Levan Lagidze

Summary of Life, Works and Style

Levan Lagidze in his Tbilisi apartment, in 2008. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev

Levan Lagidze (Georgian: ლევან ლაღიძე; (born 1958, Tbilisi) is a prominent Georgian painter.

Since early childhood, Levan Lagidze showed a keen interest and a sharp drive in various creative activities such as drawing, sculpting, and writing. Eventually, he decided to pursue painting and enrolled in the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.

Lagidze's diploma work "Tbilisoba" was acclaimed as the best diploma work submitted from all of the USSR's arts schools in 1981. He graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts the same year.

After graduation, Levan Lagidze actively participated in various exhibitions throughout the USSR. In the early 1980s, Lagidze founded and led an arts studio at the Tbilisi Painter's House, which ran seminars and workshops, and offered a free work space for artists. In 1987, the studio presented its first major exhibition which received a warm welcome from viewers and critical acclaim from professionals and experts. Lagidze's students soon started to fill the ranks of the country's artistic elite.

Throughout his career, Levan Lagidze's primary themes and styles progressed from his early "narrative" paintings, to abstract philosophical depiction of an "eternal return". In the early 1980s, the artist's works focused around one major biblical theme - "the prodigal son". From the late 1980s, his interest shifted to fundamentally novel themes such as "secret", "return", and "early urbanism".

From the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union collapsed and the state ceased to allocate funding to artists, Levan Lagidze sold his only apartment and opened a gallery - "The Lagidze Gallery" - to provide financially troubled Georgian artists with an exhibition space.

From the late 1990s onward, Lagidze's artistic style gradually drifted to abstract painting. In later years, he mainly worked on depicting nature and landscapes in abstract perspective, although he avoids any reference to abstraction and claims that he only paints his own visual perceptions. Lagidze's latest abstract works include "The Meadow", "Autumn Meadows", and "The Plow".

Levan Lagidze's major works are exhibited in his own gallery which also serves as the artist's studio. This choice is explained by his preference for adjoining style and perspective while presenting his paintings to viewers. Lagidze's paintings are also in the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery and the Modern Art Museum in Moscow, Russia; the National Picture Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia; the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, NJ, US; the Gertsev Gallery; and the TMS Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia.

His works are also in private collections in Belgium, Canada, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, UK, and the US.

Group exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

External links

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