Levan Songulashvili

Levan Songulashvili (b. 1991) is a Georgian visual artist; painter, draughtsman, installation and multimedia video artist.

Songulashvili’s multimedia works, murals, and paintings have been exhibited in numerous venues across North America, the UK, Singapore and Europe such as the Brooklyn Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Saatchi Gallery, Sotheby’s, and are held in public and private collections worldwide including the Brooklyn Museum and Rustaveli National Theatre. Songulashvili has collaborated with Turner Prize-winning artist – Jeremy Deller, American rock star – Iggy Pop, Japanese fashion designer – Issey Miyake, photographer – Yuriko Takagi, composer – Giya Kancheli.

In 2021, The National Gallery Tbilisi presented Levan Songulashvili’s solo exhibition curated by Basak Senova. In the same year the artist became an award-winner of The Forbes Georgia 30 Under 30.

In 2020, Artland hosted a virtual exhibition of a unique series of watercolor works created during the COVID-19 pandemic, curated by Domenico de Chirico.

In 2019, Songulashvili was artist in residence in Singapore, where he realized a multimedia solo project named Stoicheîon 金星. The show presented two video installations and a selection of Japanese-ink paintings at the Objectifs - a centre for photography and film, Chapel Gallery.

In 2018, Songulashvili had his extensive autonomous exhibition "The STYX" in two gallery spaces, curated by Mark Gisbourne. The show included a series of paintings and film installations devoted to the self-regenerative medusozoa jellyfish. In the second space there was another projected video three-wall environmental installation "The System of Objects", filmed in the Guggenheim Museum and newly completed Oculus in New York. The work also incorporated an extensive and innovative foreground receding sculptural component. The overall theme of the exhibition was that of "passage" and life journey, very much in line with philosopher-anthropologist Joseph Campbell’s famous historical anthropology of The Hero’s Journey. For Songulashvili this served as both a universal metaphor and creative theme, and also as an extended simile of the artist’s own evolving life experience.

In the same year, Songulashvili’s monumental stage installation "IDEM ET IDEM" was presented for composer Giya Kancheli’s concert with the world premiere of his latest musical piece for choir and chamber orchestra. Inspired by one of Songulashvili’s painting series, the composer titled his work with the same name.

Songulashvili began painting in early childhood. He graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and was granted many awards, residencies, several educational scholarships and holds an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. German and French philosophy and psychoanalysis have influenced his artistic approach and led him to new creative experiments and conceptual research since the beginning of his art venture.

The concept of mutability and possession of an independent sense of emergent identity is of great concern to Songulashvili, particularly as it relates to the recent re-emergence of Georgia as an independent and autonomous state in 1991 — the year of the artist’s birth. Levan Songulashvili's work engages with metaphors and abstract expressions observing and reflecting on the states of being conscious and unconscious. He deals allusively with a sense of boundary and transition, the immersive nature of the world, the idea of flow and flux. As an artist he holds a mastery of affect and transience, having created painted works consisting of large-scale canvases that feature large expanses of grey-black washes infused with an otherworldly light.

Songulashvili's work has always been suspended in a sort of liminal state of being. The depth of his research is indefinable and everything is intrinsically connected to another. At first glance the main feature of Songulashvili's works is their organicity, the color strokes almost seem to be mixed with saliva, and one seems to see and feel the biological aspect of the work even if nothing organic is actually present in it. This human aspect, animal, or even better, natural, further widening the artist's research field towards infinity, means that the work is full of both sensitivity and strength.

Levan Songulashvili whether he is focussed on painting, installation or video has developed a marked accomplishment that places him in a long tradition of artist’s that reflect on states of meditative consciousness.