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START Art Fair at Saatchi Gallery
Tato Akhalkatsishvili, Maka Batiashvili, Irakli Bugiani...

10-13 September 2015

Gathered under the theme of what constitutes the memory in fragments and how the fragments compose an alternative memory of the possible, Project ArtBeat  presents works by Tato Akhalkatsishvili, Maka Batiashvili, Irakli Bugiani and Sopho Chkhikvadze. Born in Georgia, the artists stem from the shared history of the republic undergoing the turbulent times of the post-Soviet condition.  The imagery they create are based upon different lived experiences of the times, while all of them use the media of painting and application.

Tato Akhalkatsishvili (b. 1979) lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Akhalkatsishvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He studied Fine Arts at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts during 1996 - 2003.
Akhalkatsishvili works in painting and mixed media sculpture. In a stylistic amalgam of abstract and figurative Akhalkatsishvili mixes oil paint, spray paint, photography and other materials. He focuses on the process of self-identification and self-analysis, while exploring critical points in artist's past life.  Akhalkatsishvili's practice can be described as highly symbolic, while he uses various metaphors as means of self-expression.

Selected solo and group exhibitions:
2015 - Back to Home?, Artarea Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2015 - Heritage, Rich Mix, London, UK; 2014 - AT388, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 2013 - Heritage, Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2009 - 2 Men Show, Mitsukoshi Art Gallery, Matsuyama, Japan; Gallery KUNSTRAUB 99, Cologne, Germany, 2008 - Untitled personal exhibition, Gallery Arte, Tobus Spring Art Festival, Tokyo, Japan.

Maka Batiashvili (b. 1975) lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Batiashvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She accomplished her studies in Fine Arts at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1997. 
Batiashvili works in oil painting, photography and film.  Her exuberant work depicts scenes from the everyday. Through the subject matter, Batiashvili poses questions around the existential issues of life and death. In her work the everyday life resembles a playground, where various scenes are being performed. Ostensibly unmediated figures and the intense color scheme in Batiashvili's work share stylistic tendencies with the early modernist painting traditions of Georgia and Europe. Batiashvili's practice is an interesting cross between the traditional and the contemporary painting.

Selected solo and group exhibitions:
2015 - Playground, TBC Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia; Exhibition of Georgian Painters, Contemporary Art Center, Tel Aviv, Israel; 2013 - Untitled, Arundel Gallery, Arundel, UK; 2012 -Untitled, Industrial Gallery, Ostrava, the Czech Republic; 2011 - Black and White, Tbilisi History Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2008 - OFF EUROPA Festival, Leipzig, Germany; Photography Exhibition, National Museum, Atlanta, USA.

Irakli Bugiani (B. 1980) lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Bugiani was born in Tbilisi, where in 2001 he accomplished his studies in Fine Art at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. Since then he studied at Ecole des Beux Arts in Rouen, France, at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany and received MA in Art History at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany in 2010.
Bugiani works in painting and collage. His works depict interiors and exteriors of architecture empty of human presence.  The abstract imagery composed with rough strokes of oil on canvas combined with application, leave an impression of the yet unfinished work in process. The impressionistic  landscapes, seascapes and  washed out portraits compose the exploration into the fictional and the historical facts of one's memory. The combination of the subject matter and the working style evoke an unsettling ambiguity.

Selected solo and group exhibitions:
2015 - Heritage, RICHMIX Arts Centre, London, UK; 2014 -Crossing the boundaries, AT388, Rotterdam, Netherlands,  2013 - Kunstpreis Junger Westen 2013, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany; 2012 -  Post Coitum Omne Animal Triste Est, Damenundherren e.V., Dusseldorf, Germany; 2011 - Zwischen Gestern und Morgen, Gallery 10, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Sopho Chkhikvadze (b.1972) lives and works in London, UK.
Sopho Chkhikvadze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She studied fine art at J. Nikoladze Tbilisi State Art School and later accomplished Masters degree in fine art at Tbilisi State Academy of Art, Tbilisi, Georgia in 1997. 
Chkhikvadze's practice shares stylistic approach with the early modernist painters and can be characterized as a contemporary 'faux naïf'. Her works give a false impression of childlike simplicity, while being complex in technique as well as meaning.  Her compositions are serene, subtle and somehow mystic too. Her blurry imagery, never gives the sense of exact time and place, in fact, her mystic images resemble fragments from a story, focused on a detail out of context. The blurry oil strokes create ambience and are ambiguous in their character. Chkhikvadze's works are held in the Moscow Modern Art Museum, Muzeum Montanelli and private collections across Europe.

Selected solo and group exhibitions:
2012 - Christmas Exhibition, Pop Art Gallery, London, UK; 2011 - Untitled personal exhibition, Gallery 9, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2009 - Caroline Farmiloe Fine Art Gallery, London, UK; 4th Prague Biennial, Prague, Czech Republic; Museum Montanelli, Prague, the Czech Republic;  2008 - Winter Exhibition, Cyril Gerber Fine Art Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland.

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