Krišs Salmanis: Poems and Things

6 September - 15 October 2016

Krišs Salmanis is a conceptual artist whose works question identity, materiality, and the role of the artist and art in contemporary culture. He uses materials and techniques ranging from sculpture to animation, from trees to his own body. However, it is neither the media used, nor the unifying themes, but rather the method employed that characterizes his work the most.


25th anniversary exhibitions patron
H. E. the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius


25th anniversary exhibitions partner
Lewben Art Foundation


Exhibition supported by

Lithuanian Council for Culture, Valsts Kulturkapitala fonds


Vilnius City Municipality, Rolandas Valiūnas


Gallery supported by
Vilma Dagilienė, Romas Kinka, Lietuvos rytas daily, Ekskomisarų biuras, Ararat, Namai ir objektai, Farrow & Ball

Installation Views
Press release

On 6 September 2016 the opening of the exhibition Poems and things by Krišs Salmanis will take place at Galerija VARTAI. The artist will present a selection of newly and recently created objectsinstallations and videos that comprise a diverse and playful exposition of irony and paradox. 


Krišs Salmanis is a conceptual artist whose works question identitymaterialityand the role of the artist and art in contemporary cultureHe uses materials and techniques ranging from sculpture to animationfrom trees to his own bodyHowever, it is neither the media usednor the unifying themesbut rather the method employed that characterizes his work the most. 


What in Salmanis’ work can be perceived as irony or humouris in fact a mental exerciseintellectual activitywit as a twist of thoughtAn important aspect of it is formulated best by Kurt Vonnegut’s idea of the complicated futilityThe making of Salmanis’ work is often seemingly unnecessarily time- and effort-consuming. It is a kind of idiosyncratic craftsmanshipwhicheven if unnoticed by the spectatoris a vital component of the final piece 


Poems and things gives an insight into his oeuvre where numbers rhymetrees listen to music and buildings collapse out of pure sentimentalityIn this show two approaches come together – the visually romanticrusticsentimentaland the visually reducedHoweverthey do not clashsince both are about trying to copeabout finding scraps of sense in often minute fragments of contemporaneity. 


Krišs Salmanis (b. 1977) is one of the most prominent contemporary Latvian artistsknown for his works with photography, video, installationsanimation and graphicsAmong many other venuesthe works of this artist have been exhibited in the National Museum of Art (Riga), Art in General (USA), Galerie fűr Gegenwartskunst (Germany), the Contemporary Art Centre (Lithuaniaand the Berlin Film FestivalTogether with Kaspars Podnieks, Salmanis represented Latvia in its Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). K. Salmanis’ artworks have been acquired by Latvian National Museum of Art, the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Central and East European videofilm archive Transitlandthe Estonian Museum of Art, as well as being included in various other private and public collections.