ART VILNIUS 2017
Lewben Art Foundation was partnering with ArtVilnius and presented the exposition “All These Beautiful Ladies”
ArtVilnius is the only contemporary art fair in Lithuanian and the largest art fair in the Eastern Europe region. ArtVilnius, which had its start in 2009, was one of the most important events in the Vilnius – European Capital of Culture project. Over the last eight years the art fair has expanded and become firmly established on the local and international art scene, as well as on the list of must-visit events for art lovers.
Every year ArtVilnius has over 20,000 visitors, with about 60 art galleries from a dozen or so countries participating (Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, and France). The applications of galleries wishing to participate in the art fair are reviewed and selected by a jury made up of art critics and art market experts, thereby ensuring the professionalism of the galleries at the fair.
From 2014 the Lewben Art Foundation of the fair’s exclusive partner the Lewben Group has been presenting the collections of world-famous artists in the project zone curated by Francesca Ferrarini (Italy). On the list of these artists one can find the names of Hans Op de Beeck, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Bertrand Lavier, Helen Marten amongst others.
This year Lewben Art Foundation presented magnificent exhibition content, with the intriguing title "All These Beautiful Ladies“. This was the main exposition at the art fair project area and received a large interest of the visitors and representatives of the art world. The exposition “All These Beautiful Ladies" presented works by nine contemporary artists: Teresa Margolles (Mexico / Spain), Helen Marten (UK), Claire Tabouret (France / USA), Marina Rheingantz (Brazil), Marwa Arsanios (USA / Lebanon), Katja Novitskova (Estonia / Netherlands / Germany), SetP Stanikas (Lithuania / France), Kristina Inčiūraitė (Lithuania) and Tschabalala Self (USA).
ANNOTATION OF THE EXPOSITION
Over the past year, the Lewben Art Foundation has seen the birth of two delightful little girls. From there the idea arose of organising an exhibition that would be a tribute to femininity and would explore its transformation into art: the woman as softness, sinuosity, depth of feelings, fragility and beauty, as a mother or a femme fatale. While the idea for this exhibition transformed itself into a reality, a new wave of women’s protests broke out in the world, which on the one hand make the topic more relevant, but on the other could convert it into something socio-political. While it is true that many artists are reflecting this moment of social and political shake-up, the exhibition maintains a distance from such an interpretation. It aims to be a display that narrates the "doing art" and "being the subject of art" of some of the women artists with the largest followings on the international scene. We are talking about femininity rather than feminism.
A book on the history of art could almost be a book about women, so numerous are the works women have inspired, from times of antiquity right up to the modern world: from the Ancients who depicted goddesses in all their beauty, to the image of Mary which runs through the Dark Ages, to the feminine images of the Renaissance and the great icons of art history like the Mona Lisa. Woman has always been at the centre of art, an icon of aesthetic perfection, and was there also at one of the key moments of the transition to contemporary art – namely, when Andy Warhol’s Marilyn forcefully made its entrance on the international scene. This image, which we all know, represents one of the biggest revolutions in history. For six centuries the feminine figure was at the service of the Painter or Sculptor and the fact of bein g depicted by a Great Master also made great the woman portrayed, but with Warhol this relationship was inverted: the author’s great genius lies in having used an image subject to collective adoration “to his own advantage” – in such a way that the famous woman might make the artist famous. Many historians see in this transformation, among other things, the birth of marketing.
Women have not only been a “subject” of artistic depiction. Among the first references to women artists, Pliny the Elder gives us some names of Greek women painters: Timarete, Kalypso, Aristarete, Iaia, and Olympias. As long as there has been art in the world it has probably always had a feminine component, but until the 16th century the contributions of women, their effective historically documented presence, remained barely visible.
ARCHITECTURE OF THE EXPOSITION
Architecture reflects the main idea of the exhibition - here shape, color, perspective, not only reflects the theme, but symbolizes the diversity of the theme and of a woman's personality.
The exposition is divided into four volumes - "houses" [as a character of the personal space] and the central, open area. There are two methods of exposure - internal and external, works by technique are exhibited at the inside or the outside of the volumes, it reflects the motif of "doing art" and "being the subject of art". Paintings and photographic works are exhibited at the central area, in the insides - installations, sculptures and video works.
To express the feminine finesse the were selected arched slots rather than rectangular ones, for “houses” – pastel but very characteristic colors. The volumes are elevated of the earth by golden plinths, its materiality coincides with a triangular-shaped benches that invite to sit down and concentrate the attention.
Curator | Francesca Ferrarini
Organiser of the exposition | Lewben Art Foundation
Coordinators | Indrė Tubinienė, Ugnė Bužinskaitė, Giedrė Marčiulaitė
Photo | Arūnas Baltėnas