Black Sea

Black Sea

Levan Songulashvili & Christian Awe

68 Projects by Galerie Kornfeld
Berlin, Germany | 2018.

In the exhibition “Black Sea” 68 Projects presents works by the Georgian painter Levan Songulashvili and Berlin painter Christian Awe. The show combines powerful, life-affirming color compositions by Awe with the black and white philosophical approach to painting by Songulashvili. Two artists, two flows, two worlds: together at 68 Projects.

The motives and emotional medium is water, its energy, its depth and intangibility, its fire, its colors. The elixir of life that, like the air we breathe, is fleeting and unfathomable, yet unlike air – leaves no more than a wet glow upon the skin. Water that is colorless and yet reflects all colors. Water that creates fertility, quenches thirst; and the fire that purifies, carries and floods us, that stands still or flows to the sea, which is never the same when we dive in it. Part of the myth of life and the hereafter that erases the memory and yet stores all memory as it flows through the layers of rock.

The depths of the oil paintings of the young Georgian artist Levan Songulashvili, evoke the underworld and the River Styx, where marsh plants and jellyfish (French ‘Méduse’, German ‘Quallen’) surround the dead, translating the remnants of organic existence into their own to embrace and devour.

Both at home in Tbilisi and in New York, he was Artist in Residence of Galerie Kornfeld / 68 Projects in Berlin for three months, where four large-format oil paintings were created and exhibited as a continuation of his STYX series. They show a mythologist and mystic at work, whose fantastically hovering instrument, whether feather, pen or brush, always probes into the depth, the secret, where all colors go out in these works of art. An Opheliaesque woman’s head depicts a barely recognizable form of a female body on its face – an unobtrusive quote from the history of art (Magritte), which is as present in his pictures as the myths, like those of figures from religion or poetry.

In Levan Songulashvili’s work everything is revealed and made visible; including colors that meld into the shadowy, suggestive, changeable, and back to that dreamlike realm where knowledge and ignorance, where the conscious, half-conscious and unconscious, flow underwater.

Songulashvili is one of the most promising contemporary artists of today.

— Dr. Marleen Stoessel