12 September - 15 September 2019
A for Archaic, Abstract and Archetypal
A for Archaic, Abstract and Archetypal b409 for Contemporary Istanbul gathers works by three generation of artists from Georgia: Vera Pagava (1907 - 1988), Nino Sekhniashvili and Sophio Medoidze. The artists of distinct positions meet at the point of abstraction as language and archetypes as signs and gestures.
Sophio Medoidze was born in USSR, brought up in the Republic of Georgia and lives in London. Medoidze works primarily with film, photography, writing and sculpture. Her work is marked by precarity and explores the poetic potential of uncertainty.
In her recent works Medoidze is interested in subverting traditional ethnographic forms through relatedness and humour. The desire for a community (both actual and imaginary) drives her mythopoetic narratives forward, as she probes and re-states the meaning of the word itself. Medoidze’s work has been shown amongst others at Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles (upcoming), Serpentine Cinema (solo presentation), Close Up Film Centre, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Whitechapel Gallery, Arnolfini and Tbilisi Art Fair. She recently won Feature Expanded Development and SUB TI awards; Medoidze is nominated for 2019 Jarman award.
Nino Sekhniashvili (b. 1979) lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia. She graduated in 2002 from Tbilisi State Fine Art Academy with a diploma in Print Graphic. Her further education as an artist derives from numerous residencies and participations in events within and outside Georgia. Her artistic language is not defined by any specific media but attempts to go beyond traditional and contemporary visual techniques. By adapting cultural heritage, ranging from ancient documents to manufactured products, she remaps the legacy of Georgian culture and puts classical views on history and chronology into question. In 2005 she created a fake music band DARIO RADIO together with artist Keti Siamashvili. In 2013 she founded the gallery Nectar in Tbilisi.
Vera Pagava Born in 1907 in Georgia, Vera Pagava followed her family in the exile and settled down in France, without ever going back to her native country. The years spent in emigration turned Pagava into an acclaimed French artist, which lead her to represent France at the Venice Biennale in 1966. Pagava studied fine art first in André Lhote’s studio, then at the Academie Ranson in Bissiere’s studio, in Paris, where her career departs. There she met and developed a long term friendship with painters: Maria Helena Vieira Da Silva, Arpad Szenes, Étienne-Martin, Jean Le Moal and others. She worked with various galleries. Galerie Jeanne Bucher was the crucial point, especially her first exhibition with the gallery, where her work was shown next to Dora Maar in 1944. After 1972, the Gallery Darial founded by Thamar Tarassachvili represented her.
Pagava occupies an important turn in Georgian art history. Today, she is considered as the first female abstract painter of Georgian descent. Even though her work was unrecognized in USSR, and her first institutional exhibition in Georgia was held only long after her death, the influence of the Georgian culture never left her practice, and she kept on inspiring generations of Georgian artists who encountered her work in Europe, and through various artistic circles.
Pagava's works are part of private and public collections such as: The Centre Pompidou, The Unterlinden Museum in Colmar, City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Grenoble and the Museum of Fine Arts Dijon and others. Since 1990, the Cultural Association Vera Pagava (Association Culturelle Vera Pagava - AC/VP) manages the art collection of the Darial Gallery (Paris, 7th district, from 1972 to 1996).