Impact: Artists in Support of Ukrainian Refugees

Online arts fundraiser hosted by Artsy online marketplace with the institutional partnership of the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago. Co-curated with visual artist Katrina Majkut and Adrienne Kochman of UIMA and members of the Ukrainian Artists and Allies League.

The art world unites for this benefit to support refugees from Ukraine in the largest arts fundraiser of its kind. It uniquely raises cultural awareness of contemporary Ukrainian artists.

The art sale features over 120 lots valuing at nearly $1 million. In a show of solidarity, many prestigious artists joined the cause, such as Samira Abbassy, Leilah Babirye, Sarah Faux, Zaria Forman, Jeffrey Gibson, Tom LaDuke, Steve ESPO Powers, Walid Raad, James Rosenquist, and Annegret Soltau. The benefit includes work from notable galleries Winston Wachter, Monya Rowe, Hesse Flatow, Victoria Miro, and Miles McEnery. The fundraiser crosses generational and representational divides to unite for humanitarian aid.

Cultural awareness and the artistic preservation of Ukrainians uniquely defines this sale, as almost half of the participating artists are from Ukraine or of Ukrainian descent. The sale represents the largest international, contemporary collection of Ukrainian artists. Artist highlights include Inka Essenhigh, Lina Condes, Open Group, who represented Ukraine at the 2019 Venice Biennale, and Nikita Kadan, who is currently taking refuge in Voloshyn Gallery in Kyiv, which has been converted back into a Soviet-era bomb shelter.

Proceeds from the sale go directly toward four respected grassroots nonprofits: Razom (direct war and refugee crisis support), Insight NGO (LGBTQ Ukrainians), Fight for Right (Ukrainians with disabilities), and The Ukrainian Art Emergency Fund (direct artist support). will be donating all their proceeds directly to the USA for UNHCR.

Press: Artsy Newsletter

The New York Times

Limited representation Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin, Expo Chicago, April 7-10, 2022

Galerie Kornfeld booth, Expo Chicago, works by Ivana de Vivanco, Nick Dawes, Rusudan Khizanishvili, Sally Kindberg. Photo by Juan Ariza.

Press: Whitehot Magazine

Curator, Public Digital Art Fund, Moscow and LA, 2020-February 2022

Before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24,2022 for two years I was curator of partially Moscow and LA-based PDAF that brought Western artists such as Virginia Lee Montgomery, AES+F, Renana Neuman, Eli Cortinàs, Hanae Utamora, Jon Gomez, Dana Levy onto 50+ digital screens across Moscow and LA. As a curator I could not work within a country that annihilates its neighbor in cold blood.

Theater of the Absurd :Dual exhibition of Roberto Clemente De Leon and Shiri Mordechay.

Border Project Space, October 22- November 20, 2021


In the dual show at the Border Project Space, Brooklyn-based drawer and painter Shiri Mordechay and South Carolina-based multidisciplinary artist Roberto Clemente de Leon will present six distinct works that challenge our understanding of shared reality and its norms. Viscerally connected to the Theater of the Absurd, one of the most distinguished cultural movements of the XX century, Shiri Mordechay and Roberto Clemente De Leon dazzle with their alternative ways of seeing human society. The illusive narrative they work with might come across as dark, but nonetheless it is raw and real. As European playwrights Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet and Harold Pinter the two artists address the absurdity of contemporary society. They construct works where humanlike figures, animals and hybrid creatures find their way from a subconsciousness into the daylight and also confront us with the way we treat them. Presenting the works at the Border Project Space known for its experimental approach is timely because both artists speak to the present. They offer a vision that could be our reality, but does not have to be if we make different choices. For Mordechay the setting is her psyche, a dimension that exists within the inner eye consisting of realism of this plane, but also of other imaginary planes. De Leon’s setting is any animal farm across the U.S. and the world where millions of animals are slaughtered based on popular demand.

Press of the show: Interview with Shiri Mordechay for XIBT Magazine.

Review of Theater of the Absurd by Gary Brewer via White Hot Magazine.

Social Experiment: Works by Robert E.

Summer 2021, Location: Kimpton La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood

LA-based mixed media artist Robert E. remains anonymous to his curators and collaborators communicating with them only through his objects, dissociating works from his own identity. This refreshing attitude in the era of the attention economy is underlined by detached quality of his creations. His plasticity and rhythm are parts of his method as Robert E. lets malleable materials play a direct part in his scientific investigations. His every work contains a matrix, his framework of looking at human life that combines science and art. Artist is curious to present works as a social experiment, allowing general public to encounter and interact with them in a direct and unexpected way in public spaces.

