Karlo Kacharava, Sentimental Journey, 1993 © The Estate of Karlo Kacharava / Courtesy The Estate of Karlo Kacharava, Tbilisi, Georgia and Modern Art, London / Photo Robert Glowacki
Karlo Kacharava: Sentimental Traveller
Dec 2, 2023 – Apr 14, 2024
S.M.A.K.
Gent, Belgium

In the context of europalia georgia, S.M.A.K. organises the first museum solo exhibition of Georgian artist Karlo Kacharava (1964–1994) outside Georgia. This exhibition is dedicated to poet, art critic and artist Karlo Kacharava (1964-1994), one of Georgia’s most influential cultural figures of the late twentieth century. Karlo Kacharava: Sentimental Traveller showcases some of his most significant works and offers a new perspective on his extensive oeuvre, which has always defied easy categorization.

Karlo Kacharava: Sentimental Traveller is the artist’s first solo exhibition in a museum outside Georgia and it brings his inventive visual world to a much wider audience. His paintings, works on paper and illustrated diaries are amongst his most famous works. Although he died at the age of thirty, Kacharava left behind volumes of poetry, art criticism and cultural commentary. His legacy is the distinctive style that helped usher in a new wave of Georgian avant-gardism. Depictions of human figures, quotes and dedications, storytelling, family relationships, urban scenes, landscapes, references and poetry are just some of the themes that he developed throughout his career. Kacharava also created complex and refined systems and constellations through which his art, poetry and art criticism evolved.

The exhibition features a wide range of Karlo Kacharava’s paintings and works on paper, together with photographs of the artist by his contemporary and friend, Guram Tsibakhasvili. This visual journey is punctuated by archival material, including a documentary video featuring Kacharava. These rich constellations are displayed as sequences of different bodies of work in an immersive environment. Its methodology is inspired by Kacharava’s use of storyboards and his unique modes of storytelling. Sentimental Traveller charts the course of Karlo Kacharava’s peripatetic life, which he spent between Tbilisi, Cologne, Madrid, Paris, Berlin and Moscow, amongst other places. These different periods are identified and deconstructed according to the chronological development and major themes in his oeuvre.

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