The STYX: Levan Songulashvili

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ERTI Gallery, May 20, 2018 - Art - 128 pages
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The illustrated book encompasses Levan Songulashvili’s previous and recent works — video-sculpture installations, oil and acrylic paintings, ink drawings, abstractions, portraits, and collaborative art projects. The STYX is for the viewer a personal journey through emotion and consciousness, a sensory immersion into mortality and sensibility — the passage that is a human life.

The STYX is an installation of mental, emotional, and psychological passage by Levan Songulashvili. It refers to a sense of exigent myth and allegory, alluding to the famous mythological river as a site of psychical transformation. It is the point of transit and entry to the imagined underworld, and stands for the experience of life as that of journey and passage, a voyaged dream into the ravelled beyond, leading to an awakening that acknowledges the expanded awareness of new realities. From living consciousness to masked unconscious, from life to death, and the imagined world and afterlife, the River Styx is an aqueous symbol of radical change from the mutable aspects of the world to immutable and inevitable certainty of our eventual passage. For these reasons the project conceived as an immersive experience as expressed through video installations and a unique series of sepia and black and white related paintings by Songulashvili. 


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About the author (2018)

Levan Songulashvili (b. August 17, 1991; Tbilisi, Georgia) began painting at three years old and received professional training in his hometown during his teen years. At the age of 22, Songulashvili graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts with a bachelor's degree in drawing and printmaking, he won several merit scholarships and prizes and became the first Georgian artist who earned his Master of Fine Arts degree with honors from The New York Academy of Art in Painting. He has received a number of national and international awards.

The paintings of Levan Songulashvili engage with powerful and abstracted themes relates to the prescient concerns of passage and presence. That is to say from states of consciousness to the unconscious. He deals allusively with a sense of boundary and transition, the immersive nature of the world, the psychical element of water, the idea of flow and flux. Levan Songulashvili explains his work by saying, "I care about the mysteries of Life, its origins, its endless cycles and regenerations and I question the current civilization in which we find ourselves and wonder: what will be the future of Humankind? What is problematic for scientists is fascinating for me."

His award-winning works, combining old mastery with unique contemporary techniques and multimedia installations, are shown in prestigious art galleries, private collections, and museums worldwide, including The Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi Gallery, Sotheby’s, and the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Museum.

Mark Gisbourne is one of Europe’s most internationally renowned and respected curators and art historians. British-born, educated in Rome and currently based in Berlin, he is a truly global figure with extensive knowledge and life achievements within various spheres of the art world. Mark was a former Tutor at the Courtauld Institute of Art; Lecturer of the Master’s programme at the Slade School of Art in London; as well as postgraduate Senior Lecturer in Post-war and Contemporary Art, at Sotheby’s Institute. He was former President of the British Art Critics Association (AICA), and an International Vice-President who co-organized the World Congress of Art Critics, Tate Modern, London, at its opening in 2000. Mark Gisbourne has curated numerous exhibitions worldwide, and written a dozen books and more than 250 catalogue essays, published in over 20 languages. His profound knowledge and distinctive vision have asserted his long-standing success.

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