16 March 18:00 - 14 April 18:00
Misha Shengelia’s first solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Georgia covers a 30-year timespan between 1989 and 2019. All works presented at this exhibition are from the private collection of David Mushkudiani. As well as being friends, Shengelia and Mushkudiani shared a like-mindedness. Paintings such as One Day of Mass Media in 1495 and School of the Dictatorship of Proletariat are the result of their collaboration.
Misha Shengelia was born in Tbilisi in 1959. He received no formal art education (he studied geology) but was painting from an early age. Misha Shengelia’s first one-person exhibition took place in 1995 at Baia Gallery (then Orient Gallery). Since then, he has had many exhibitions in Georgia and abroad. Shengelia’s works from David Mushkudiani’s collection were exhibited for the very first time at Chardin Gallery in 2014.
Misha Shengelia’s later artistic growth and development were influenced by the atmosphere of free thinking and cross-fertilization of ideas at Rusiko Oat’s New Art Café in the 2000s. Shengelia actively participated in New Art’s life and organized numerous exhibitions and performances there. This café was frequented by many artists and intellectuals, including Oleg Timchenko, Vakho Bughadze, Misha Gogrichiani, Kote Sulaberidze, Kote Jincharadze and Murtaz Shvelidze.
Misha Shengelia’s art world is one of a kind. His works repeatedly depict winter festivals frequently found in Northern Renaissance paintings, gatherings of witches and alchemists, grey cardinals, pacifist generals, mafiosi and dictators, to name but a few. These are frequently stylized images of the characters from famous masterpieces (e.g. The Ugly Duchess by Quentin Matsys, or Federico da Montefeltro by Piero della Francesca). Shengelia’s tragicomic characters are testament to his deep involvement with and artistic response to the social and political events surrounding him.
Misha Shengelia’s works are held in private collections in Georgia, Switzerland, UK, Denmark, Israel, USA, Russia and other countries. In 2022, paintings by him were acquired by the Georgian National Museum. In addition, Shengelia’s friends Lena Krylova and Derek Mueller donated to the museum two works from their private collection.