Neringa Černiauskaitė

  • William Kentridge, You Who Never Arrived, 2022. Installation view. Photo: Juste Mockeviciute.
    picks October 20, 2022

    William Kentridge

    William Kentridge’s extensive solo exhibition “That Which We Do Not Remember,” the artist’s first in Eastern Europe, is an especially poignant event for Kaunas, as Lithuania is the homeland of Kentridge’s great-grandparents. Memory, oblivion, and temporality become the show’s building blocks for constructing a shaky connection between the past and the present.

    The complicated architecture of the museum adds to the disjointed perception of time and narrative as well as the complexity of the artist’s oeuvre itself. Spilling across several floors, the show commences with a black-and-white mural

  • View of “Daiga Grantiņa,” 2022. Photo: Otto Strazds.

    Daiga Grantiņa

    Daiga Grantiņa’s works always give visceral pleasure. This was truer than ever in her recent show “Lauka telpa” (Field Space), curated by Zane Onckule at the historic Art Museum Riga Bourse. For her largest solo exhibition to date in her native Latvia, the Paris-based artist showed twelve large sculptures made over the past four years. Their elegance and scale—as well as their combination of mundane and unusual materials, textures, and colors—were immediately appealing. Her works are both present and withdrawn: They slip away from any attempt to pin them to meaning or reference. The sculpture

  • View of “Bi-Dža, Ge-Ilk, Mir-Nul,” 2022.
    picks July 07, 2022

    Elza Sīle

    Browsing through fat editions of the Latvian Soviet Encyclopedia as a child, Elza Sīle felt something like a psychedelic experience as patterns began to emerge from this analogue, alphabetically organized Wikipedia: a ten-volume project undertaken in the 1980s whose outsize aspirations to universal knowledge fell prey to the distortions of state ideology. A work of fiction as much as fact, its thousands of articles, maps, and illustrations of nature, anatomy, and apparatchiks serve as the inspiration behind “Bi-Dža, Ge-Ilk, Mir-Nul,” the Latvian-born, Zurich-based artist’s enigmatic exhibition

  • Aleksandra Kasuba, Live-In Environment, 1971–72, mixed media. Installation view.

    Aleksandra Kasuba

    There could not have been a more fitting time than this past year to dive into the rich and versatile oeuvre of Lithuanian-born American artist Aleksandra Kasuba. Month after month locked in our cubicles called home, starved of human contact, we really needed Kasuba’s soft, organic, soothing environments of the 1970s. “Shaping the Future: Environments by Aleksandra Kasuba,” curated by Elona Lubyte˙, is the first extensive retrospective of the artist’s work. Featuring a collection of works that Kasuba donated to the Lithuanian National Museum of Art in Vilnius, the exhibition invites viewers to

  • Tarkovskian tableau: dog actors to be featured in the biennial’s film.
    diary September 01, 2020

    Reservoir Dogs

    AFTER FOUR HOURS OF HUFFING MY OWN BREATH under a mask on the bus from Vilnius, stepping out in Latvia’s capital for the second Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (Riboca) felt like entering a pre-Covid wonderland: Masks were not seen anywhere, bars were full, and foreign languages spilled out into the streets. The surrealism intensified the next morning, when guests from around the world(!), their brains buzzing from the mimosas on offer, were greeted by Riboca’s founder, director, and, finally, the curator Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel under Ugo Rondinone’s rainbow-painted plywood poem

  • Mindaugas Navakas, Objektas nr. 10 (Object no. 10), 2019, porcelain, aluminum, steel spring, granite, 727⁄8 × 13 3⁄4 × 13 3⁄4".

    Mindaugas Navakas

    What do you think of when you hear the word porcelain? Probably something delicate, smooth, and fragile. Mindaugas Navakas wants you to hold onto such associations—but only so that he can break them, crush them with something as heavy as a single-drum roller. The veteran Lithuanian sculptor treats porcelain like any other cheap ready-to-use industrial material. His sculptures are large, bulky, rough-textured, molded in deliberately reductive shapes with visible cracks on their surfaces. He challenges the material itself along with all of our assumptions about it.

