne sculpture Tower G, installed outside, rivalled the architecture of the exposition centre. Study the scale and go to space,” according to the jury chairman Virginijus Kinčinaitis.
ArtVilnius’17 best sculpture/installation is #selfie by Raimonda Sereikaitė, part of the Path show.
ArtVilnius’17 best young artist (under 35) was awarded €1,000 prize provided by the event’s sponsor Cobalt law firm. The award went to Povilas Ramanauskas (Meno Parkas gallery) who won over the jury with his three-dimensional paintings. The winners of best artist and best installation awards received prizes provided by Nescafe Baltic.
Regular visitors of ArtVilnius’17 also have the chance to pick their favourites: “Audience Select Gallery” and “Audience Select Artist”. The voting is open until Saturday, June 10. The winning gallery and artist will receive monetary prizes from Volfas Engelman.
The 8th edition of the international art fair ArtVilnius is running June 8 through June 11 at the Litexpo exhibition and congress centre, presenting 55 galleries and 200 artists from 20 countries. Performances, discussions and educational events are held every day of the fair. For detailed programme, visit www.artvilnius.com/programme.
ArtVilnius’17 patron is the City of Vilnius, the main sponsor is the Lithuanian Council of Culture, the exclusive partner is Lewben Group, the event’s Maecenas is Cobalt law firm.