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“More than life” is the first large-scale retrospective of the Russian-Georgian artist Zurab Tsereteli in the UK, timed to coincide with the 85th anniversary of the author, which will be held in the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Located in the four halls of the Saatchi Gallery, curated by Hervé Mikayelova will present the large-scale results of Zurab Tsereteli’s fruitful creative career, including works created under the influence of his long-standing meetings with international artists, including Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Robert Rauschenberg. As well as paintings, sculptures and enamels created during the long creative journey of the artist, and archival videos dedicated to the life of Tsereteli. Personal exhibitions of the author, dedicated to the anniversary, will also be held in 2019 in Baku, Paris and Liechtenstein.
Zurab Tsereteli grew up in Soviet Georgia and learned to work in bronze, stone, glass, wood, enamel technique and mosaic, but only in the late 1960s. he began to receive widespread acceptance and public orders. Combining the monumental approach in the images of children’s fairy tales and dreams, archaeological and ethnographic symbolism with a powerful creative impulse, he stood out among the artists of his generation, which became especially noticeable with the gradual assertion of more free forms of artistic expression in the cultural climate of the USSR. Monumentality can be traced in his sculptures, executed by public order in different countries. Working on extensive projects that combine painting, sculpture and architecture, Tsereteli’s works can be found both in Russia and abroad: bright and large-scale monuments were erected in many cities, including London, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rome and Tokyo. Created in a monumental expressive manner, they express the idea of the importance of complete freedom in art.
The artist’s workshops are located in his native Tbilisi, Moscow, Paris and New York. The alternation of work in each of the four cities contributed to the formation of his individual style. Thanks to meeting with Picasso and Chagall in 1946 in Paris, Tsereteli radically revised his understanding of the creative process. He was inspired by the ease with which these masters moved from painting and graphics to ceramics and sculpture. The influence of Picasso is evident in Inessa (1968), which he wrote shortly after visiting the Picasso workshop in Paris. The famous sculpture of Tsereteli "My Favorite Artists" (2009) represents Picasso, Modigliani, Chagall and Van Gogh, a year earlier he created the sculptural images of Pirosmani and Henri Rousseau. The features of the creative method of Russian authors, whether it is Kandinsky’s abstract expressionism or Malevich’s suprematism, are also evident in the rich palette of red and blue colors of Tsereteli. The artist was also significantly influenced by his friendship with Robert Rauschenberg, with whom they wrote “I Done Aidan”, a portrait of Aidan Salakhova, created during Rauschenberg’s trip to Georgia and Russia in 1987–88. Tsereteli has a place in the ranks of the neo-expressionists, along with such artists as Fernando Botero, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Georg Baselitz.
Zurab Tsereteli - the founder of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, president of the Russian Academy of Arts and Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. In 1989, under the auspices of UNESCO, Tsereteli brought mother Teresa to Georgia to create in Tbilisi a permanent charitable mission for her sisters. He was awarded the title of Honored Artist of Georgia in 1967 and the highest sign of recognition of the French Republic - the Order of the Legion of Honor in 2010.
ABOUT THE ARTIST.
Zurab Tsereteli was born in Tbilisi (Georgia) in 1934 and graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts in 1958. Selected solo exhibitions: New Manege, Moscow (1998 and 2004), UNESCO headquarters in Paris (2007), Museum San Salvatore, Rome (2011), Palazzo della Gran Guard, Verona (2016), Palace of Festivals and Congresses, Cannes (2017). In 1995, Zurab Tsereteli founded the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the first state museum in Russia fully dedicated to contemporary art, which was officially opened in 1999. In 1997, Tsereteli was elected President of the Russian Academy of Arts. In 2001, the Zurab Tsereteli Art Gallery opened in Moscow, which is part of the Russian Academy of Arts, and in 2012 the artist founded the Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi. Zurab Tsereteli was proclaimed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (2007), he is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg, Austria (2009), holder of the Order of the Legion of Honor of the French government (2010), winner of the “For Life in Art” award and the international Giuseppe award Sciacca from the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome (2011), the UNESCO medal "Five Continents" (2014) and a member of the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts (2015).
Independent artistic consultant and curator, currently Hervé Micaelov advises and creates curatorial projects for LVMH, which includes the fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Dior, as well as the cognac house Hennessy. He was born in France and in 1991, after graduating from the Louvre School in Paris, began working at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art and the Deposit and Loan Fund Bank (CDC). Over the past few years, Herve Mikayelov has curated numerous international exhibitions, including the BIC Company Meeting at the Santkatr Exhibition Center, Paris (2018), Art on the Stage, the main pavilion of Art Safari, Bucharest (2018), the project Miss Dior ”in Shanghai (2014), Azerbaijani pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) and“ Futurology ”at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2010). In 2011, Hervé Mikayelov became a knight of the Order of Arts and Literature from the French Ministry of Culture.