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NIKO PIROSMANI – BLACK LIGHT. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk opens a solo exhibition of a master – the Georgian hero of the avant-garde, Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918). There are few clues or sources for the story of Niko Pirosmani as an artist. Even so, his tale has the power and character of myth, and today he is spoken about as the painter of Georgia’s soul, culture and folklore and at the same time as a visual artist with a universal perspective. With Pirosmani, the viewer must above all look at the picture. Pirosmani’s pictures are direct, monumental in their simplicity. They are not private, they are not psychological – they are about the human space in which people encounter animals, people eat together, people are on the move. The appeal of the images is simple, but also sophisticated – because they work. With a few brushstrokes, Pirosmani transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary. His portraits have the intensity of Orthodox icons and the images of his lion, deer and giraffe have something simultaneously compelling and disquieting about them. Their eyes stare back at you. The black base colour glows through the other colours, just like in his portraits. The exhibition has been organized jointly by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark and Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland. The exhibition has been made possible through collaboration with The Georgian National Museum and The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia, and is supported by the Infinitart Foundation. Curator: Poul Erik Tøjner Special thanks to Louisiana museum of modern art and Louisiana channel



The Church of St. George stands in a thick forest on the edge of Daba village in the historic province of Tori, which has also been referred to as Borjomi Gorge since the nineteenth century. The church is built right up against a steep cliff, and its southern wall is nestled in the concavity of the rock. According to the inscription carved above its western door, the church was built in 1333 by the Chief Treasurer of George V the Illustrious – the last successful King of Georgia, who expelled from the country the invading Mongols and reunited the Georgian Kingdom.



Eldar Shengelaia (1933) is a Georgian film director. As the Georgian society named he is “People’s artist”. Older son of a star of Georgian film – Nato Vachnadze and film director Nikoloz Shengelaia. Graduated from State Cinema Institute of the Union (Moscow), faculty of film director. (S. Yutkevich workshop,1958). He gained widespread recognition with the films: “TETRI KARAVANI” (1964); “UNUSUAL EXHIBITION” (1968); “ECCENTRICS” (1973); “SAMANISHVILI’S STEPMOTHER” (1977) by the scenario of David Kldiashvili story; “BLUE MOUNTAINS”(1983); Eldar Shengelaia is named as a classic film director at Cannes film festival for two films: “Tetri Karavani” and “Blue Mountains”. The director reflected the adventures of the heroes using delicate humor.



Artist in Focus - Irakli Mereli was born in Batumi in 1992. He graduated from Batumi Art School and began studying at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2010. In 2018,he continued his MFA studies at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, focusing on painting and graphics. "I WAS ABOUT TO PRAY" is the title of Irakli Mereli's solo exhibition, the main subject of which is poetry and the contemplation of one's soul in an observant manner. Reflecting on his own experience, the author has attempted to create a series of artworks that are metaphorical representations of a comprehensive rethinking. The artworks featured include portraits of gigantic, exaggerated faces, which are worn on a person’s back like the metaphors of unearthly, concealed and invisible matters. This sensation is further enhanced by a vibrant green pigment, which remains at the heart of the narrative and stands out more prominently in the ceramic figures. The host of the exhibition: Gallery 4710



“For Our Safety '' is the exhibition by Rocko Iremashvili (1979). Standpoint of an artist is "intelligent", a cybernetic creature which is created in a laboratory of a fantasy genre film leaves the reins of management and appears as an independent actor - so does a society, shaping and "production" of which is in the mode of "processing" from the earliest stages of history. “...It is sad to realize that one becomes a spiritualized organ of this inanimate body, one of its driving elements that moves under its guidance.” - Rocko Iremashvili Host of the exhibition: Baia gallery



“New Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts”. These are the works of 116 Georgian artists that the Signaghi Museum did not hold or represented insufficiently, or since they might have left the country, it was vital to acquire them as rare cultural heritage examples. The new collection demonstrates an impressive picture of Georgian artistic development: A new collection of graphics by 1950s/1970s artists. Acquired works were limited to artists whose creativity made a significant contribution to the development of Georgian graphic art. The collection also includes works acquired after the first group exhibition of non-conformist artists held in the Sighnaghi. Participant artists: Alexander Bazhbeuk-Melikyan, Alexander Berdysheff, Besik Arbolishvili, Dato Sulakauri, David Alexidze, Ekaterine Gelovani, Gela Zautashvili, Gia Khutsishvili, Giorgi Mirzashvili, Kakhaber Tatishvili, Karaman Kutateladze, Ketevan Matabeli, Koka Tskhvediani, Leila Shelia, Levan Chichinadze, Levan Chogoshvili, Levan Kharanauli, Levan Margiani, Malkhaz Datukishvili, Mamuka Mikeladze, Nugzar Natenadze, Tamuna Melikishvili, Tato Akhalkatsishvili, Temur Tatanashvili, Zaza Berdzenishvili, Zura Abkhazi, Zurab Gikashvili.



Artist in Focus • Malkhaz Gorgadze was born in 1941, Tbilisi, to the artist couple-Bidzina and Elene Gorgadze. A ceramist by profession, after graduating from the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts (in 1956) he became passionately involved in the process of decorating the city’s walls. Many of the popular mosaic or relief panoramas located in different districts of Tbilisi are examples of his work. The artist experimented boldly with various forms of expression and materials, both when creating mosaic panoramas and paintings, frequently making his own compositions using textiles as well. The paintings, executed on large format canvases with bold strokes of the artist’s brush, manifest a genuine celebration of color and form. It is of significant interest that the stories unfolding in these exotic landscapes were inspired by biblical parables–a theme that the artist has been exploring in his work for decades.



