NEWS  
British artist Sarah Maple will soon be visiting Tallinn

New exhibitions in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia 0

The days are getting longer, the mornings brighter, and the new year of 2013 is starting to roll – galleries, art spaces and museums are waking up. There's a slew of exhibitions going on in Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn! 

Sarah Maple solo presentation
Kunstihoone, Tallinn
February 2 – 24, 2013

Sarah Maple was born in 1985. She completed a BA in Fine Art from Kingston University in 2007, and now lives in her native Sussex. In the same year she also won the ‘4 New Sensations’ competition for emerging artists, run by Charles Saatchi. Since then Sarah’s feminist artworks, films and performances have been exhibited in New York, Canada, Israel and throughout Europe. The Independent on Sunday has even named Sarah Maple as “the heir to Tracy Emin's throne”, but the controversial artist politely disagrees to this observation. She does, however, love, if people looking at her work react to it. The artist has even admitted that “when people see my work, I want them to feel something. If it doesn't do that then I don't see it as serving a purpose. And people always react, whether they love it or hate it.”  There has certainly been a reaction towards her art as Sarah’s first solo exhibition in London had its windows demolished, but the artist received death threats for exhibition the series of paintings of her as a Muslim baring one breast, smoking a cigarette and wearing a badge saying “I Heart Orgasms”… whilst at the same time cradling a piglet.

Vabaduse väljak 6
Tallinn, Estonia
www.kunstihoone.ee

Ēriks Apaļais, “Vārdi” (Words)
kim? Center for Contemporary Art, Riga
January 25 – March 3, 2013

Over the last three years, artist Ēriks Apaļais (1981) is one of those Latvian painters whose name has mostly been heard in connection with events happening outside of Latvia, which is logical, seeing as he is working under the tutelage of the Vera Munro gallery in Hamburg. Apaļais is also one of the rare local artists who has gained an “A to Z”, Western European education in art – he graduated from a six-year program at the Visual Arts Academy in Hamburg, even receiving an award for having the best final project. Apaļais' last solo show in Riga, which also marked his entrance into the world of exhibitions, was held at the gallery Alma, in 2008. After nearly five years, he is returning to Riga with a new solo show, “Vārdi” (Words), which will be on view at the kim? Center for Contemporary Art through 3 March. The artist's works are characterized by their intellectual density, which also frequently materializes as thoughts in written form; thereby, the exhibition “Vārdi” is accompanied by Apaļais' essay, “Desire for Word in Autobiography”. Meanwhile, in his paintings, signs and shapes float in something like the black weightlessness of an infinite Cosmos, reminiscent of the way one visualizes mind and memory.

Maskavas iela 12/1
Riga, Latvia
www.kim.lv

Linas Jusionis There Were Just Marks Left on the Snow
Galerija Vartai, Vilnius
January 22 – February 23, 2013 

The personal show of the young generation painter Linas Jusionis titled There Were Just Marks Left on the Snow features the artist’s works from the past few years evidencing the coherent evolution of the artistic position. Aesthetically restrained paintings are dominated by fragments of interconnected motifs of sports, leisure and landscape purposefully provoking the viewer’s mind to connect individual elements into an implicit story, thus creating mysterious tension further stimulated by the perception that the artist provides only elements, while the real story is hidden beyond the field of sight. Jusionis is intrigued by the obsessive quality of the human mind to construct reality by looking for causalities in each element. 

Linas Jusionis (born in 1986) is currently continuing his Master’s studies in Vilnius Academy of Arts. He has been participating in group exhibition since 2009 and has held four personal shows – one of them was part of the Artscape Latvija project (with Miks Mitrevics) organised by Galerija Vartai. Jusionis won the 2nd place in the Young Painter Prize competition in 2011. 

Vilniaus gatvė 39
Vilnius, Lithuania
www.galerijavartai.lt 

Raoul Kurvitz
solo presentation
KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn
Untill April 21, 2013
 

The exhibition includes the multifaceted work of Raoul Kurvitz (1961), which embraces videos, performances, paintings, installations and a wider creative output from the late 1980s to the present day. Kurvitz works in various media, and the range of topics that interest him is just as wide – from philosophy to pop culture. In 1997 Raoul Kurvitz along with two other Estonian performance artists – Siim-Tanel Annus and Jaan Toomik, were the first to represent Estonia in the world-renowned Venice Biennale. And the exhibition at KUMU will bring some of these most noteworthy works to the viewers, many of which are among the classics of Estonian contemporary art. In the museum’s courtyard the visitors will meet the 12-meter high installation "More trains" and included in the exposition is also the recycled composition, consisting of about 10 000 bottles. Recently, however, Raoul Kurvitz has been directing his attention to music, which has also found its way to the KUMU Art Museum. On Friday, February 1, the artist will be giving a concert in collaboration with his contemporaries. But on March 27 a book and a DVD will be launched to accompany the exposition.

Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1
Tallinn, Estonia
www.kumu.ee

“Neļaušanās” (Unceasing
kim? Contemporary Art Center
January 25 – March 3, 2013 

The kim? Contemporary Art Center in Riga is one of those rare places in Riga where group shows are regularly assembled under a powerful curatorial conception. The latest exhibition, “Neļaušanās” (Unceasing), also falls under this description. Iliana Veinberga, curator of the show, brings to the forefront the issue of so-called “underground art” and other marginal phenomena which sometimes don't even get to see the light of day outside of the artist's studio. But this show isn't exactly about that, because what has been put front and center here is the “normalization process” that comes later – the inevitable shearing off of the knots and tangles in the original work of art – which happens as soon as the piece is put inside “the white cube” and accompanied by an annotation in a length that is easy to comprehend. Out of spite, or rather, in “resistance” of the fact that art works could offend viewers or seem ill-fitting for an art space, Veinberga has assembled seven artists –  Margrieta Dreiblate, Ivars Grāvlejs, Ernests Kļaviņš and Grita Hahmeistere, as well as Maija Kurševa, Lilita Bauģe un Velga Vītola, who work together as a trio – and given them all free reign.

Scheduled for February 9, at 14:00, is a tour and discussion titled “Classic Unceasing: Disgust, negativity and other forms of resistance to the art world's dictate of beauty”, which will be led by the exhibition's curator, Iliana Veinberga.

Maskavas iela 12/1
Riga, Latvia
www.kim.lv

“Wilnis 2x”
Rīgas Mākslas Telpa / Riga Art Space, Riga
January 23 – March 31, 2013

“Live fast, die young” is a motto that seems like honey to the ears when you're at the height of youth, but if it really comes true, the sweetness of the honey disappears immediately. “How could you?!” – were the words spoken in the eulogy for the artist Vilnis Zābers, read by artist Ieva Iltnere, a member of the group that used to “hang out” with Zābers. The artist died in 1994, in an automobile accident. He was 31 at the time; this year he would have been 50. Nevertheless, the artistic legacy left behind was large enough to make for a substantial retrospective exhibition. Zābers didn't limit himself to just one artistic medium – he also worked with drawing, graphic drawing, installations, caricatures, and even literature. Beginning with 23 January, the underground vastness of Riga Art Space will become, for two months, the kingdom of Zābers' works and documentary materials. Since there has never before been such a comprehensive assemblage of Zābers' art works, the exhibition will also see the first publication of a catalog of the artist's works. Admittedly, this is not the first time that there has been a retrospective exhibition of Zābers' works; one was held exactly ten years ago, in the gallery of the Association of Latvian Artists. Those who remember Vilnis say that his biggest work of art was life itself, which he ran through like ball lightning, catching on his electric current everyone who knew both him and his laugh.

On Sunday, January 27, at 12:00, the event “Vēlās brokastis” (Brunch) will take place, during which visitors will have the opportunity to meet with the organizers of the exhibition and the following art critics: Inga Šteimane, Ingrīda Zābere, Jānis Borgs, Helēna Demakova and Ivars Runkovskis.

Kungu iela 3 (ieeja no Rātslaukuma)
Rīga, Latvija
www.artspace.riga.lv

Nerijus Erminas solo presentation
Galerija Vartai, Vilnius
January 22 – February 23, 2013

The solo show of Nerijus Erminas opening in Galerija Vartai features the artist’s latest works sensitively speaking out on existential and spiritual experiences and searches through the use of different objects. Two rooms display two different installations, The Cabinet of Mary Magdalene and The Unseen, interconnected by joint atmosphere and multi-layered content. The artist sensitively arranges different items and elements avoiding both verbalisation and straightforwardness. He focuses on the atmosphere created by the internal interconnections of the work, the emotional experience and confrontation with the issues that are relevant and familiar to everyone. 

Nerijus Erminas (1976) is one of the most exciting contemporary creators of Lithuanian sculpture and objects. In 2005 he graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts with a degree in sculpture and since then has already received the Artists’ Union award for the most prominent small plastic work of sculpture in Lithuania, and a jury prize for the best presentation of a sculpture in the contemporary art fair ArtVilnius in 2012. Nerijus Erminas currently lives and works in Vilnius. 

Vilniaus gatvė 39
Vilnius, Lithuania
www.galerijavartai.lt

Imaginary Spaces and Urban Visions. Highlights of Japanese Animation

KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn
February 8 – May 18, 2013


Since the success of Akira (1988) and Ghost in the Shell (1995), the Japanese anime film has been one of the most important milestones of global pop culture. The exhibition includes original drawings from Japan's most important anime artists and directors. These works, produced between 1987 and 2009, are being displayed for the first time as individual works of art, separate from their role in the production process of the films. The production of anime is a collaborative process involving narrators, concept developers, designers and animators. They usually work in a strict, industrialised system in which craftsmanship and technical perfection of the final product are put ahead of individual artistic style.

The exhibition at KUMU Art Museum includes the works by Hideaki Anno, Haruhiko Higami, Koji Morimoto, Hiromasa Ogura, Mamoru Oshii and Takashi Watabe, who belong to a generation in which anime films were almost exclusively drawn by hand.

Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1
Tallinn, Estonia
www.kumu.ee