Participating institutions: 427 (Rīga), Alma (Rīga), Artbeat (Tbilisi), Editorial (Vilnius), Green Gallery (Milwaukee), Kim? (Rīga), LambdaLambdaLambda (Prishtina), Misako&Rosen (Tokyo), Temnikova & Kasela (Tallinn)
Artists: Tamar Botchorishvili, Fergus Feehily, Kristians Fukss, Richard Galling, Vedran Kopljar, Katy Cowan, Ieva-Kraule Kūna, Liudmila (Miša Skalskis, Milda Januševičiūte and Paulius Janušonis), Ieva Putniņa, Līva Rutmane, Anastasia Sosunova, Līga Spunde, Sigrid Viir, Elīna Vītola, Dardan Zhegrova.
Rīga Confidential brings together international, experimental and established galleries as well as non-profit art institutions from the Baltics, Japan, the US, Kosovo and Georgia to introduce the Latvian art audience to new names from exciting regions and to activate Rīga’s contemporary art market.
Rīga Confidential is to serve as a meeting point for art institutions, artists and the public, informing and democratizing art sales activities and promoting forms of support for art institutions and artists. The day after the opening, we invite you to an event in which gallerists will present and talk about their spaces and the history thereof, as well as about decades of working side by side with their artists, tools for promoting artists’ careers, collaborations with local creative communities from Milwaukee, Pristina, Tallinn, Tokyo, Vilnius, and Riga, their challenges, difficulties and, of course, successes. At the same time, our guests will be introduced to Rīga’s contemporary art and culture scene, accompanied by visits to artists’ studios and meetings with art students.
The name ‘Rīga Confidential’ alludes to the Onsen Confidential gallery and art space exchange project in Tokyo, inspired by precedents such as Milwaukee International, Paramount Ranch, Condo, OKEY DOKEY, Friend of a Friend, and Villa projects (Villa Warsaw, Villa Reykjavik and Villa Toronto), as well as non-profit initiatives such as NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance), Paris Internationale and gallery associations such as CADAN (Contemporary Art Dealers Association of Japan) and IGA (International Gallery Alliance).
427 (Rīga) was opened in 2014 with the aim to frequently show contemporary art, to uncover signs, to cast nets, and to exchange confabulations.
Alma Gallery (Rīga) was established with the goal of promoting Latvian contemporary art – distinctive in the global context with its Nordic discretion and solid identity – in order to articulate this national value and promote its international circulation. This is the attitude with which the gallery works as it creates and implements its program.
Artbeat (Tbilisi) is an innovative contemporary art gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, representing mid-career and emerging Georgian artists. From 2014 to 2017, the gallery functioned as a project space – a mobile gallery that used a shipping container for site-specific exhibitions to present contemporary art in remote locations where museums and galleries do not operate. In October 2017, the gallery found a permanent home in downtown Tbilisi. The gallery has a significant presence in the international art scene, collaborating with important institutions and museums and participating in art fairs such as NADA Miami, Untitled Miami, Art Dubai, Artissima, Art Cologne.
Editorial (Vilnius) was established in 2016 in Vilnius old town by Vitalija Jasaitė & Neringa Černiauskaitė. Aimed at filling the vacuum of an independent – not institutional, not fully commercial, not academic – space, Editorial quickly became ground for artistic experimentation and a springboard for young and emerging artists to enter the international art scene. Editorial is an informal platform for learning, experimentation and exchanges.
The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, USA) is a contemporary art gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2003, John Riepenhoff established the gallery in the attic of his apartment in Milwaukee’s Riverwest district. The name ‘Green Gallery’ was both an homage to Richard Bellamy’s Chelsea Gallery in the 1960s and an ironic reference to the sky-blue color of the attic. The name was intended to explore the gap between expectations and experience, whilst creating an environment that invites asking questions and engaging in dialogue. Such dialogue was the motivation for Riepenhoff, who also wanted to fill a void in the representation of early-career artists. Two years later, Riepenhoff moved the gallery to larger industrial premises in Riverwest.
Kim? (Rīga) is a contemporary art center focusing on ideas, gestures, textures and interventions. From the face of a well-trained chameleon to a cadavre exquis, from a landfill, a laboratory, and a lighthouse to a hybrid organism. Founded in 2009, Kim? actively participates in shaping the art discourse in Latvia, the Baltics and internationally through an extensive exhibition and public program, international collaborations and publications.
LambdaLambdaLambda (Prishtina) is the first international gallery for contemporary art in Prishtina. Established in early 2015, it aims to provide artists and audiences with an intimate and informal environment conducive to experimentation, discussion and learning, especially by bringing together international and local artists. LambdaLambdaLambda was founded by Isabella Ritter and Katharina Schendl.
Misako & Rosen (Tokyo) seeks to design and develop a commercially viable alternative space, following artist Daan van Golden’s dictum that “art is not a competition”. The Tokyo-based gallery represents 28 artists from Japan and abroad. Together with their colleagues LambdaLambdaLambda (Prishtina), Lulu (Mexico City) and Park View / Paul Soto, Misako & Rosen opened the LA MAISON DE RENDEZ-VOUS shared space in Brussels. One of the gallery’s directors, Jeffrey Rosen, is currently co-chair of the board of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) based in New York. Misako & Rosen is a board member of CADAN (Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon), the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Dealers Association.
Temnikova & Kasela (Tallinn) was founded in 2010 by Olga Temnikova, an artist and graphic designer with previous experience as a gallery director, and Indrek Kasela, a creative entrepreneur, philanthropist, cinema owner and film producer. The gallery provides local and international professional representation for both established and emerging artists from the region, including Estonia, Latvia, and Finland. The gallery has previously shown at Basel Art Fair, Independent, LISTE Art Fair, Paris Internationale, and Frieze, among others.
Support: Culture Ministry of Latvia, State Culture Capital Foundation, Absolut.
Exhibition: Rīga Confidential. A compact art fair. Kim? Contemporary Art Centre. July 22 to July 30.
Photography: Ansis Starks, Ģirts Raģelis