In 1851, the Mauritanian-style building became home to the first opera house in the Caucasus. The opera gained tremendous popularity, but ballet remained relatively unknown to the Georgian public until the arrival of four ballet dancers from St. Petersburg, whose uncanny performance served as an introduction to the genre. The first official premiere of ballet took place on January 18, 1854, two years after the grand opening of the Theater. The present building of tbilisi opera state theatre was constructed from 1880 to 1896 by Viktor Schroeter, a prolific architect from St-Petersbourg. He designed the Tbilisi Opera House in Neo-Moorish style, which spread across Europe and America in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The curtain for Tbilisi Opera House was created by Sergo Kobuladze (1954-56, 1961).



Dmanisi is a snapshot in time, like a time capsule that preserves an ecosystem 1.8Ma ago. The Dmanisi site combines unique traces of different archeological periods. The site is rich in medieval and Bronze Age artifacts, but it is the wealth of paleolithic finds that have put it on the scientific map. The Village of Dmanisi lies 85 kilometers southwest of the Georgian Capital of Tbilisi. In the Middle Ages, Dmanisi was one of the most prominent cities and an important stop along the old Silk Road.



Tato Akhalkatsishvili(1979) is a Georgian artist. His work unites mystical and surrealistic landscapes with blurred horizons. The artist attempts to reflect his personal transcendent feelings and psychological states that evolve around the internal process of rethinking existential issues, the growth of an individual, and his development in cultural, geopolitical and historical contexts. Solo traveling is a part of Tato’s life and, according to him; it does not happen for inspirational purposes, he travels alone to stay with himself and “listen to silence”. He studied at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (1996-2003). Since 2003 Akhalkatsishvili’s works have regularly been shown in Georgia as well as abroad: in Europe, Japan and the USA where he has participated in art fairs, personal and group exhibitions. The exhibited works by Tato Akhalkatsishvili are part of ATINATI’s collection. The exhibition host: ATINATI’S Cultural Center



Artist in focus • Rusudan Gachechiladze (1936) is modernist sculptor and reformer of Georgian portrait sculpture. She is a member of the 1960s generation of artists. Rusudan Gachechiladze belongs to a small group of sculptors who chose an unbiased artistic path in both the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. Sculptor can present a portrait in a manner, regardless of the fact that he/she is a famous writer or a poet, that a viewer is caught by a desire to explore more about a model, to get better acquainted with a model’s personal adventure, in short, to communicate with the character. The series of gypsum portraits vividly show the influences of important moments in the history of fine art, be it portraits of the Middle Egyptian period with inlaid eyes, realistic busts of the Roman period of the Republic, or expressive Fayium iconography.





Artist in focus • Irakli Gamrekeli (1894 - 1943) was a Georgian theater and film painter, a futurist and constructivist artist, also one of the founders of Georgian stage design. Irakli Gamrekeli’s turning point occurred during one such exhibition, when Kote Marjanishvili noticed his illustrations of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”, and invited the artist to the Rustaveli Theater. He also worked in film production, as well as the creation of decorations for the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater. Irakli Gamrekeli formed an innovative tandem with reformist director Sandro Akhmeteli at the Rustaveli Theatre. Irakli Gamrekeli illustrated the only published edition of the Futurist magazine H2S04. Works are protected in Rustaveli Theatre, Kote Marjanishvili Theatre, Art Palace museum, Gamrekeli Gallery



Tbilisi’s Muslim population appeared after the conquest of the city by Arabs in the early VII century. Several mosques were erected in Tbilisi during the Middle Ages. The largest among them was the Shi’a mosque that stood on the right bank of the Mtkvari, close to the river. According to oral tradition, it was built by Shah Ismail I of Iran, who invaded Georgia and occupied Tbilisi from 1522 to 1524.



#GlimpseinGallery - MOTUS. This exhibition brings together the works of three artists: Levan Kharanauli, Zeinab Barnovi, and Theo Moukhigouli. The showcased artworks, as is expressed in the event’s title (Latin: "MOTUS" meaning moving or moved), are independently linked to the notion of movement, through which the transformation of space-time relations, humankind, and the object itself becomes possible. Theo Mouxigouli’s series of mixed media objects "A Heart for Every Fate", conveys various visual forms from the artist's memory through dynamism, rhythmicity, comprehensive construction of the compositions, and the expressive movements embodied in the objects. The series of self-portraits by artist Levan Kharanauli consists of three works, in which the impact of events on an individual's life path can clearly be read. The self-portraits, which are connected with Levan Kharanauli's return to the creative process, reflect three stages of the artist's life (childhood, youth, and the present day) and are generally related to the path of personality change that brings about unexpected transformation in a person due to the power of circumstance. Artist Zeinab Barnovi created the project “Heroes Square1990-2022”, which visually describes one of the main areas of Tbilisi's urban development in the contexts of culture and architecture - the formation of Heroes Square - while at the same time chronicling individuals and society, their lives and daily routines, as well as the political events taking place around them. Host of the exhibition: Hermit space Curator of the exhibition: Salome Eristavi