Levan Mindiashvili's solo exhibiton at Marisa Newman Projects in New York.
LEVAN MINDIASHVILI: what color is the Black Sea?
March 8 – May 12, 2021
Marisa Newman Projects, New York
Exhibition catalog with essay by Lilly Wei (forthcoming in April).
For the artist’s first exhibition at Marisa Newman Projects, Levan Mindiashvili creates an environment, which harkens back to the artist’s earliest glimpses of consciousness and the sense of self.
The title “what color is the Black Sea?” nods at children’s riddles, but here the answer is not so clear. It is in this ambiguity that Mindiashvili is able to reimagine the ecosystems of his native Georgia and of his own consciousness as an act of healing, rebirth and emergence.
Four images that have a recurring impact upon the artist are: a family photograph of Mindiashvili at age 3 sitting by the Black Sea, a Hedgehog, the Georgian Alphabet and his Baby Blanket. These iconic symbols of infancy and human development get shown in different forms and repeat throughout the gallery.
Pierre Huyghe said in an interview “It’s fascinating to witness intelligence develop through playing and repetition.” This notion of repetition is presented throughout the show in its many pedagogical forms. Children learn through repetition, comfort and stability is seen as being formed by repeating routines, but trauma is also revealed only in the second or repeated form of a trauma.
The exhibition focuses on a living tableau – a tangerine tree sits on a mirrored surface with grow lights above and a coated potted palm with a neon text hang adjacent. A natural latex curtain that closely resembles the artist’s flesh tone is printed/tattooed with the positive and negative of the seminal photograph. The “skin” holds together these objects of growth, nature and nurture – a laboratory that is a nursery for both childhood and flora.
Levan Mindiashvili is a Georgian born Brooklyn based visual artist. He holds his BFA from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (2003), and MFA from Buenos Aires National University of Arts (2010). His work has been shown at the East Slovak Gallery, Kosovo; Elizabeth Foundation for Arts Projects Space, NY; Shau Fenster, Berlin; BRIC Arts Center, Brooklyn; National Museum of China, Beijing; Georgian National Museum, among others. His recent solo presentations were held at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NY; NARS Foundation, Brooklyn; NADA Miami; Tbilisi Art Fair’19; and Berlin Art Fair’19. Currently he is a fellow of the Socrates Sculpture Park, NY (2021), and recipient of the Peter S Reed Foundation Grant (2020), NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program (2020), Creative Time X Summit grant (2019), AIM Fellowship of the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2019), and of the National Endowments for the Arts (2014). His work has been the subject of an essay by Christian Rattemeyer for the OSMOS Magazine fall issue (2019). His work has been mentioned in publications as Artnet News, The Art Newspaper, ArtAsia Pacific, HYPERALLERGIC, Observer, Huffington Post, Art Margins, among others.