When encountered in public spaces objects by Robert E. look as rock formations or natural patterns developed in a very specific ecosystem. This is expected as Robert E. uses liquid resin, clay, and cotton fabric for his assemblages and canvases.  Artist revisits classic definition of the Process or post-Minimalist art and is in line with Richard Serra, Morris Louis, John Hilliard.  As them Robert E. positions characteristics of the process of art creation as the focal point, process of altering the material is the central point of access to a viewer.

Defied Logic

May 1-31, 2021 at Ivy Brown Gallery, New York.

Participating artists: Samira Abbassy, Whitney Harris, Mark Milroy, Bea Scaccia

Our time defies logic in many ways or rather it creates a different kind of logic. What was certain for centuries becomes obsolete in a matter of hours, while simultaneously old ideas of isolationism thrive once more. Logic is outdated and recreated, dissected and revisited. Only artistic production can fathom such discrepancies and come unscathed. Surrealism is a notion that comes to mind when an individual is facing a reality of one’s own making, when considering how real is her reality, how accurate his dreams. Surreal painters bring in their mysteries, their puzzles and riddles, their sets of visual associations and hidden keys. Artists selected for Defied Logic – a four-artist exhibition at Ivy Brown Gallery do not purposefully chase their dreams or subconscious drives, yet what they show us are questions and metaphors executed through their highly personalized and masterful languages. In the selected works phantasmagoric dynamic of traditional surrealism gives way to a more contemplative and reflexive turn, a turn that is also disquieting and shape-shifting.

Exhibition press:

Arte & Lusso

Culture Cue feature at The Y Circus Magazine

Review by Deborah Frizzell for White Hot Magazine

Participating artists: Yael Azoulay, Eli Barak, Omer Ben-Zvi, Mosen Binnalee, Delano Dunn, Jan Dickey, Michal Geva, Jon Gomez, Lia Kim Farnsworth, Tamara Kvesitadze, Netta Laufer, Dana Levy, Pedro Mesa, Mark Tribe

The exhibition considers several questions. First, how new species change and destabilize the ecosystem and over time assimilate into hierarchical groups, irrevocably changing them while simultaneously adapting to the existing conditions. Second, how migration stories of our times mirror these environmental movements and how artistic works could show these complex processes. Third, why and where do we feel at home and what is an ecosystem on our human, every-day level. As globalization is showing its alternative face, we are faced with the collective question of where do we belong and how we know it. If until now we almost blissfully lived in a dream of integration and connectivity we are forced to once again reevaluate our notions of territoriality, control, and parameters of trust. In the presented works natural habitats stand in for human ecosystems, some of them being welcoming and open, others prejudiced, discriminating, and punishing. Considering nature and environmentalism as part of social theory is necessary if we want to have a more rounded understanding of human journeys. Presented artists come from Israel, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Colombia, but all of them share either immigrant past or present and find connection with natural environment as their main metaphor.

Installation photos above by Jon Gomez and Lia Kim Farnsworth.

Exhibition press:

Border Crossers via The Y Circus Magazine.

Conversation about Migration via XIBT Magazine.

Review by Jonathan Goodman, Arte Fuse

This Is Not My Tree via Arte & Lusso

Rooms & Beings, Rusudan Khizanishvili solo show. 68 Projects, Berlin, Germany.

November 7, 2020- January 9,2021

From press release:

Khizanishvili balances between Georgian culture, rich in traditions, and the conceptually driven contemporary discourse on representation and its functions. The fourteen works on view were all created in 2020 while the artist was living in Tbilisi, and can be thematically divided into two categories: works centred around sacral transformations, and those featuring theatrically staged interactions within rooms. These two themes are implicitly interconnected for the artist, as the human being and her identity are of central interest. Questions of self, connections to biology, cultural memory and myths, and the female body are all the subjects of an ongoing investigation for Khizanishvili, who shows maturity of purpose and mastery of colour.

The human can be both larger and smaller than oneself, both a subject and an object. At a time when digital machines are systematically taking over human functions, we as a species are seeking new forms of being, where simple gestures, the sense of touch, and the potential to relate and to hope are our essential traits not mediated by screens. Khizanishvili’s canvases are symbolic anthropologic blueprints for our new reality, for a brand-new world. Beings roam the rooms in these paintings, searching for their new meanings, just as we do.

Exhibition press:

Artforum Guide

Interview with Rusudan Khizanishvili for Tussle Magazine.

Interview with Rusudan Khizanishvili for Ante Magazine, New York.

Selected by Artcollected among twelve other December presentations as a current must-see exhibition in Berlin.

Featured on Dubai- and Italy- based art and cultural platform Arte & Lusso.

Review by Berlin-based Larissa Kikol in White Hot Magazine of the Contemporary Art.

