Gallery 4710 is delighted to announce the “Morning Sleepwalker" exhibition, featuring the artistic duo of Emma Zarafishvili Khutsishvili and Giorgi Kontridze, representing two distinct generations of artists.
The exhibition will debut on Saturday, September 16th, and will continue until October 20th.
Emma Zarafishvili-Murzina, also known as Emma Zar-Khutsi (1940-2012),was born in Yangul, Uzbekistan, and later made her home in Tomsk. In the 1950s, she ventured to Tbilisi,where she became part of the lively community of Georgian artists. Emma initially served as a model at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. Her first spouse was Dimitri Zarafishvili, a Soviet book graphic artist, while her second partner was fellow artist Jemal Khutsishvili. This is why Emma Murzina is sometimes referenced by both surnames, Zarafishvili and Khutsishvili.
Emma Zar-Khutsi embarked on her painting journey in 1967 while staying at an artists' retreat in Senezh. In 1969, her first-ever solo exhibition was held at the House of Art Workers in Georgia.
Her artistic oeuvre can be found safeguarded in numerous private collections spanning Georgia, Russia, and Germany. Beyond her visual artistry, Emma Zar-Khutsi is also recognised as the author of a collection of Russian poetry.Emma Zar-Khutsi dedicated herself to her art, producing paintings and graphic works from the 1960s until her passing.
In terms of style, Emma's artistic work falls within the categories of Naive art, Primitivism, and "outsider art." Her presence as an artist, along with her distinctive creative approach, often stands in stark contrast to the context of Georgian Soviet art. This unique perspective sheds light on a under explored demension of Georgian art history, offering an alternative and refreshing angle that diverges from the mainstream narratives.
Indeed, Emma Zarafishvili Khutsishvili does not fit into the traditional mold of professional artists from her era, spanning decades, and she remained distant with Soviet art institutions. Her unique approach, marked by intense expressiveness, obsessive narratives, eroticism, profound psychologism, and a performance-style presentation, shattered the established stylistic and ideological boundaries of Soviet art.As a self-taught artist was divergent from everyone. She fearlessly pursued her own path, crafting her vision of what was the idea of modern, universal, and authentic art.
Emma's concept of "local modernity" that emerged within the confines of the closed Soviet space gains even greater significance in our contemporary era, where the Western artistic sphere also exhibits certain unique characteristics. Within Emma's works, we encounter a raw, untamed energy characterized by vibrant bursts of color, psychedelic elements, and a boldly stylized texture.
Woman, cat and nature form a genuine trinity of lunar poetry.
Her infinite pictorial and graphic flow, which coils mysteriously like a snail, resembles the dangerous journey of a nocturnal wanderer. Her paintings appear to have been crafted under the gentle glow of moonlight, while her graphics evoke the atmosphere of a lunar eclipse.
Emma's images are like the silvery moonlight and its textured lunar surface, embody the essence of her feminine art, which emanated from the consciousness of a woman.Emma Zar-Khutsi's phenomenon remains beyond the reach of the sun's rays, as it stands untouchable for the solar (male) culture.
Giorgi Kontridze is a youthful artist born in Ozurgeti. Presently, he resides and works in Tbilisi. Giorgi's artistic approach is notably specific. He mostly uses thin paper as his canvas and brings to life diverse array of stories and portraits, which often embody contrasting themes in his work. In Giorgi Kontridze's artworks, there's a captivating blend and stylistic synthesis of diverse cultural elements. The artist often finds inspiration in Soviet illustration, pop culture, posters, the internet, and the world of fantastical beings. Much like Emma Zar-Khutsi, portraits, including variations of self-portraits, are a recurring theme in his creations. Within these portraits, a rich tapestry of symbols, including cats and existent elements, converges to craft an enduring and shared poetic narrative.
Curators: Kote Bolkvadze, Nini Darchia