Žilvinas Kempinas (b. 1969, Lithuania) is an artist currently living and working in New York. He obtained a BA in Painting Studies at the Vilnius Academy of Art in 1993, later completing an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Hunter College, City University of New York. Kempinas is known for employing non-traditional materials to create active and dynamic artwork mostly consisting of installations, kinetic or minimalistic sculptures and optical art.
Immediately after graduating, Žilvinas Kempinas was assessed as an artist whose work is based on ingenious ideas, creative strategies and innovative materials at the time. The precise and meditative stylistic integrity of his works is visible to this day, from the artist’s earliest to his most recent practice. In many of his works, Kempinas uses his signature material, unwound magnetic tape, which affects the viewer through different senses. The artist’s use of the natural laws, air fan winds and gravitation can be perceived as a certain expansion of the field of sculpture. At the same time, his mathematical approach, highlighting the accuracy, detail and fragility of the objects created does not neglect poeticism, the relationships between the viewers, spaces and the objects, and the delicate balance between matter and consciousness. Kempinas’s thoughtful creative solutions and the employment of quality materials are inseparable from the artist’s life context and testify to the uniqueness of his artistic approach.
Žilvinas Kempinas won the Lithuanian National Culture and Arts Prize in 2012 for a powerful and convincing minimalist language of contemporary art and its international resonance. His most important solo exhibitions were held in New York, Paris, Vienna, Basel, Düsseldorf, Reykjavik, Birmingham and many other cities. Kempinas’s exhibitions frequently receive attention from the media around the world. He is an active participant in group exhibitions and biennales such as the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art or Manifesta 7. In 2007, the artist also received the Calder Prize and in 2009 represented Lithuania at the 53rd Venice Biennale where the Lithuanian exposition was prepared by the Vartai Gallery.