Contemporary Art Centre (CAC)

The largest modern art center in Baltic states as well as in Post-Soviet Europe is located in Vilnius Old Town, in the famous Vokiečių (German)street. The centre was established in order to improve development of contemporary art in Lithuania and successfully integrate into context of World art and is called the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC).

The building where the center is now established was built in 1969, when Lithuania was governed by Soviets. It was built specially for art exhibitions so an architect Vytautas Čekanauskas created it as an untraditional modernistic project. Then it was called Vilnius Art Exhibition Palace. Then it was a branch of Lithuanian Art Museum, but in 1988 it became a separate museum which is funded by Lithuanian Ministry of Culture since 1992.

In the space of 2400 sq. meters there an intensive international movements are held. Artists from all over the world expose there their creatures like travelling exhibitions. Destinations of these travelling exhibitions have widen a lot recently as the Contemporary Art Centre has already exposed works created in South America, New Zealand, China, Japan, Australia… So the Contemporary Art Centre demonstrates the newest and the most topical art and retrospective shows. Besides an exhibitions shows, the Contemporary Art Center also organizes lectures, meetings with professional artists, cooperates with representative institutions of another art branches. In addition, the center collects and spreads an information about contemporary art, prints special catalogues, publications by artists and a periodical art journal “ŠMC/CAC Interviu”.

There is only one permanent exhibition located in the Contemporary Art Centre called ”Office of Jurgis Mačiūnas - Fluxus”. Jurgis Mačiūnas (1931-1978)is a world famous Lithuanian artist, ironically more known abroad than in Lithuania as he moved to USA when he was 17 years old and created here. He inspired a movement called “Fluxus” which was one of the most radical experimental art movements in the world in the 7th decade. ”Fluxus” in Latin has a meaning of something uniting “unstable, floppy and empty”.  Following conceptual sense of “Fluxus” meaning Jurgis Mačiūnas influenced development of post – modernism and changed the base of perception regarding art in the world. So, in the Contemporary Art Centre there is a collection of almost 100 exhibits reflecting interdisciplinary Fluxus movement which changed figurative art in the 7th decade of 20th century.

In addition to this, the Contemporary Art Centre includes a reading room which is pretty new (renovated and opened in May, 2009), open for everyone and has a really shirt-sleeve atmosphere. Collection of reading there is pretty impressive. Number of art, architecture and design journals, publications, monographs and exhibition catalogues by artists, recommended art books and prints…  Amazing variety of readings and great atmosphere are guaranteed here. What is more, the entrance here is absolutely free of charge. The reading room is open Tue-Sat 12:00PM- 7:00 PM.

It would be a sin not to mention also a café of Contemporary Art Centre, shortly called “ŠMC cafe”. This is perhaps the most popular meeting place among Vilnius artists. All in all, the strange form building located in Vokiečių street in Vilnius is kind of Meka attracting practitioner and sympathetic artists. If visual art is not strange for you, it is necessary to visit the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius.

Open hours: Tue – Sun  12:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Entrance : 4-8 litas.