Teona Paichadze. Recent Work. 2016-2017

The females in Teona Paichadze's paintings, portraits and nudes, oscillate between aristocratic bohemians with a cigarette in the hand as in The Accountant, luscious, sensual creatures languidly sketched on the canvas as in Love Story, and femme fatale e.g. the Nude series, Shower. Sometimes one comes across emaciated bodies that are almost transparent. The loosely sketched bodily outlines dissolve against grey monotonous backgrounds as in City. Her females are very often self-portraits, reminding one at the same time of mythological creatures, covering their faces with their hands - a signature, repetitive gesture with the artist – such as in her Hard Talk series.

As if in despair, Teona Paichadze's females escape the viewers' gaze into dream worlds of their own. Stripped bare, their exposed bodies are as mysterious and unapproachable as ever. They have an enigmatic presence and impact. The colors are mostly subdued to grey-blue, black and somber green with slight touches of white. Her portraiture is an experimental revision of the genre influenced by surrealism, with people placed in unusual surroundings. Her sitters are alienated, submerged in their thoughts.

The unusual transparency of her portraits and nudes is achieved by the experimental technique that Teona Paichadze developed: painting onto aluminium sheets originally used for printing machines manufactured in Heidelberg and installed in a publishing house in Georgia. These recycled sheets for the printing press carry traces of images and texts that went into the catalogue of Paichadze's recent works later issued in Tbilisi. Thus, the images, bodies and faces are superimposed upon excerpts of texts in Georgian and English languages, along with fragments of images that went into the catalogue to create an intricate background augmenting the picture plane by giving it considerable depth and new meaning. See the Hard Talk series: Shot #1 , Shot #2. Pain, Four Shots, Blocks, Nude.

The presence of the linguistic element, e.g. printed captions accompanying the catalogue images, is juxtaposed to the language of painting. The inner dramas of the sitters are expressed by the artist's signature thinly painted precise linear style with muted colors. The images beneath the drawings loom on the aluminium plates, acting self-referential; on the one hand referring to the artist's personal biography and on the other speaking volumes about the inner worlds of the portrayed, adding extra layers of meaning.

The extensive use of recycled materials and discarded ready-mades in the recent works marks a new stage in Teona Paichadze's artistic career. In the series of newly created works on paper, she applies used polyetilene onto the picture surface, covered with layers of black paint. This unique technique allows the artist to create imagery that verges between transparency and opacity through the lightness of the polyetilene and the materiality of the media support. The figures and objects cut out of plastic are so skillfully arranged on the surface that one can never tell if they're arranged intentionally or the compositions occurred by chance.

The images hover suspended in the dark. They remind antique sculptures e.g. A Woman and a Man, A Torso. The texture is extremely palpable and light; the creases, numerous wrinkles and folds carefully arranged on the surface render surprisingly vivid and true representations of people and their emotional states, e.g. Fisherman, Making up, No Name.

Check out her artworks at the

T.G. Nili Art Space

12 Grishashvili Str., Tbilisi

(995) 595-301-757, www.tgnili.com

Dr Lily Fürstenow‑Khositashvili

08 March 2018 15:51