About Me

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(Photo © Ilya Popenko)

I am Georgia-born and New York-based curator, writer and researcher. My undergraduate degrees are from Tbilisi State University and Mount Holyoke College, both in International Relations and Gender Studies. I am candidate for MA in Museums Studies at City University of New York. My previous working experience includes United Nations, Columbia University  as well as various nongovernmental organizations, with focus on political or sociological research.

Over the last three years I have been invited to participate in various projects with the focus on contemporary painting and photography, women artists, gender imbalance. My first book, “King is Female,” telling the story of three acclaimed female Georgian artists and their journey inside the male-dominated world of societal and artistic traditions was published by Wienand Verlag in Berlin, October 2018 in conjunction with Kornfeld Gallery, Berlin and launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair. You can find more information about the book in My Books section of this website.

From March 2019 to May 2020 I have been selected and worked as Curator-in-Residence at Kunstraum, Brooklyn-based art hub that serves as a multidisciplinary platform for daring and envelope-pushing curatorial initiatives. As a resident curator I worked on putting together exhibitions as well as overseeing additional programming for this alternative space. My residency culminated in the two-part exhibition New York Meets Tbilisi: Defining Otherness that cumulatively presented nine Georgian and five New York-based artists in visual dialogue with each other. Exploring phenomenon of Otherness in various aspects through artworks and finding correspondences as well as contrasts was challenging and exciting. This exhibition project was selected by New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) for fiscal sponsorship.

Among my publications: “Anna Valdez: Natural Curiosity” (Paragon Books, Berkeley, CA 2019), “Lechaki: Photography of Daro Sulakauri” (ERTI Gallery, Georgia 2018), “The Science, Religion, and Culture of Georgia A Concise and Illustrated History” (NOVA Science Publishing, New York 2017). My articles have been featured in Arte Fuse New York, White Hot Magazine of Contemporary Art, Arte & Lusso Dubai, East European Film Bulletin Berlin, Coeur Et ArtHyperallergic, Art Spiel, Indigo Magazine, Heinrich Boell Foundation blog.  

Selected exhibitions: Rooms & Beings: Solo of Rusudan Khizanishvili at 68 Projects, Berlin, Defining Otherness Part I at Assembly Room (LES), and Part II at Kunstraum LLC Brooklyn, January-March 2020; King is Female at Villa Wessel Kunstverein, Iserlohn, Germany, October 2018; Natela Iankoshvili Centennial at MoMa Tbilisi, Georgia, June 2018; Conversion Device by Rusudan Khizanishvili at Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia, April 2018.

I have served as a visiting critic for New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation in 2019; International School of Photography, New York in 2019 and 2020;  juror for Bronx Council on the Arts New Work 2020; Virtual Visitor for Art Omi residency program in summer 2020; Residency Unlimited studio visitor in spring 2021. In addition, I have facilitated and served as a juror for Grant Initiative in Support of Georgian Artists During Covid-19 in conjunction with Ria Keburia Foundation.

 My current and ongoing focus as a researcher and curator is discerning and studying alternative narratives within dominant cultures. You can see my recent reviews, essays, and articles in My Articles section of the website.

UPCOMING PROJECTS IN 2021:

In this series of conversations, Tbilisi-born and New York-based curator and art writer Nina Mdivani will profile twelve Georgian women artists. Some of them are known to the wider audience, while some deserve to be rediscovered. Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Below you can find the schedule of our meetings all presented in collaboration with The Georgian Association in the USA:

Meeting One: Natela Grigalashvili & Rusudan Khizanishvili
Date: June 13, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

Meeting Two: Vera Pagava  
Date: July 18, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

Meeting Three: Elene Akhvlediani
Date: August 15, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

Meeting Four: Natela Iankoshvili & Tamar Abakelia
Date: September 12, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

Meeting Five: Gayane Khachaturian & Ema Lalaeva-Ediberidze 
Date: October 10, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

Meeting Six: Esma Oniani & Keti Kapanadze
Date November 14, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

Meeting Seven:Tamara Kvesitadze & Mariam Natroshvili
Date: December 12, Sunday 2:00 PM EST

You choose here which session or sessions you would like to attend. Please note that we will send everyone who registered reminders one week ahead of each meeting and you may thus get an email about a meeting that you might not have selected.

I am also curator of Public Digital Art Fund, a new immersive digital space on a busy intersection of Moscow City. It continues the 6-year mission of Moscow Public Art Fund to bring new contemporary art for people in the city streets. 

Inception of the new Public Digital Art Fund was brought forth by the ongoing global shifts and willingness to support contemporary art in its many iterations. As a team we are looking forward to inviting various international and Russian video artists to expand on the meaning and outreach of contemporary digital art. By providing this innovative space we are hoping to extend a dialogue between artists and people on the streets; to show something new, but also to ask questions and to provide a new understanding of public art. Our vision is to select three diverse and novel video works based on a variety of themes thus choosing topics for discussion and attracting philosophers, writers, other artists, curators and representatives of the Russian and Western art space to elucidate on them.

June 2021

“BUTTERFLY BIRTH BED is a metaphysical art film about hope. Inspired by ‘The Butterfly Effect’—the philosophical theorem that any small change in our environment, even the gentle flapping of a butterfly’s wings may manifest big climatic change—the film documents the ethereal emergence of live butterflies over storm imagery contained in a butterfly-scale Shaker bed. Collectively, BUTTERFLY BIRTH BED’s symbolism and elemental soundscape facilitate a witchy incantation for hope, healing and recovery. The film is directed, edited, and scored by VLM.” 
https://vimeo.com/397814019 (from artist website)

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.

Contact

Email: nina@ninamdivani.com

Instagram: @ninamdivani