(geoplatforma.blogspot.de) BAIA GALLERY has hosted an exhibition of Merab Abramishvili. Seeing his work is always a very exciting possibility. The intricate craftsmanship, astonishing colour palette, carefully planned compositions and the naïve looking subject matters never fail to capture the heart of the audience. Having a very distinct painting style, Abramishvili belongs to the alternative art scene of the 80s Georgia. This group is a very significantly interested in religion, often employing it as their subject matter- a kind of protest against the Soviet dismissal of religion and their forced recreation of the national identity.
The painter has themes he often returns to; the exotic animals are quite attractive for the artist. Repainting the lions, tigers and leopards the painter saw the far lands of Africa as the only faint imitation of heaven; when little, he famously was saving the pocket money to travel to there.
Abramishvili’s painting technique is a very distinctive one. Working in tempera and watercolours, the painter employed and arguably revived the gesso technique; deeply inspired by the fresco painting, which is not surprising as Georgia has a centuries old fresco painting tradition. The father of the painter, Guram Abramishvili was an art historian and had expeditions on historical sites such as the Ateni Sioni, where young Merab was busy inspecting and producing the copies of frescos and arguably falling in love with them. Later on Abramishvili got interested and has researched fundamentally the Persian miniature paintings. His art is an astonishing hybrid of the Georgian fresco and Eastern miniature paintings. Scrupulous attention to every detail, the transparent washes lit up by the egg glazing speak of a very demanding and disciplined painter.