until 21.04. | #1875ARTatBerlin | 68projects presents from 16th März 2018 the exhibition “black I sea” by the artists Christian Awe & Levan Songulashvili.
With the exhibition black I sea, 68projects presents works by the Berlin painter Christian Awe and the Georgian painter Levan Songulashvili, uniting the powerful, life-affirming color compositions of Awes with the black and white philosophies of Songulashvili.
Two artists, two flows, two worlds. Both will bring together 68projects in an exhibition whose motive and emotional medium is the water, its energy, its depth and intangibility, its fire, its colors. The elixir of life that, like the air we breathe, is fleeting and unfathomable, yet unlike air has a weight and leaves no more than a wet glow on the skin. Water that is colorless and yet reflects all colors. Water that makes you fertile, thirsty, that extinguishes fire, cleanses, carries and floods us, that stands still or flows to the lake, which is never the same when we dive into it. That partitions in the myth of life and the hereafter, which erases the memory and yet stores all memory as it flows through the layers of rock. Water, with which Christian Awe not only creates an explosion of color, but also lets seemingly real drops run across the screen, blurring the line between imagination and reality. While it explores the depths of the oil paintings of the young Georgian painter Levan Songulashvili, conjures up the underworld stream Styx in dim colors, where swamp plants and jellyfish (English jellyfish, French méduse called) surround the dead to the other world, the remnants of his organic existence with hers to embrace and devour ones own.
Two artists, one medium, two worlds:
The works of artist Christian Awe, born in Berlin in 1978, are to be seen in a tradition from the German Expressionists to the Informel to the abstraction of Hans Hartung, Sam Francis and Gerhard Richter. Awes pictures are abstract, on the border with the figurative. In many layers, he applies the colors, lets them flow over the canvas, scribes them in, tears them open and partially exposes layers below, creating linear, graphic, almost figurative elements. In his more recent works, Awe combines seemingly vivid, almost photographic or printed color landscapes with powerful rivulets and spontaneous gestures. What seems random at first sight is in truth a deliberately created composition. The artist, who has been present in numerous national and international exhibitions from Hamburg, Dusseldorf to Stockholm, Los Angeles and Tokyo for many years, sees himself as an ambassador for the democratization of art and is involved in numerous social, artistic and educational projects. For example, he has financed the construction of a school and a hospital in Burkina Faso with his art-in-construction projects and has been involved in integrative refugee projects.
Levan Songulashvili, born in 1991 in Tbilisi, began painting as a six-year-old and received professional training in his hometown as a teenager, graduating from the State Art Academy at the age of 22. Earlier, with scholarships and prizes, he was the first Georgian student to graduate with the Andy Warhol Scholarship at the New York Art Academy. His award-winning works that combine old mastery with innovative techniques of canvas working will be
shown worldwide in galleries, private collections and museums such as the Brooklyn Museum. At home in both Tbilisi and New York, he spent three months as Artist in Residence at this gallery in Berlin, where the four large-format oil paintings exhibited here were made as a continuation of his series Styx. They show a mythologist and mystic at work, whose fantastically hovering, whether with feather, pen or brush always finely chiselled art probes into the depth, the secret, where all colors go out. An ophelia-like woman’s head barely recognizes on the face the shapes of a female body – an unobtrusive quote from the history of art (Magritte), which is as present in his pictures as the myths, such as figures from religion or poetry.
For Awe, it is the big city with its urban fuss and the people with all their facets and their liveliness on the one hand, and the elements of nature on the other, which inspire him and in a literally insatiable urge to explore the limits of painting again and again. The work with contrasts such as near and distant effects, color contrasts, matt against shiny layers of color, which give the composition of his works, created in a process that sometimes seems almost anarchic, its own energy and a special rhythm, make them tactile and create for the viewer always surprising new visual experiences. In Songulashvili, everything that is visible, visible and its colors retreat into the shadowy, suggestive, changeable, into that dreamlike realm, where knowledge and ignorance, where the conscious, the half-conscious and the unconscious flow underwater. If Christian Awe has long been a well-established artist in the international cultural scene, it is time to discover one of the most promising contemporary artists, Songulashvili, 13 years his junior.
Black I sea – two artists, two streams – a double highlight of art.
Vernissage: Friday, March 16th, 2018, 6-9 p.m.
Exhibition period: Friday, March 16th – Saturday, April 21st, 2018Zu 68projects
Exhibition: Christian Awe + Levan Songulashvili – black I sea – 68projects | ART at Berlin