LONDON.- Modern Art
opened its first exhibition of Karlo Kacharavas work, curated by Sanya Kantarovsky and Scott Portnoy.
Karlo Kacharavas (1964−1994) short-lived yet oceanic body of work took shape in Tbilisi, Georgia against the backdrop of the loosening cultural boundaries afforded by the Glasnost-era Soviet Union of the 1980s and the subsequent financial and political groundlessness of the post-Soviet 1990s.
His prolific output of drawing, painting, poetry and art criticism galvanized an orbit of young Georgian artists and thinkers, and continues to exert notable influence on emerging Georgian art in the present day. His inventive visual world frequently reflects an almost adolescent angst, punctuated by a fandom of a broad gamut of western culture ranging from the likes of Nick Cave and Susan Sontag to comic books and cinema. Yet there is something more specific to the project than fanning out. Its as though the work by reconstituting names and references for their glyphic, pictorial dimension brings into sharp relief a nexus of desire, access, power and ownership. There is an articulated dissonance between the need to establish a ground of ones own whilst acknowledging an anxiety of influence from a slowly leaking, sprawling, forbidden and exotic word centred on individual expression and self-actualization.
The exhibition embraces a simultaneity of ensuing melancholy, curiosity and joy that runs a current throughout Kacharavas beautifully painted surfaces, images and varied techniques. Themes of childhood, memory, history and love permeate images of vagabond couples, explorers, anarchists, philosophers, greyhound buses, sleeping friends, film heroines and teenagers.
Nearly 30 years after Kacharavas tragic death at the age of 30 from a sudden brain aneurysm, his vision of expanding the boundaries of his discursive world and its audience is being realized. This exhibition marks the first comprehensive presentation of his work outside of Georgia, effectively serving as an introduction of his oeuvre to an expanded international audience.