Levan Lagidze bio
(b. 1958, Tbilisi, Georgia)
Inside every square of Levan Lagidze's work is a separate universe. His world, his art, is a great galaxy. Perceiving his paintings depends upon distance: from afar, one sees a large canvas, but as one moves ever closer one's approach seems endless and one discovers ever more numerous and increasingly minute universes within. (Nana Jorjadze, film director)
Levan Lagidze is one of Georgia's most significant living artists. Widely exhibited internationally, Lagidze’s abstracted and philosophical works are collected by museums worldwide, including the State Tretyakov Gallery in Russia and the National Gallery in Georgia.
Born in 1958 in Tbilisi, Georgia (then part of the Soviet Union), Levan Lagidze graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1981. Lagidze founded and led the Tbilisi Artists’ House in 1983 and served as Chairman of Georgia´s Young Artists’ Union in Tbilisi from 1986 to 1989. In the early 1990s he founded The Lagidze Gallery, supporting struggling Georgian artists in the economically turbulent and often violent decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the calmer times of 2011, the gallery re-opened under the same name to showcase Levan’s works.
Eluding any one style, Lagidze’s art escapes definition except through a metaphor. He says that creating a composition is like “measuring eternity with careful steps”, where a blank canvas demands and promises complete immersion into the subject matter. In such immersion concepts such as distance and time dissolve into an all encompassing here and now. For Lagidze, “there is no such thing as contemporary or not contemporary art. All artists that have ever immersed themselves in the language of art are in the present”.
Bach Exercises, planned for Autumn 2018 in London, is Lagidze's first major selling exhibition abroad after a long hiatus. The exhibition presents new works considered by Lagidze the pinnacle of his artistic career to date, and will be followed by an equally significant exhibition in New York. The works will be first seen in Georgia, in a major exhibition held by the artist's home country in honour of his 60th birthday in May 2018. The title, Bach Exercises, reflects the paintings’ cadence, where the myriad of tiny universes built up along a grid intermingle in a symphony of chromatic notes, creating universal images and narrations through abstraction.
This important exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue punctuated with the artist’s quotes – part whimsy, part philosophy, part humour – for which he is well known and loved.
Lagidze’s works are collected by museums in Georgia, Russia, and the United States, including:
- The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia;
- The Modern Art Museum, Moscow, Russia;
- The National Picture Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia;
- The Batumi State Gallery, Batumi, Georgia;
- The Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, NJ, United States
- The Gertsev Gallery, Moscow, Russia;
- The "TMS" Art Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
Levan Lagidze’s works are in private collections in Georgia, Russia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Canada, and the United States.
Present-2011 – Lagidze Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
2016 – National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
2012 – Modern Art Museum, Kuwait City
2011 – Opening of Lagidze Gallery (Levan Lagidze’s private gallery), Tbilisi, Georgia
2010 – Exhibition Hall of Europe House, Tbilisi, Georgia
2007-10 - Chardin Art Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
2004-6, 1998, 1995 – TMS Art Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
1994 – Central House of Artists, presented by Gertsev Gallery, Moscow, Russia
1990 – Georgian Centre of Culture Mziuri, Moscow, Russia
1989 – House of Artists, Tbilisi, Georgia
2009 – Oc-Eo Art – Contemporary and Modern Fine Art, London, UK
2008 – The Alla Bulyanskaya Gallery, London, UK
2004 – Silent Auction to benefit the American Friends of Georgia – Doyle, New York, USA
1998 – ART SALON’98, Moscow, Russia
1997 – “Going Back”, TMS Art Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
1996 – Galerie Seidel am Domhof, Cologne, Germany
1994 – “The Bigining”. CA Global AC, Vienna, Austria
1994 – Georgian Art, Steiner Haus, Bonn, Germany
1993 – Georgian Art, Riviera Gallery, London, UK
1990 – Georgian School - Drouot Auction, Paris, France
1986 – Retrospective of Georgian Art, Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia