September 21-24 2017, viennacontemporary / by Alina Bliumis

Alina Bliumis, Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control, 2016-2017 

Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project

21 – 24 September 2017
Marx Halle Vienna
Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030, Vienna, Austria

Booth E25

Imaginary Gardens

Alina Bliumis, Levan Chelidze, Goga Maglakelidze, Giorgi Qochiashvili

Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project is pleased to present New York based Alina Bliumis’s new series of objects along with three Georgian painters: Levan Chelidze, Goga Maglakelidze and Giorgi Qochiashvili at Vienna Contemporary 2017. All works in Imaginary Gardens appear to be part of fantasy landscape created by these artists: Bliumis’s birds are “freed” from the passport covers of different countries, Levan Chelidze’s goat-unicorn has one turquoise eye, Goga Maglakelidze’s palm trees shimmer like mirages and Giorgi Qochiashvili paints invented subtropical vegetation in his large scale paintings.

Alina Bliumis’s series of unique objects titled Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control focuses on the birds that are featured on passport covers of the countries around the world. From eagles to doves, from Albania to Tonga, these series explore the intersection of nation and nature. Birds are often one part of a national system of hereditary symbols, or a coat of arms, and appear debossed in metallic gold on passport covers. The artist has discovered 50 birds or bird-related creatures on 43 pass- port covers. For the series, Bliumis isolated each bird from its national symbolic context and drew it true to the source, with a focus on the species’ characteristics: the famous one-legged pose of a flamingo (Bahamas), a vulture in a gliding flight (Mali), an extinct flightless dodo (Mauritius) and a part woman and part bird mythological creature, Harpy (Liechtenstein).

Levan Chelidze’s works range from large-scale figurative paintings to small portraits of dogs, goat-unicorns, cows and still lives of flowers on the background of Caucasian killims. Levan Chelidze has received formal art education but the academic training didn’t affect his acute observant eye. There is a certain disarming sensitivity in his paintings that resembles the art of naïve painters.

Goga Maglakelidze was Levan Chelidze’s teacher at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. He was a member of Archivarius
group of young avant-garde artists that started showing their works in self-organized apartment exhibitions at the end of the 80s in Tbilisi. Since then his work has gone through many changes, within the last decade Maglakelidze completed several large-scale public commissions – among them the facades of city center square in Mestia, mountainous region of Georgia. Maglakelidze is familiar with orthodox Christian iconography and has painted the interior of mid size church in Imereti, Georgia. The paintings presented at viennacontemporary are done with similar technique as religious icons. Wood panels are prepared with special background and painted with natural pigments depict palm trees and birds of paradise that slightly fade on stucco colored backgrounds.

Giorgi Qochiashvili’s imaginary landscapes are often inhabited with dark skinned people. Born in Gagra, Abkhazia, breakaway region of Georgia, Qochiashvili’s family fled the war in the region soon after his birth. His tropical landscapes are based on his family’s photos and his grandfather’s nostalgia for the lost home in Gagra. As a former Rugby player Qochiashvili has traveled to South Africa and has identified the nature and people of South Africa to his native Abkhazia, which he was never allowed to visit. Qochiashvili’s color scheme is soft and there is always certain mysterious element in his compositions.

For further information and images please contact us at or Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project, Shota Rustaveli Avenue 37, Tbilisi, Georgia