This year, Vilnius gallery Meno Niša celebrates its 20th birthday. The year-long festive program of exhibitions culminates in the international exhibition of 20 artists, XX, which will take place at the VAA exhibition halls Titanikas from 10 December.
Vilnius Gallery Meno Niša, located at the beginning of J. Basanavičiaus street, was established in 2002. The founders of the gallery are Diana Stomienė, the head of Meno Niša, the president of the Lithuanian Art Gallery Association, and the director of the ArtVilnius art fair, and Marytė Dominaitė-Gurevičienė, a famous metal artist. The long-time curator of the gallery is art historian Sonata Baliuckaitė.
Hundreds of exhibitions have been organized in Lithuania and abroad over the past 20 years, including presentations of the Lithuanian National Prize laureates and young talented Lithuanian and foreign artists and their projects discovered by the gallery. The gallery is one of several Lithuanian galleries actively participating and presenting their artists at international art fairs in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Lithuania, etc. In 2023, the latest project of Meno Niša Gallery, the Vilnius Biennial for Performance Art, will be launched. It is one of the 7 projects that have won the competition for the 700th anniversary of Vilnius announced by Vilnius City Municipality and GO Vilnius.
“During its long history, the gallery has refined its content, updated its art program, and entered the international art market. We are very grateful to all those who have contributed and helped us to grow together in the process of creating the face of the gallery. It has been a long journey of searching for the gallery’s content, so it is very important for us to invite the gallery’s artists, curators, art critics, supporters, and friends and to thank them for the 20 years of working together,” said the gallery’s director D. Stomienė.
According to the head of the gallery, the VAA Titanikas exhibition halls were chosen for the anniversary exhibition not only because of the space, as this large group of artists would not fit in the intimate environment of Meno Niša. “The artists represented by the gallery and the team of Meno Niša studied at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, so returning to the academy’s premises is emotionally important for every participant of the exhibition and member of the gallery,” said D. Stomienė, the director of Meno Niša.
On the occasion of the birthday, the curator of the exhibition XX, S. Baliuckaitė, symbolically invited 20 artists from Lithuania and abroad who have exhibited at the gallery Meno Niša, including those who participated in the very first Meno Niša exhibition Golden Art in 2002, and those who had their first solo exhibitions.
The exhibition XX consists of two parts: some artists reflect on the theme of the first exhibition Golden Art, discuss the value of art, the categories of an artist’s evaluation, what artists value in their work, what inspires them, and what they transmit through their work. We have selected works by other artists in order to present the creators themselves and what they have created over the gallery’s 20-year history and now.
“XX will bring together artists from different generations and different fields: painters, sculptors, and interdisciplinary artists. Each artist, their work, and exhibition openings have shaped the face of Meno Niša, and it is the artists who are the gallery’s calling card, the identity that has been shaped by bright, ambitious, and promising artists. The exhibition XX will be as diverse as the gallery’s 20-year history,” said curator S. Baliuckaitė.
The exhibition will present the latest works, most of them specially created for the exhibition, by laureates of the National Prize Rūta Katiliūtė, Vladimir Tarasov, and Gintaras Makarevičius, also Marytė Dominaitė, one of the founders of the gallery, painters Jolanta Kyzikaitė, Algirdas and Remigijus Gataveckas, Monika Plentauskaite, Andris Vītoliņš (Latvia), Maarit Murka (Estonia), Konstantinas Gaitanži, Gustas Jagminas, video art, and installations will be presented by Rimas Sakalauskas, Paulius Šliaupa, Tessa Langveld (Netherlands), Siebe Thijs (Belgium), Jurgis Tarabilda, Linas Blažiūnas, Marius Jonutis, Kęstutis Svirnelis, sculptures will be shown by Matas Janušonis, Mykolas Sauka, and performance by Monika Dirsytė.
Architecture – Very good Architecture Company
Graphic design – Marek Voida