Biography

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JEMAL  GUGUNAVA

was born and bred in Tbilisi – capital of Georgia. He moved to Prague, Czech Republic, in 1992.  Since September 2002 Jemal has been living and working in Bristol, UK

Spreading his time between UK, Prague, and Georgia, Jemal paints everything that catches his eye and imagination: landscapes, places, streets, still life, people, portraits, and female forms. Academically trained as a painter, Jemal's work comprises a wide range of techniques from the Venetian method, used by Titian, to contemporary impasto technique that compliments painting wet-on-wet or alla prima ('in one go'), which gives a 3D appearance to his work. Thick layers of paint create visible brush or palette knife strokes in amounts that enable them to stand out from the surface. Jemal's main style is expressionism, which can be seen in his portraits, minimalistic still lifes, landscapes, and also in abstracts.  Although Jemal's philosophy of life is harmony, purity, deep reflection, beauty, contemplation, reserve, and simplicity of existence, he tends to exaggerate and dramatize rather than simply describe. He forces a viewer to concentrate his or her attention on the main object, not being distracted by many small details.

The style that the artist uses in his still lifes, he himself calls "Minimalism in Realism". Objects in his simple still lifes always have a symbolic meaning, carry a certain message, and make you think about the meaning of life and what is the purpose of existence.

All the works that the artist creates are interconnected, although at first glance this is not the case. How can a still life be like a landscape or a portrait? The point is that in Jemal's portraits, the same questions are asked: "What is the meaning of life?", "Why are we here?", "Where are we going?", "Who am I?"

 

Education:

1967-74 State Academy of Arts, Tbilisi - The faculty of visual arts, design and sculpture (MFA)  

Exhibitions:

1969/72/74 - Museum of the State Academy of Arts, Tbilisi, Georgia.
1977 - Solo exhibition. The House of Artists, Tbilisi.
1978-79 - The State Picture Gallery, Tbilisi.
1978 - N. Ostrovski’s museum, Sochi, Russia.
1992/93 - Two Georgian artists’ exhibition, Pegas gallery, Teplice, Czech Republic.
1994 - Family exhibition, National Library, Prague Czech Republic.

2001 - Solo exhibition, Gallery Nora, Prague.

2004 - Clifton Gallery, Bristol, UK.

2003/04/05/06/07 - Art exhibition for Friends of the Royal West Of England Academy, Bristol.

2011 - "The Bridge", Centrespace Gallery, Bristol.

2012 - 2012 Holburne Portrait Prize, Bath, UK

2012 - Pre-selected for the BP Portrait Award 2012 at the National Portrait Gallery, London

2014 - Figuratively Speaking, The Grant Bradley Gallery, Bristol

2015 - Pre-selected for The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Open Exhibition, Mall Gallery, London 

2021 - In the Shadow of the Great Impressionists. 'Albina Gorbina' Gallery, Prague

Publications:


Collections:

Works in museums:

Museum of the State Academy of Arts, Tbilisi (3 canvases, 1 pencil drawing);
Museum of Modern art, Yerevan, Armenia (1 canvas);
N.Ostrovski’s museum, Sochi, Russia (1 canvas)

Private collections:

Georgia, Russia, USA, Colombia, New Zealand, Israel, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Czech Republic, England, Germany etc.

 

Photograph  © Yuri Mechitov 1990