Georgian Embassy, London (2004)
Caravasla Tbilisi History Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia (2003)
Old Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia (1999-2004)
Club 22, Tbilisi, Georgia (2002-2003)
State Exhibition Hall “S. Bakhul-Zade”, Baku, Azerbaijan (2001)
Art Gallery, Telleborg, Sweden (1997)
“Gift” Festival, State Museum of Tbilisi, Georgia (1997)
Grúz Nagykövetség, London (2004)
Caravasla Tbiliszi Történeti Múzeum, Tbiliszi, Grúzia (2003):
Régi Galéria, Tbiliszi, Grúzia (1999-2004)
Club 22, Tbiliszi, Grúzia (2002-2003)
Állami Kiállítóterem “S. Bakhul-Zade”, Baku, Azerbajdzsán (2001)
Művészeti Galéria, Telleborg, Svédország (1997)
“Ajándék” Fesztivál, Tbiliszi Állami Múzeum, Grúzia (1997)
Georgian artist brings 1930s Hungary to life
|Written by Michael Logan|
|Budapest Times, Monday, 04 February 2008|
|Melancholy and memoryscapes of the past
You do not often hear an artist admitting that the title he or she has chosen for an exhibition sounds pretentious, but that’s exactly how Georgian artist Lado Pochkhua describes the title of his latest show The Anatomy of Melancholia. Such frankness is refreshing in an art world were pretentiousness often rules the roost, and Pochkhua’s art itself is just as refreshing as his approach.
Pochkhua, 38, is an energetic figure and his enthusiasm for his field is clear. Much of his work is based on old photographs that he picks up in the flea markets of Budapest. He then either draws the images in pen and ink or transfers them onto canvas using acrylic medium. This is just the beginning, though. After that Pochkhua, who studied at the Tbilisi Academy of Art and has exhibited in US, Sweden and Georgia as well as Hungary, takes the simple image and transforms it into what he calls a “memoryscape”.
“My impulse is to take something that is vanishing and bring it new life,” he says. “I want to create a new relationship between colours, images and characters.”
At the moment many of the images Pochkhua unearths are from the 1930s. You can feel the past in his paintings, which build images of people playing tennis, youngsters at school, or gentlemen in old bathing suits into a landscape of muted colours.
While most of the time Pochkhua feels that the people in the pictures are not as important as the impression the work gives the viewer, he also occasionally unearths an image that captures as specific moment in history.
“I have an amazing image of nine girls in white dresses, standing in formation holding balls and with very happy faces,” he says. “On the rear of the photo is the date: 29 August, 1939 [just before the start of the Second World War]. They are hours from tragedy and there is no feeling of that in the picture.”
And as for the “pretentious” title of the exhibition, Pochkhua took it from the title of 17th century book by Robert Barton, in which the author attempts to classify and cure all different types of melancholia. Pochkhua began reading the book when he went through an initially tough time upon arriving in a dark, unwelcoming and “melancholy” Budapest in November 2006.
Barton admitted he studied melancholia in an effort to keep busy and therefore avoid his own melancholia. The Georgian artist adopted this approach in Budapest, and has become prolific.
With no shortage of flea markets in Budapest, you can be sure that Pochkhua won’t run out of inspiration.
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