NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Just before the festive season slows down the everyday hurry, jury members of the international Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award competition got together in snowy Vilnius to deliberate who are the best emerging talents in the region. Besides the difficult jury duty, jury members also took the time to visit the most outstanding exhibitions and galleries in the Lithuanian capital. So what are the hottest art exhibitions in Vilnius today that everyone visiting should add to their schedule?

In October, Mo Museum, a private museum by Lithuanian scientists and philanthropists Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus, opened an engaging and exciting exhibition named “The Meeting That Never Was” that offers an exceptional opportunity to experience the wonderful works of world-renowned artists, such as Guerrilla Girls, Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and many others. 

“The Meeting that Never Was” creates an imaginary encounter by interlacing artworks from two European collections, MO Museum and Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. As during the Cold War artists from different parts of Europe were kept apart, but now it is possible to have their artworks together in the same room.  The dialogue between the artworks invites us to look back at an important period of art and history that continues to shape the world today. 

It is almost impossible to undervalue the importance of this exhibition in Lithuanian society as well as in the communities of many neighbouring countries, that know the Iron Curtain. Geographically we have pulled the curtains a long time ago, but we still have trouble with self-esteem and we are so eager to catch up to Western countries. On the other hand, we are struggling with historical memory. “With war, populism and new Russian imperialism all around, it seems timely to see how artists on different sides found ways to stay true to themselves and remain open to international perspectives a generation or two ago,” is written in the introduction. Read more about the exhibition that is open until mid-March 

Check out the photos of the exhibition!


After the visit to Mo Musem, the jury members were greeted at one of the first private galleries in Lithuania, founded in 1991,  Galerija Vartai. The gallry presents “Mercy”, a joint exhibition by Zlatko Kopljar and Luc Tuymans, arranged as a sequence of shared and separate displays highlighting the iconoclasm and analytical complexity of these two artists. The exhibition juxtaposes Tuymans’ recent work in animation, where the influential painter has continuously expanded the conceptual scope of his practice, with a selection of works created by Kopljar throughout the last decades, combining performance, sculpture, video, and experimental cinema. Find out more about the exhibition here

In 2022, a leading contemporary art gallery in Vilnius Meno Niša marks its 20th birthday. It`s hard to underestimate the importance of the art field as it exhibits the works of professional contemporary art, and organizes international artistic projects in co-operation with foreign galleries, institutions of culture, and with individual artists. Besides the well-known and already recognized creators, the gallery is also open to young gifted artists and their projects with a strong focus on the promotion of new media, installations and performance.

The year-long celebrations of Meno Niša are about to close with an international exhibition, “XX” on the 2nd floor of the exhibition hall “Titanikas” of Vilnius Academy of Arts. The curator Sonata Baliuckaitė has gathered the artworks of 20 artists, from Lithuania and abroad who have exhibited their creations at Meno Niša before. “XX will bring together artists from different generations and different fields: painters, sculptors, and interdisciplinary artists. Each artist, their work, and exhibition openings have shaped the face of Meno Niša, and it is the artists who are the gallery’s calling card, the identity that has been shaped by bright, ambitious, and promising artists. The exhibition XX is asas diverse as the gallery’s 20-year history,” says Baliuckaitė.  Read more about the exhibition here

At the “Titanikas” first floors the jury members were created by versatile artist Mykolas Sauka, who organized an exhibition of gigantic concrete figures six years ago and had returned to the scene of the “crime”, but with a completely different matter and spirit. “Nursery” is an installation of objects carved from wood, characterized by the same “saukish” features – irony and atmosphere, excellent knowledge of the craft (in this case, focusing on the divine tradition).  Read more 

In addition to “Titanikas” 20th birthday exhibition, gallery Meno Niša hosts an exhibition of drawings on their own premises by Gintaras Makarevičius called “Plastic Crow”. Artist has made these drawings inspired by real events and people after spending time in a hospital ward during a pandemic. 

As in Vilnius, there are tens and tens of galleries and art spaces, you can keep you eye on exciting exhibitions via exhibition map at NOBA.ac