    Titled “China,” Navakas’s recent

  • Laura Kaminskaitė, Two Pocket Umbrellas, 2021, glass, two sugar cubes, dimensions variable.
    picks April 01, 2020

    Laura Kaminskaitė

    The scale of the great hall of Vilnius CAC is intimidating. For her first comprehensive solo exhibition, “Double Double,” Laura Kaminskaitė didn’t try to fill it with humongous objects or heavy-handed gestures. On the contrary, she created an atmosphere so subtle, dreamlike, and light that even such apparently solid things as stairs seemed like they might evaporate into thin air. Poetic texts written by the artist are dispersed around the space; language here is tricksterish and evasive, like a magician’s hat with a double bottom. A performer occasionally enlivens the space, twisting her bodies

  • Jonas Mekas, Lost Lost Lost: Rabbit Shit Haikus and Fool’s Haikus, 1976, 16 mm, color and black-and-white, sound, 180 minutes.

    Jonas Mekas

    “Now, after I already / Crossed / The shores of death and sadness / Let me / Dream / Utopias”—undated, typewritten on a modest yellowish page, this short poem (in Lithuanian) was one of 129 that were included in the exhibition “Jonas Mekas: let me dream utopias.” The poet/filmmaker himself selected these previously unpublished poems, all in his native language. After Mekas passed away earlier this year, leaving behind an enormous void, the show’s curators—Justė Jonutytė, Kotryna Markevičiūtė, and Yates Norton—had to find a way to stage the exhibition without his input. Rather than mount a

  • Katja Novitskova, Pattern of Activation (mamaRoo Nursery and Dawn Chorus), 2017, electronic baby swings, aluminum folding stands, lasers, digital print, robotic bugs, Swarovski crystals, stress pills, silicone stress eggs, acrylic massagers, animal-patterned stickers, fossils, tree mushrooms, video projection, and mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Tõnu Tunnel.

    Katja Novitskova

    “If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes. Stage 2.” is the first major institutional solo exhibition of Estonian artist Katja Novitskova in her home country. The show takes its title from a conversation between the replicant Roy Batty and designer and engineer Hannibal Chew in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982); machine vision is at the core of its thematic constellation. Originally created for and presented in the compact Estonian pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale, the project has become more extensive and breathes more freely in nine spaces of the Kumu Art Museum. Walking

  • Anu Põder, Composition with a Torso and a Child’s Hands, 1986, textile, wood, plastic, epoxy, 21 5/8 × 24 3/8 × 14 1/8".

    Anu Põder

    Estonian sculptor Anu Põder (1947–2013) has been internationally unrecognized for too long. The curator of“Anu Põder: Be Fragile! Be Brave!,” Rebeka Põldsam, attempted to put her on the map and into the broader canon of art history by presenting her outstanding oeuvre next to those of precursors and contemporaries, including Katrin Koskaru, Ursula Mayer, Ana Mendieta, Alina Szapocznikow, and Iza Tarasewicz. Like Szapocznikow, Põder draws upon an artistic strategy of merging representations of fragmented body parts with amorphous masses of various materials: Torsos emerge and sink back into dark

  • Ieva Kraule, Sophie, 2017, 3-D print, paint, steel, custom software, voice recording.
    picks April 23, 2017

    Ieva Kraule

    “If I am the mask then you must be the ‘true’ self hiding behind my insidious body, as for a mask to exist there must be something genuine for it to conceal,” utters Sophie, 2017, an automated mask created by Latvian artist Ieva Kraule to perform her written texts. Schematic, stripped away from any soft tissue that would conceal her hard mechanic body parts, Sophie resembles Maria, the robot in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Although detached from a body, Sophie manages to subvert the relationship between human and machine, between creator and a tool made to merely mediate the artist’s ideas. Machines

  • Žilvinas Kempinas, Untitled (Forest), 2016, projections, steel tripods, reflective flooring. Installation view. Photo: Arnas Anskaitis.

    Žilvinas Kempinas

    Žilvinas Kempinas is a master of motion. His kinetic sculptures made of unwound magnetic tape, the chaotic movement of filmed images, and the motion of the viewer’s body all create intertwined, often immersive, experiences. In his most recent solo exhibition, the New York-based Lithuanian artist presented motion both as a real-time experience and as an imprint of bodily gesture on a surface. By completely covering the numerous windows of the gallery, located in a nineteenth-century building, and blocking some entrances with his earlier pieces (such as White Noise, 2007) or even shifting angles