Tado Ando, Friedrich Teja Bach, Ciprian Adrian Barsan,Gottfried Boehm, Brice Curiger, Elisabeth Dutz, Mariam Dvali, Vienna, 2019.
Hardcover, dj., 218 pp., color illustrations, 10 x 12 x 1 inches.
A wider public discovery of the Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918) is long overdue. Today, the autodidact is known not only as one of the most significant representatives of naïve art, but the story of his special reception is remarkable, as he painted his pictures for inns and pubs. Hardly known outside of Georgia these days, his work was nevertheless displayed alongside works by Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich, and Marc Chagall in the legendary 1913 exhibition Mischén (Target) in Moscow, where he was known as the “Rousseau of the East.” Pirosmani’s unique visual vocabulary is based on consistently reduced formal elements: against an always black background, the elementary colors of red, blue, yellow, green, and white developed refined effects, immediately appealing to the viewer. Now, the Albertina in Vienna is devoting a first large retrospective to Pirosmani in the heart of Europe since a long time ago, examining his paintings in the context of art history.