Rusudan Khizanishvili Lets the Dog Out for Xbit Culture Magazine Berlin

Rusudan Khizanishvili: Art as Universal Language interview for Metal Magazine

New York Meets Tbilisi: Defining Otherness Part II at Kunstraum, Brooklyn presented in conjunction with Kunstraum LLC as part of my curatorial residency at Kunstraum 2019-2020

March 1-May 31,2020

Artists: Anuk Beluga, Nino Biniashvili, Tim Foley, Rita Khachaturian, Tamara Kvesitadze, Dana Levy, Shiri Mordechay, Mariam Natroshvili & Detu Jincharadze, Andy Ralph, Giorgi Rodionov, Mikheil Sulakauri

From press release:

Bringing the rare dialogue between contemporary Georgian and American art to New York, Kunstraum is pleased to present New York Meets Tbilisi: Defining Otherness – Part 2. As the result of a year-long period of curatorial research as Kunstraum’s Curator-in-Residence, Nina Mdivani sets works by eight Georgian and four American artists into relation to facilitate a discussion on Otherness – and what it potentially means.

Compassion, sympathy, possessiveness, infatuation, mistrust, anger, rage, an ability or inability to relate— all of these affects derive either from a pull of belonging or a push towards a threatening annihilation of the self. At times, they are projected towards a single being, a distinct society, an architecture, languages or cultural iconography. The purpose of this two-part, Georgian-American exhibition is to explore and evoke emotions and perspectives that habitually arise when we confront the other on a micro or macro scale.

New York Meets Tbilisi: Defining Otherness Part I at Assembly Room,NYC presented in conjunction with Kunstraum LLC as part of my curatorial residency at Kunstraum 2019-2020

January 17-February 23,2020

Artists: Rusudan Khizanishvili, Juliana Cerqueira Leite

From press release:

The main question this exhibition poses is how the phenomenon of Otherness is defined when examined in relation to two different cultures and understandings of the world, as well as considers onlookers’ reactions when experiencing Otherness in the form of a person different from their own race, orientation, or background. Another subtler dimension of this important fundamental question is how Otherness is encountered within one’s own persona, whether it be in the form of prejudice or shared historical and collective memory. As Georgia has been undergoing significant transformation within the last thirty years, the country has to recognize its Soviet past, along with the mechanisms that have helped it to survive for centuries. Georgian art has mirrored this journey, at times reverting to mimicry through a Soviet or Western visual language, and at other times by producing strongly authentic work. Similarly, Otherness is experienced at many different levels in the United States that have led in the past to racial violence as well as to intra-cultural consensus.


King is Female: 3+1 at Kunstverein Villa Wessel, Germany in conjunction with Kornfeld Galerie, Berlin

September 8 – November 11, 2018

Artists: Natela Grigolashvili, Natela Iankoshvili, Rusudan Khizanishvili, Tamara Kvesitadze

From press release:

King is Female: 3+1 questions identities of modern Georgian women: visual and psychological traditions that are currently in the process of deep internal metamorphosis. This process is not unique to Georgia and because of this the exhibition has a larger context. Role of women has drastically changed in the last hundred years, through education, emancipation, increased global numbers women are gaining more influence, although they fight hard to balance this newly found independence with traditional feminine archetype of a caring mother and a loving spouse. The upcoming exhibition explores this duality on the example of a small country where women have been historically strong, yet, invisible.

Natela Iankoshvili Centennial Exhibition at Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

June 2018

Co-curator Mamuka Bliadze

Artist: Natela Iankoshvili

From press release:

Natela Iankoshvili attracts the eye and captivates you with mystical darkness and searching for light. In 1970s she reinvented old Georgian color contrasts, dating back to medieval frescoes and primitivism, by creating new forms of visual tradition. By transforming old forms of Georgian landscape into a new neo-expressionist mode Iankoshvili opened up the painterly dispute, bringing in fresh thinking and paving way for daring young Georgian artists of today.

Conversion Device of Rusudan at Mark Rothko Foundation, Latvia

April 20-June 24, 2018

Artist: Rusudan Khizanishvili

From press release:

There are two sides to the global story that Rusudan’s neo-expressionist paintings in this exhibition highlight, and they both address existential concerns with the reality of subjective experience. First is a more metaphysical, cerebral approach to the complex and painful ongoing social transformation. We all witness total digitalization of human society, our smartphones have already become our extra palms, but this disconnect from physical reality (inevitably reconstructed into pixels) produces an equal longing towards nature, desire to reunite with it, to reconquer our animal and plant selves. In her series “Into the Nature” (with “Conversion Device” being the central painting), Rusudan explores this unique process. Flora is merging into fauna and, through blurring of these organic lines, a human being also becomes a part of them. In her vision, humans become integral parts of nature on a deeper biological level, they become a new species by going back to their roots. In the day-to-day reality of total information flow, we are drawn by the incomprehensible and the strange, and what could be stranger then nature? It is a metaphysical creation of a parallel world, which becomes intelligible to others without words.