Posted: 3 months ago

Ancient Memory Pictures - Nato Sirbiladze's Exhibition at Georgian Museum of Fine Arts

From 4 PM to 7 PM, March 1, the temporary exhibition hall of the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts will host the opening of Ancient Memory Pictures, Nato Sirbiladze’s retrospective exposition. The event, curated by Constantine Bolkvadze, will remain open to viewers until April 1.
Nato Sirbiladze’s retrospective exhibition is, in a way, the artist’s biographical monologue, one bringing together various milestone phases in her creative career, a chronology of her artistic development since the second half of the 1980s. The Georgian Museum of Fine Arts boasts a rich collection of works by women of various generations. The ranks of those prominently featured in the history of arts are now joined by one self-made artist, Nato Sirbiladze. Her exhibition narrative and individual signature style usher a brand-new wave into the Georgian artistic space. The exhibition’s curator is Constantine Bolkvadze.
Born in 1955, Nato Sirbiladze lives in Tbilisi, though her style deviates strongly from the quintessential Tbilisi artistic school, and she differs drastically from other artists of her generation. She’s not about preserving or continuing traditions. On the contrary, she is in stark contrast with accepted artistic norms. Better still, she is not professionally trained in fine arts. She is a trained librarian. Nato’s imaginary world, Sancta Simplicitas (Holy Simplicity), artlessness, and translucent, sparkling colorfulness, also bodies and their weightlessness, repeatedly emerge in each of her pictures. Her search and artistry come across as observations on life and humanity’s memory, ancient memory in which complexity lies in simplicity…. Seemingly simple to all, warm and familiar, this environment in nowise implies directness. The artist, like an experienced physician, is speaking to you on sophisticated metaphysical topics. And precisely this naïve narrative and optical spotlessness, this riot of colors, make a peculiar type of ancient memory in which the unfamiliar and the familiar meet after a long pause.
Nato Sirbiladze’s characters—small creatures, animals, animate objects, and cultural and religious figures—seem to be lost in time and space, representing individual subchapters of a novel. In this exhibition, fairytales and psychedelia come together, consequently motivating viewers to ask a question they will find hard to answer: Where is the line between reality and fantasy? Because of her straightforward and unequivocal expressiveness and “oil painting masks,” the artist is often compared to Niko Pirosmanishvili with his all-encompassing simplicity.
This retrospective exhibition unfolds works of different styles, periods, and contents. The artist’s oil paintings are complemented by smaller modeled figurines. The plastic and oil painting artistic nuances are completed by document materials like publications, articles, photos, and personal effects.

With this exhibition, the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts continues its dialogue with the works by artists of different generations. Fully representing older generations of artists in our space will carry on as part of the museum’s life, research, and discoveries. Promoting various artists, and exhibiting their works in public spaces, serves the purpose of educating and studying the history of Georgian visual arts in modern context.