LEVAN LAGIDZE PROMISE 15-27 November 2021 D Contemporary 23 Grafton Street Mayfair W1S 4EY
Levan Lagidze is one of Georgia’s most significant living artists with work in the permanent collections of major museums including the Tretyakov Gallery and Museum of Modern Art in Russia, the National Picture Gallery in Georgia, and the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in the United States.
romise, presents a series of new works that are inspired by Georgia’s landscapes and cityscapes. Outwardly abstract the compositions contain traces of the figurative. Perspective has been flattened and each element within a canvas is given equal importance. Lagidze’s aim is not to prioritise, not to ascribe secondary or primary values but to allow every fragment to form part of a universal whole, so that ‘the earth is as important as the sky’. This creates a sense of paintings within paintings, as the smaller elements within larger canvases draw the eye and appear to stand alone, creating a Labyrinthian sense of art within artworks.
For him painting is a form of gaining a greater awareness … looking at his paintings, you desire time in quiet contemplation
Maka Bezhuashvili, Curator, the National Gallery, Georgian National Museum.
Following a grid like structure paint is applied thickly using a palette knife creating texture and depth within each canvas and a sense of things buried. Often vibrant his canvases reflect the multicoloured nature of the world, with blocks of colour both in the forefront and somehow concealed. This rhythmic use of line and colour give a harmony across the larger canvases whilst the smaller canvases when exhibited together suggest a mosaic. In addition to works in colour Lagidze has a series of large meditative works that are in muted colours or in shades of the same colour. Highlight works include and abstraction in pales blues and greys “ Cities” (oil on canvas, 2021), whilst paintings of seasons Autumn (2021), and Spring (2021)) suggest through complex palettes the mood associated with each time of year.
As yet little known in the West, Lagidze is acclaimed in Georgia with a room dedicated to his work in the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts. By presenting new work in London, Katrine Levin hopes to give greater recognition to Lagidze.