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Nominees for the First Art Criticism Awards Announced

This year, the Contemporary Art Centre, the National Gallery of Art of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, and the digital contemporary art magazine are organising the inaugural Art Criticism Awards. Following a public request for nominations a few weeks ago, we received over 350 submissions for art criticism published in 2022, spanning the genres of writing, TV, radio, and podcasts, as well as other initiatives and phenomena that has made vital contributions to the development of art criticism.

The winners will be announced on 1 June at the National Gallery of Art. The awards are given in four categories: Short Form, Long Form, Texts by Artists and Curators, and Phenomenon of the Year. We are delighted to announce the jury’s shortlist for each category along with their comments and invite readers to follow links to the nominated texts. We wish you a pleasant reading experience!

In evaluating the SHORT FORM entries, the jury noted the diversity of genres, which is also reflected in this shortlist. These texts are not only reasoned reviews and overviews of art events, but also interviews expanding the context of art history and the outlook on the ‘Other’, interesting portraits of artists, and profound, poetically rich theoretical commentaries. The jury is particularly pleased that the names of well-known authors in this list are complemented by emerging and lesser known authors. The selected texts reflect on current processes in visual art, weaving fundamental phenomena into a multivocal narrative about the state of the general art field today. These texts discuss feminist perspectives, writing issues, definitions of identity, challenges of representation, confrontations with artificial intelligence and questions of coexistence, shaping the reader’s understanding of the contexts of contemporary art and visual culture.

The authors of the LONG FORM texts, radio and TV programmes delve extensively into important art issues, historical research, biographies of artists, and art practices, providing original insights from conversations and significantly shaping, writing or even rewriting the discourse of the Lithuanian visual art field. Important discoveries of art history are turned into solid and creative publications, while subtly curated journals or conversation series guide readers along the diverse trajectories of the development of art phenomena. Cultural criticism, whether expressed in subjective opinions or academically rigorous analyses, invites readers to a dialogue that enables changes not only in their worldview, but also in their artview. These texts, embodied in writing, image and sound, require active engagement, attentiveness and deep reflection on the part of the reader, the viewer and the listener, turning into meaningful encounters and enriching conversations about artists, the corporeal realm, contemporary life and the everyday.

The TEXTS BY ARTISTS AND CURATORS  can be seen both as independent artworks and as reactions to traditional art criticism. Those  shortlisted in this category, therefore, treat the fabric of words and their meanings with a certain type of elasticity, enveloping the curated or created art exhibitions, the phenomena observed, or the artistic research carried out. This textual lining created by the artists constitutes a meaningful and necessary contribution to the development of the discipline’s knowledge and vocabulary, to the contextualisation of the exhibition content, to the application of new and experimental writing methodologies, and to a creative incorporation of other disciplines or views, whether they belong to the realm of biology, physics, or mysticism. The authors of these texts are well aware of the possibilities and traps of linguistic communication, and so, with their talent for weaving the sharply cutting and yet fragile threads of words, they show us the poetic, not overly aestheticised beauty of everyday life and art.

The PHENOMENON OF THE YEAR category brings together texts, performative commentaries and progressive linguistic initiatives by three authors. Art critic Agnė Narušytė’s essays on the events of the war, consistently written in the purest form of personal and communal impression, have become a chronicle to capture today’s tensions and reactions in the art field. Agnė Jokšė’s suggestion of a gender-decentralised pronoun system sensitively shapes tomorrow’s ways of addressing individuals and the kind of texts we might read in future art criticism awards. Paulina Pukytė’s texts published in art publications, events and mainstream media, as well as her uniquely read commentaries, have become an example of contemporary conceptual satire, aptly satirising personalities, cultural and political events, and anachronistic clashes. All three of these outstanding nominees signify the need for personal and societal change, the fragility of contemporary structures, and the creation of new, more sustainable alternatives.

The nominees for this year’s Art Criticism Awards are: 


ALFONSAS ANDRIUŠKEVIČIUS for the text ‘Jei mokėčiau siuvinėti’ (‘If I Knew How to Embroider’). Šiaurės Atėnai, 25 11 2022, No. 22 (1398)

NERINGA ČERNIAUSKAITĖ for the text ‘Venecijoje sapnuojame kartu. Trijų Baltijos šalių paviljonai Venecijos bienalėje’ (‘In Venice, We Dream Collectivelt. The Three Baltic Pavilions at the Venice Biennale’)., 23 05 2022 

IEVA GUDAITYTĖ for the text ‘Ritmiška “Bebalsių” drąsa būti tokiems pat’ (‘The Rhythmic Courage of “The Mutes” to Be the Same’). Literatūra ir menas, 09 09 2022, No. 15 (3753) 

