Nika Kutateladze, They were born together, they will die together, 2024
Nika Kutateladze: They were born together, they will die together
Jan 20 – Feb 17, 2024
Modern Art
London, UK

As part of its participation in Condo London 2024, Modern Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Nika Kutateladze. This exhibition is organised in partnership with Artbeat, Kutateladze’s gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, and it is Modern Art’s second showing of Kutateladze’s work in London.

Through the mediums of painting and installation, Kutateladze’s work studies the nuances of relations between people who live as neighbours in rural environments. Having himself spent time living in remote mountain regions in Georgia, Kutateladze takes these small communities as a starting point to meditate on how people both rely on one another and struggle to live together. All Kutateladze’s recent works derive from his observations of the few inhabitants of a single, depopulated mountain village. His paintings – all made with oil on grounded wood (following the tradition of Orthodox iconographic paintings in the region) – convey an atmosphere of wordlessness. Feral jackals live silently with human figures; darkness and cold seeming to seep through all sense of communication between these solitary characters, who themselves appear to have disintegrated into the wilderness. In some paintings, human figures almost disappear into nature entirely; in one portrait the whitened face of a man is as much weathered skin as it is the snow-covered landscape in which he exists. In these scenes Kutateladze portrays people seeming to merge with their wild surroundings but growing more distant from one another.

This atmosphere of distance between neighbours found in his paintings at Modern Art is echoed in Kutateladze’s installation on the lower ground floor of the gallery, which, like his previous installations, brings into play his background in architecture. As with his previous installations, Kutateladze’s exhibition with Modern Art repurposes discarded materials from uninhabited Georgian building sites. His new installation uses these timber pieces and metal panels to build two structures within the gallery space that house a small series of paintings by Kutateladze. These structures are suggestive of dwellings in close proximity to one another, but where one might expect to find a sense of neighbourly relations, the jagged facades of these structures convey an atmosphere of abrasion and hostility.

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