Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990

Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990
Installation view from the exhibition ‘Avto Meskhi Paintings 1981-1990' at Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2024. Photo Credit Gallery Artbeat

Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990
23rd February – 7th April, 2024
Artbeat
14 Pavle Ingorokva Str.
Tbilisi

Gallery Artbeat presents solo exhibition of Avto Meskhi, one of the representatives of the so-called nonconformist’ movement during the Soviet period, featuring paintings created between 1981 and 1990. Avto Meskhi is perhaps one of the rare artists whose practice encompasses and is connected to cubism, abstractionism, and constructivism simultaneously.

Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990
Installation view from the exhibition ‘Avto Meskhi’ Paintings 1981-1990′ at Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2024. Photo Credit Gallery Artbeat

His works often reflect attempts to reconsider the avant-garde movement and expand aesthetic possibilities. Meskhi’s artistic language is characterized by elements of geometric and linear perspective. Square and rectangular shapes in red, blue, and white colors bear clear signs of the architectural and urban environment, which are integrated into a compositional unity with rhythm and balance. In Meskhi’s artistic form, architectural objects are dissected and reimagined. Clear geometric figures with their active and moving properties in relation to one another create the impression of spatial dynamism.

Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990
Installation view from the exhibition ‘Avto Meskhi Paintings 1981-1990′ at Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2024. Photo Credit Gallery Artbeat

Meskhi’s abstract works are rich with religious and mythical signs and symbols represented by various geometric forms. The artist explores combinations of mathematical signs, such as the ‘x’ and ‘o’, reminiscent of a well-known children’s board game. These existing codes seem to serve as a metaphor for the universal ‘game’ of life. The artist appears to create a new iconography with these visual codes,
transforming them into a diagram of life and death. In this context, we can interpret the ‘x’ as a metaphor for the crucifixion and the ‘o’ as a symbol of eternal beginnings. His creations are not merely squares, circles, or crosses of different colors. ultimately, he crafts schematic primordial maps of the universe’s existence.

Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990
Installation view from the exhibition ‘Avto Meskhi Paintings 1981-1990′ at Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2024. Photo Credit Gallery Artbeat

Avto Meskhi (b. 1946, Tbilisi) began painting in his childhood and attended art lessons. He continued his studies at the I. Nikoladze Art School in the class led by Ketevan Maghalashvili. During the Soviet Period, Meskhi worked as an ‘unofficial’ underground artist. His internal protest against the political establishment at that time was sharp, leading to his formation as a non-conformist.

At the age of 13-14, he befriended Avto Varazi and became acquainted with Western art. It was during this time that Meskhi was introduced to the works of Picasso, Mondrian, Malevich, and other artists. While maintaining friendships with his contemporaries, Meskhi’s works bear an individual signature and are markedly distinct even from other non-conformists of the Soviet period.

Avto Meskhi Paintings: 1981-1990 opens on the 23rd of February until the 7th of April, 2024 at Artbeat

©2024 Artbeat

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