MONIKA KALINAUSKAITĖ and EILEEN MYLES for the conversation ‘Kad būtum saugi, turi visą laiką keisti užraktus. Interviu su Eileen Myles’ (‘You Have to Change the Locks All the Time to Be Safe. Interview with Eileen Myles’)., 13 07 2022

MONIKA KRIKŠTOPAITYTĖ for the text ‘Istorijos kaip siūlai: 13-oji Kauno bienalė “Once Upon Another Time… gyveno jie jau kitaip”’ (‘Stories like Threads: The 13th Kaunas Biennial Once Upon Another Time… gyveno jie jau kitaip’). 7 meno dienos, 14 01 2022, No. 2 (1409) 

ADOMAS NARKEVIČIUS and ANDERS KREUGER for the conversation ‘Kur grafika?’ (‘But What About Printmaking?’) in the book Pokalbiai apie Lietuvos šiuolaikinį meną (Conversations on Lithuanian Contemporary Art). Vilnius: Contemporary Art Centre, 2022

AGNĖ NARUŠYTĖ for the text ‘Moterų kovos būdai: Lietuvos nacionalinio muziejaus paroda “kovotoJOS XIX–XX” buvusiame Lukiškių kalėjime’ (‘Women’s Ways of Fighting: The Lithuanian National Museum of Art Exhibition “Women Warriors at the Former Lukiškės Prison’). 7 meno dienos, 27 05 2022, No. 21, (1428)

JELENA ŠALAJ for the text ‘Tarp magijos ir religijos: ką Pierre’as Bourdieu pasakytų apie fotografuojančias supermamas?’ (‘Between Magic and Religion: What Would Pierre Bourdieu Say About Supermoms Taking Photos?’) Šiaurės Atėnai, 07 01 2022, No. 1 (1377)

VIKTORIJA ŠIAULYTĖ and VLADAS SUNCOVAS for the conversation ‘Praplėsti erdvės suvokimą. Interviu su Vladu Suncovu’ (‘Expanding the Perception of Space. Interview with Vladas Suncovas’)., 01 08 2022

AGNĖ TALIŪTĖ for the text ‘Trapus laikinumas ir feminizmas parodoje „Sudėtingos praeitys. Susiję pasauliai“ Nacionalinėje dailės galerijoje’ (‘Fragile Temporality and Feminism in the Exhibition ‘Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds at the National Gallery of Art’)., 21 06 2022

SKAIDRA TRILUPAITYTĖ for the text ‘Veidas kaip karo įrankis. Asmens (ne)atpažinimas’ (‘Face as an Instrument of War. The (Non)Recognition of a Person’)., 20 10 2022

DAGNĖ VILDŽIŪNAITĖ and AURELIJA MAKNYTĖ for the conversation ‘Menininkė Aurelija Maknytė: „Mano biografija – ką noriu, tą darau”’ (‘Artist Aurelija Maknytė: “It’s My Biography I’ll Do What I Want’)., 15 06 2022 



ALGĖ ANDRIULYTĖ and ILONA MAŽEIKIENĖ for the book Moterys menininkės tarpukario Vilniuje: tarp lūkesčių ir galimybių (Women Artists in Interwar Vilnius: Between Expectations and Possibilities). Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuanian National Museum of Art, 2022

MARIUS ARMONAS for the series of conversations with curators for the MO Museum exhibition catalogue The Meeting That Never Was. Vilnius: MO Museum, 2022

NERINGA ČERNIAUSKAITĖ for the magazine Body as a Journal (4). Vilnius: Lithuanian Culture Institute, 2022 (in English)

ERIKA GRIGORAVIČIENĖ for the book Kęstutis Grigaliūnas. Dramblys gabaliukais (Kęstutis Grigaliūnas: An Elephant in Pieces). Vilnius: Artists’ Union Gallery, 2022

The INDIVIZIJOS TEAM for the 5-part TV gallery curated by JOLANTA MARCIŠAUSKYTĖ-JURAŠIENĖ. Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT), 2022

KAROLINA JAKAITĖ for the book Antanas Kazakauskas. Viskas užprogramuota (Antanas Kazakauskas. Everything is Programmed). Vilnius: Vilnius Centre for Graphic Art, Vilnius Art Academy, 2022

RAMINTA JURĖNAITĖ and IEVA KONCYTĖ for the compilation of texts by Raminta Jurėnaitė Daugiakalbiai peizažai 1971–2021 (Multilingual Landscapes 1971–2021). Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts, 2022

