Irakli Bugiani - Vision Seeker
17 December, 2022 - 5 February, 2023
Artbeat presents Irakli Bugiani's solo exhibition "Vision Seeker".
"The place where I live (Düsseldorf) is northern Rhine-Westphalia - the most densely populated region in Europe. The only way to avoid civilization and people is the Rhine's peripheral banks; therefore, you will rarely meet people walking with dogs, joggers, or horse riders. That is why I would go to that river to find some inspiration.
The bed of the Rhine river used to be much broader and surrounded by swamps. Since the 1860s, the industrial wastes of chemical concerns (BASF, Bayer, etc.) based on the river banks flowed into the water. In the 1870s, people started to tame the river, and many natural tributaries were cut off and turned into tight beds. Nowadays, the Rhine river is one of the main transport arteries for transporting industrial and other types of cargo. Not too long ago (2021), Germany had a record-breaking flood, which, according to experts, was caused by the exploitation of the rivers and the narrowing of their beds. In the summer of 2022, as a result of extreme heat, the amount of water decreased so much that the number of transport cargoes and ships hit a record low.
The necessary condition of civilization is control of the nature and therefore this river is like a domesticated animal, which cannot be tamed” - Irakli Bugiani.
Exhibition under the title "Vision Seeker" somehow returns us to our original state, to the lost, to the original world, where human was in direct contact with natural forces and where he/she existed alongside with them and not against each-other. By distancing from mechanic, industrial reality, the artist appears to be in a certain role of observer, which offers visitors a trip beyond consciousness.
Images that come alive in front of our eyes in their complete mystery gain an apocalyptic motive through the industrial world's presence. The current exhibition's title represents an allegory of the search for other realities and dimensions. At the same time, the viewer goes through a kind of meditative journey while observing those artworks.
The main part of exhibited artworks is inspired by the environment of Rhine’s embankment. Objects depicted on the canvas, like traffic signs for cargo ships, bridges, transports, chimneys of factories, or various kinds of carrying birds, carry a sharply expressive character, which is highlighted by color and dynamic brush strokes. We see in each artwork resistance of the natural landscape and industrial artifacts.
In artworks where nature is accentuated, spectral - blue, cyan, magenta, and green colors dominate at the same time, rectangular or circular constructions cutting through the surface of the picture, changing the compositional dynamic essentially. The painter depicts the conflict between nature and man-made world. In one of the artworks, we see figures of Native AmericansIndians and above them fragments of German inscription, which in English says the following: "I dwelt there quietly" and "Family in the shadows of the trees". The depicted figures appear to us as ghosts of past times and remind the pre-modern world of western civilization. Indian spiritual leader Lame Deer said about artists that they are like "Indians among white people"; they are dreamers and visionary's, who can contemplate see through the curtains.
The painter offers us to look through various, complex and sophisticated constructions of artifacts and discover the unknown side of nature, whether it is a landscape of the horizon or a fragment of sky seen through the window. Ultimately nature, together with those constructions, becomes a participant in strange chromatic play with kaleidoscopic frequency. It reminds our consciousness of the beginnings of the primordial world. The unreal takes the appearance of the real, offers a dimensional shift and entirely new tones to our perception.
Irakli Bugiani mainly works in painting. He also refers to the techniques of collage. For the pictures he uses old and new photos, texts about the events happening around him for example in social, scientific, political situations. The process itself and its visibility on the canvas is very important for the artist. His works depict interiors and exteriors of architecture empty of human presence. The abstract imagery composed with rough strokes of oil on canvas leave an impression of the yet unfinished work in process. The artist deliberately leaves fragments of working process on the canvas as if the artworks are endless. The impressionistic 'unfinished' seascapes, washed out portraits and collages of fragmented imagery compose the exploration into the boundaries of fiction and historical fact of one's memory.
Selected solo and group exhibitions:
2022 - Vision Seeker, Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia; Gates to the Garden, ES365, Düsseldorf, Germany; Pale Blue Dot, International Positions on the Environment, ES365, Düsseldorf, Germany; 2020 - Almost There, A digital exhibition with artworks from the British Council Collection; 2018 - Nowhere to Run, Artbeat, Tbilisi, Georgia; 2017 - Blue Tunel, Installation, Moving Gallery by Artbeat, Telavi, Georgia; 2016 - To see a World in a Grain of Sand, The Georgian National Museum Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia; 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.