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Participants from Lithuania at COLLECT: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects

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Every year COLLECT: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects is held at Saatchi Gallery in London’s prestigious Chelsea district and presents a selection of works from international contemporary art galleries. The event is comparable to London’s most popular art fair “Frieze” and the influential SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design) fair in New York and Chicago. At this year’s COLLECT art fair, which will be held from 8th to 11th May, amongst other well-known galleries and artists, representatives from Lithuania – an international contemporary art and design online gallery “Art-Cart” will also participate. For the very first time at the art fair “Art-Cart” curators will present a collection of Lithuanian artists’ works, which will include pieces created by Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė, Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė, Loreta Švaikauskienė and Indra Marcinkevičienė.

The fair attended by collectors from around the world

The participation at COLLECT will be the first “live” presentation of the online gallery “Art-Cart” to the foreign art audience. The aim of the online gallery, which was launched in 2013, is to contribute to the development of creative business practices and expand the Lithuanian art market internationally.

It is anticipated that over the four-day event the Lithuanian stand will be seen by more than 10 thousand visitors, amongst which will be specially invited collectors from Great Britain and other countries, representatives from world-renowned museums and galleries and those interested in contemporary art and design alike. Each year COLLECT attracts the attention of international media and the sales for last year’s event were in the region of £1.7 million.

The gallery manager Ana Čižauskienė is overjoyed as many of different artists and galleries from around the world apply to participate in this prestigious annual event, but only a number of them are selected. “During the selection process the organizers of the fair recognized the distinct links with textiles in our proposed collection of works. In recent years, at COLLECT textile art objects have not been so heavily featured, but in Lithuania this particular discipline is thriving,” – said A. Čižauskienė.

New works presented at the fair

Currently, the online gallery “Art-Cart” represents over 50 artists from all over the world. “In shaping the collection proposal for the fair we chose works that stand out from the rest not only based on the artists’ ideas but also demonstrate exceptional quality and technique. At the international fair the selected artists will present their latest works with some of them exhibited for the very first time,” – the gallery manager A. Čižauskienė reveals the details of putting together the proposal.

Artist Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė, who is also the director and curator of the “Artifex” gallery at Vilnius Academy of Arts, claims that it is important for her to promote an individual perception of beauty and to question the hierarchy of art disciplines. Her works are made using everyday objects decorated with cross-stitched traditional ornaments. “Banal beauty and utilitarian objects are things that interest me the most and inspire my creativity. Therefore I use objects that reference fragments of the popular culture or kitsch,” – says the artist. At the fair S. Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė will present not only the former, but also a new series of works, which has never been shown.

In her works Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė often uses a sophisticated computerized jacquard weaving technique where the balance between traditional means of expression and modern technology is evident. Amongst other works presented at the fair the artist will show one of her latest pieces “Pixel carpet”, the idea for which was born from the artist’s travels in Tehran. In its execution Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė chose a motif from a Persian carpet, which when enlarged created an abstract pixel pattern. “For me the transformations of a particular object are important, when from afar you do not see the complete view and drawing closer to it you understand what it is, and having come right up close you realize you see the abstract view again. It is a kind of time and historical flow through an image, an exaggeration of the moment,” – the artist and the Head of the Textiles Department at Kaunas Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts explains.

Associate Professor, board member of the international Kaunas Biennial and artist Loreta Švaikauskienė works in contemporary textile and theatre costume design fields. The artist is happy to be taking part in the fair and says that similar events open up many new opportunities for collaboration. L. Švaikauskienė has won numerous international awards for her unique author’s technique, which makes the works seem as if they are made of metal or porcelain. Her works have been acquired by national museums, private collectors and lovers of unique interior elements. “Švaikauskienė’s works are contextual and multi-layered. The skilled eye of the viewer will find accents from different eras in her pieces – mythological elements rising from fairy tales and legends,” –  art critic Virginija Vitkienė describes the artist’s work.

Indra Marcinkevičienė works in the interior and furniture design field. The artist’s style based on temperamental, contrasting principles is easily recognized in her interiors. The desire to create playful and colourful interiors encouraged the artist to start designing her own furniture and other interior elements. As her designs for interiors, the furniture pieces she makes has the same stroke of style and are characterized by bold use of colour combinations. Her debut in the furniture industry had a lot of repercussions in various design fairs in Asia, USA and Europe. At COLLECT the artist will present her latest furniture piece entitled “Boomerang”. The artist reveals that each piece of furniture she creates tells its own story. “That short witty story is very important. It makes a simple piece of furniture into an artistic object, it makes the object mysterious and extraordinary. I tell everyone that each piece of furniture can be at least “two in one”: an object that fulfills its function and a work of art, which pleases the eye and creates good emotions,” – says Marcinkevičienė.

COLLECT: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects will take place from 8th to 11th May, 2015.

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