The MENO AVILYS TEAM and curator GERDA PALIUŠYTĖ  for the video art section of the project

AGNĖ NARUŠYTĖ for the book Lietuvos menininkės. Vizualiųjų menų kūrėjos nuo XX a. pradžios iki šių dienų (Lithuanian Women Artists. Visual Artists From the Early 20th Century Until Today). Vilnius: Kitos knygos, 2022

AUDRIUS POCIUS and DEIMANTĖ BULBENKAITĖ for the radio programme Puota streamed on Radio Vilnius

VAIDA STEPANOVAITĖ for the Asamblėja (Assembly) issue of the online art magazine, 2022 

ASTA VAIČIULYTĖ for the book Pokalbiai apie Lietuvos šiuolaikinį meną (Conversations on Lithuanian Contemporary Art). Vilnius: Contemporary Art Centre, 2022



ANDRIUS ARUTIUNIAN for the text ‘This World Will Disappear Before You Read It’ published in the artist’s book The Book of Gharib. The Armenian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, 2022 (in English)

AGNĖ JOKŠĖ for the text ‘At a Loss for Words’. Body as a Journal (4), Vilnius: Lithuanian Culture Institute, 2022 (in English)

SANDRA KAZLAUSKAITĖ for the text ‘Post-Soviet Gendered Soundscapes: Lithuania’. Soundscapes as a Journal (3), Vilnius: Lithuanian Culture Institute, 2022 (in English)

JUOZAS LAIVYS for the texts from the project ‘Meno kūrinių kapinės’ (‘Cemetery of Artworks’), published on YouTube 

AURELIJA MAKNYTĖ for the text ‘Gal Dievas buvo voras’ (‘Maybe God Was a Spider’). Šiaurės Atėnai, 23 09 2022, No. 18 (1394)

RAIMUNDAS MALAŠAUSKAS for the texts for the event Marsas sugrįžta: dvi dangaus, meno ir žemiškų stebėjimų dienos (Mars Returns: Two days for observing bodies – artistic, celestial, earthly) at the Kaunas Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery, published in the event brochure. Vilnius: Contemporary Art Centre, 2022 

ARTŪRAS MITINAS for the text ‘Nejauka. Už savasties kontūro’ (‘The Uncanny. Beyond the Contour of the Self’). Literatūra ir menas, 18 02 2022, No. 4 (3742)

GODA PALEKAITĖ for the text ‘If I Stay With You, I Am Rooted, But I Flow: On Discursive Love Between a Vampire and a Saint’. Passage #2: Mystical Exercises, 2022 (in English)

PAULINA PUKYTĖ for the commentary ‘Apie dvi menininkes’ (‘About Two Artists’) on the LRT radio programme Kultūros savaitė, 16 04 2022

MARIJA REPŠYTĖ for the texts in her artist book ‘This Time the Drawing Has Not Succeeded. I Tried to Show Fountains in the Centre’. Published by 12:15, 2022 (in English)

MYKOLAS SAUKA for the texts accompanying his exhibition Vaikų kambarys (Children’s Room) at the Vilnius Academy of Arts exhibition space Titanikas and published on the venue’s website 

MARTA VOSYLIŪTĖ for the text ‘Gyvenimo praėjęs pusę kelio – tu knygą išsileiski pagaliau!’ (‘Midway Upon the Journey of Our Life… Time to Publish a Book!’). Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis (107)



AGNĖ JOKŠĖ for the gender-decentralised pronoun system for Lithuanian language

AGNĖ NARUŠYTĖ for the articles and commentaries on war in the cultural weekly 7 meno dienos and the LRT radio programme Kultūros savaitė

PAULINA PUKYTĖ for the performative texts and commentaries on culture and art, presented in publications, art events and media


The jury of the Art Criticism Awards comprises art historian and cultural journalist Jogintė Bučinskaitė; art historian and Vytautas Magnus University lecturer Linara Dovydaitytė; artist, writer and Dailė magazine editor Aistė Kisarauskaitė; writer and curator Valentinas Klimašauskas; and curator, writer, and Vilnius Academy of Art lecturer Laima Kreivytė.

The Art Criticism Awards and the accompanying series of events are curated by CAC team members Virginija Januškevičiūtė and Justina Zubaitė-Bundzė, as well as the editor of the magazine, Vaida Stepanovaitė. Through the collaboration of these two organisations and the National Gallery of Art, the awards are planned to take place on an annual basis. The partners of the project are the Lithuanian section of the International Art Association of Art Critics (AICA) and the Association of Cultural Periodicals. The 2023 edition of the project is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.