Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Georgian painter Levan Lagidze's London exhibition: Bach Exercises

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Levan Lagidze's Autumn Gardens
If you are in London before 8 December, this is an unmissable exhibition.

Described as a ‘living legend’ by Dante magazine, Levan Lagidze is one of Georgia’s most prominent artists. His work is collected by national museums across the former USSR (including the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the National Gallery in Tbilisi) and in the US and Europe.

This autumn The Georgian Museum of Fine Arts in Tbilisi opened a new building with a hall dedicated to the artist’s work.

Lagidze is known for his highly structured and layered abstract paintings, philosophical approach to art and his unwavering support for Georgian art and artists.

He is sought-after in the international art world, where his paintings have recently fetched high sums at auction in New York, but is notoriously reclusive and shy of wide exposure, preferring to exhibit exclusively in his own gallery in Tbilisi.

London's Katrine Levin Galleries Pall Mall is hosting Bach Exercises, the first major exhibition that the artist has agreed to outside Georgia for 20 years. It will run until  8 December 2018.

"The exhibition title reflects the 'cadence' of the paintings, where the myriad of tiny universes built up along a grid intermingle in a symphony of rich chromatic notes. Through this rhythm Lagidze seeks to know the universe through colour as Bach did through sound" said Katrine Levin, curator.

Levan Lagidze’s works are accessible and self-explanatory. Layers of colour and structure entice the viewer to look deeper into the paintings where they discover connections to universal narratives such as landscape and urbanisation.

Colour is at the heart of his work: "It is said that painting is the art of showing colour – but to me it is the art of hiding colour. Colour needs to be hidden in order to entice the viewer into searching deeper", commented the artist.

Levan Lagidze georgian painter, contemporary georgian art, central asian small group tours
Levan Lagidze's Village in the Mountains
Born in 1958 in Tbilisi, Georgia, Lagidze graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1981. He founded and led the Artists’ Studio in the Tbilisi Artists’ House in 1983 and served as Chairman of Georgia´s Young Artists' Union from 1986 to 1989.

Lagidze continued his support of young Georgian artists during the turbulent and violent decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In 2011 he founded the Lagidze Gallery that showcases his works and hosts exhibitions, presentations and talks in Georgia's capital.

There you will often find a mix of writers, composers, diplomats, and corporate leaders who have dropped in for an exchange of jokes or a philosophical discussion.

Bach Exercises presents 25 recent paintings created specifically for the London exhibition and is open to the public until 8 December at La Galleria Pall Mall, Pall Mall, London.

Listen to a 3-minute conversation below with the artist, with English subtitles. [If your device does not display the clip, go directly to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5kHLyIqVxA].

Related posts:
Central Asia in Art: From Soviet Orientalism to the New Republics  
Sotheby's London Exhibition: Contemporary Art from Central Asia & the Caucasus
Alexander Volkov: Of Sand and Silk, an Exhibition at Christie's, London