THE POOL NYC is proud to present Gaumarjos, the first solo exhibition by Eteri Chkadua in Milan. After representing Georgia at the Venice Biennial in 2007 Eteri Chkadua has been exhibited in several museums around the world. Eteri’s work has been included in many exhibitions organized by the gallery in Mexico City, Venezia, Roma, New York, Hong Kong, and Bologna. This is her second solo show organized by THE POOL NYC in Italy.

Among Georgians Gaumarjos, meaning “Victory to you”, is the everyday way of saying Cheers.  At every banquet, every guest will have to say Gaumarjos for someone or something when the wine-filled glasses are raised in a toast: in fact, the act of everybody raising their glass together to honor someone is an important tradition in Georgia. After a long and articulated oration, every participant passes Alaverdi(giving permission to toast) to the next guest.

For this exhibition THE POOL NYC presents a selection of works thatinvestigate Georgian traditions, war, and homelessness. Eteri’s paintings are her visual diary: they explore narratives of memory, fantasy and displacement.

Eteri left Georgia for US in 1988. At the time her country was fighting for independence from the Soviet Union it had been part for 70 years.
“I was one of the first Georgians to be able to leave, due to the love relationship with an American linguist who arrived to Georgia to study and research the Georgian language-.
When I first arrived to US, I found quite surprising and amusing that most Americans had never heard of Georgia. I felt it was my natural role to introduce my country and I would go on and on– talking about its wine and myths and mountains to anybody who’d listen… Nostalgia never stopped.
Naturally, my paintings became my visual voice and I wanted to make them multilingual: I wanted the same painting to tell everyone about Georgia and I wanted to communicate to Georgians my emotions and experiments in another land.
Upon my arrival I made my mind to use traditional oil technique, a realistic painting to make my “storytelling” even more clear. Traditional technique was never taken into consideration in my art school – as some observers mistakenly assumed – but rather self-taught. Realistic painting was not popular anywhere, which just increased my interest…
My long travels to Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Jamaica enhanced the volume of color in my paintings.

Georgia is one of the oldest countries and Georgians respect its traditions: they would hardly challenge them, but they rather cultivate them as it usually happens in old countries. To some extent traditions slowed down us from the progressive development, but in many ways they contributed to create within Georgian people the strong feeling of identity and pride. This has helped us to survive in long turbulent centuries of wars and to defend ourselves against invasive neighboring larger countries.

In my paintings I tend to create compositions in a way that permits the viewer to choose freely whether the traditions belong to shelves and theaters, or are still useful in present day”.

Eteri Chkadua, 1965, Tbilisi, Georgia
Lives and works in New York

Her work has been exhibited in several Biennials, museums, and international galleries including: Biennale di Venezia, Georgian Pavilion, Venice; MuMok, Wien; Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York; Maya Polsky Gallery, Chicago; Museum of Literature, Tbilisi, Georgia; Luna Kulturhus Konsthallen, Sodertaljie, Sweden; Museum of Dolls, Tbilisi, Georgia; South Hampton Art Center, South Hampton, US; Gian Enzo Sperone, Sent, CH; Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw,  Poland; Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.

Since 2009 THE POOL NYC has presented her work in several solo and group exhibitions, and this is the second solo show in Italy with the gallery.