Looking Back with The Eyes Forward
Collaboration with the cultural centre Atinati
The Why Not Gallery and Atinati Cultural Centre are pleased to present Malkhaz Gorgadze’s solo exhibition ‘Looking back with the eyes forward’. The exhibition is an overview of the artist's creative career and presents a selection of works from the 1960s to the present day.
Malkhaz Gorgadze has a special place on the Georgian art scene; he belongs to the generation of Soviet Georgian artists who were prolific from the 1970s, however, the general public is rediscovering them now. A ceramicist by education, Gorgadze has been actively working on the city redevelopment projects from the 1960s and mainly created monumental wall decorations. Although he actively painted throughout, the artist never exhibited his works outside a narrow circle. Nevertheless, the artist boldly experimented with forms of expression and materials, both when creating mosaic panoramas and when painting, and even executed his own compositions in textile art.
A particular sense of monumentality, that became Gorgadze’s defining character through working on the large scale public commissions, attained a new meaning in his recent paintings. Large scale paintings executed with bold, thick brushstroke are a true feast of color and form. Despite an excellent knowledge of academic drawing, the artist masterly conveys the subjects in a simplified manner, with a few skillful touches, thus referencing naive art. The feeling is heightened by the tropical motifs that make his 1970s work even more special and are a leading theme in his recent works too. It is particularly interesting that the subject matter developed is almost always inspired by biblical parables, as a theme that the artist has been navigating through for decades. The coarse and simple, yet unusually elegant and complex forms that have become the artist's signature seem to be freed from unnecessary distractions to focus on the universal and vital, the eternal and fundamental, and above all, celebrate life.