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HomeEuropeSwitzerland’s Beyeler Foundation Museum Hosting Exhibition of Georgia's Iconic Painter Pirosmani

Switzerland’s Beyeler Foundation Museum Hosting Exhibition of Georgia’s Iconic Painter Pirosmani


The Fondation Beyeler, the most visited museum of art in Switzerland, is hosting the exhibition of Georgia’s iconic self-taught painter Niko Pirosmani, bringing his 46 works from different collections to the venue.

The exhibition launched on Sunday, in cooperation with the Georgian Culture Ministry, organised by the Fondation Beyeler and Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and with the support of the Infinitart Foundation.

Photo via Culture Ministry

The Georgian artist has been labelled as “one of modern art’s enigmatic loners” by the Fondation Beyeler, comparing Pirosmani to Vincent van Gogh, Henri Rousseau and Marc Chagall.

With great sensitivity, the self-taught painter transformed the everyday into the exceptional. The people and animals he depicted with profound dignity often look out at the viewer in a manner both insistent and detached. Bathed in harmonious stillness, they are endowed with a fascinating presence. Using vibrant colours on a black background, Pirosmani painted iconic images of glowing intensity”,

– Fondation Beyeler summary

As part of the display in the museum, the so-called Pirosmani room is organised, which introduces the life of the artist, as well as life in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi at that time, using pictures, newspaper publications and editions of the period.

The opening of the exhibition was attended by the Culture Minister Thea Tsulukiani, Nika Akhalbedashvili, the Deputy Director of the Georgian National Museum and Sam Keller, the Director of the Fondation Beyeler, as well as other invited guests.

Before this, the Pirosmani display was showcased at Denmark’s most popular venue, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art from May to August. 

The Georgian National Museum, with the support of the Culture Ministry, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Fondation Beyeler and Louisiana Museum in September 2022. The memorandum envisages long-term cooperation in museum activities for the implementation of restoration and conservation and educational projects.

Born in the village of Mirzaani in eastern Georgia’s Kakheti province in 1862, Pirosmani took an early interest in painting, however, he never received formal art training.

Moving to the capital Tbilisi, he made a living painting shop plaques, portraits and landscapes for bar owners, but never managed to escape poverty during his life in Georgia’s capital, struggling to find work opportunities.

His work was discovered by prominent Georgian artists Lado Gudiashvili, David Kakabadze and Kirill Zdanevich before Pirosmani’s mark on the art scene of the early decades of the 20th century began to be recognised widely.

Source: Agenda News

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