Natela Iankoshvili

Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin (SP11)


Natela Iankoshvili, Enigma, 1983. Courtesy: Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin

Natela Iankoshvili, Enigma, 1983. Courtesy: Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin

Natela Iankoshvili was a Georgian artist who refused to conform to Socialist Realism, the main style of Soviet art. Socialist Realism was concerned with portraying idealized scenes of a grim Communist reality, however Iankoshvili instead created highly individual works with her own painterly technique and poetic approach to color. Even though Iankoshvili was drastically different from her contemporary Soviet painters in 1960s, during the so called ‘Krushchev Thaw’ years of comparative liberalization in the Soviet system, she was given the opportunity to travel to Europe and Cuba, to enrich her bold visual vocabulary.During her lifetime, a museum was opened to house her oeuvre of over 2,000 paintings and drawings. It is noteworthy that many people who own Iankoshvili’s works are public figures of importance: national Cuban poet Nicolas Guillen, important Italian poet Mimo Morina, Russian art theoretic M.S.Kagan, piano virtuoso Sviatoslav Richter and last but not least the last Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, Eduard Shevardnadze. Iankoshvili’s work stimulates the viewer’s eye by employing a Neo Expessionist style and atypical color choices and saturations. There is an electric air about Iankoshvili’s luminous jewel like paintings that look as fresh as though they were painted only yesterday.