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To See a World in a Grain of Sand
Irakli Bugiani

6-23 October 2016

Curator Levan Mindiashvili

D. Shevardnadze National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia

Irakli Bugiani’s first solo exhibition in Georgia, held in the National Gallery, brings together pivotal works of the artist, marking important aspects of his practice.

Bugiani’s artistic formation was influenced by his past, and namely by Perestroika and by collapse of the Soviet Regime, followed by the civil war and nationalist movements. His paintings of 2009 - 2012, containing cut-outs from family albums and archives, are attempts to analyze these events.

Influences from Soviet era are visible in the series of works created between 2013-2014. This time Bugiani is focused on soviet and post-soviet architecture. He creates a series of paintings, entitled “Sovieticum” (the term invented by artist himself), in which architecture is explored as a main factor in formation of Identity and cultural environment.

2014-2015 marks Bugiani’s growing interest towards monumental painting. He co-organizes a project 191°S (Dusseldorf) - curated series of mural paintings in various locations - and creates two murals of his own as well.

The title of the show at the National Gallery - “To See a World in a Grain of Sand” - is inspired by the poetry of William Blake. It serves as a metaphor of understanding the world as a conjunction of self-similar fractals, an idea that is acutely explored in Bugiani’s current works. His paintings had acquired the qualities of an object with meticulous attentions to the texture of the pictorial surface, to canvas and to the thin layers of oil paints. Irakli Bugiani’s abstract paintings containing hints of representation reveal artist’s attempts to accentuate unknown, mystical aspects of the universe.

Irakli Bugiani (B. 1980, Tbilisi, Georgia)

Bugiani accomplished his studies in Fine Art at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2001. 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.

Irakli Bugiani lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Selected solo and group exhibitions:

2016 - To See a World in a Grain of Sand, organized by Project ArtBeat, GNM, Georgian National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia. 2015- Ausstellungseröffnung: 191°S, WELTKUNSTZIMMER, Dusseldorf, Germany; Kunstpunkte 2015, Dusseldorf, Germany; 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.

Levan Mindiashvili (B. 1979) is based in Brooklyn, New York.

His artistic research covers topics such as memory and identity - the issues actual in today's post-Soviet culture of Georgia, where the artist was born. Yet the central axis to his works remains the relationship between the private and the public, while questioning the subject/object dichotomies. The series of works presented at Boundaries, create a dialogue between one's most intimate physical spaces and the exteriors of architecture of the suburban New York in fragments.

Selected solo and group exhibitions: 2015 - Suites for Unintended Archeology, the Vazquez Building, New York, USA; 2015 - Heritage, RICHMIX Arts Centre, London, UK; 2014 - Borderlines, the Lodge Gallery, New York, USA; 2014 - Crossing the Boundaries.03, AT388, Rotterdam, Netherlands; 2013 - Urban Identities, Kunstraub99 Art Gallery, Cologne, Germany; 2011 - Movistar Arte Joven 2011, Borges Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina;

The Project is supported by the Tbilisi City Hall Cultural Events. 

Photo Credit: Sandro Sulaberidze, Angus Leadley Brown