Omar Chkhaidze Gallery

Art Blogs


“The Way of Light”, an Omar Chkhaidze’s artwork retrospective show opened in the Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi, reflects the artists’ almost sixty-year creative activity. The exposition appears in its aesthetic splendor. The cheerful vivid local colors are limited by the strict geometrical order, which clearly expresses the equilibrium of Dionysian and Apollonian elements.

It would be useless to interpret Omar Chkhaidze’s artwork by traditional methods of classical art criticism: you cannot trace the evolution of artistic form in it. Already in the beginning of his creative activity his paintings were distinguished by their stylistic diversity.

In European art, since the first decades of XX century, the avant-garde artists explained the meaning and essence of their artwork themselves. For the last century masters, as for the current century painters, this is a normal practice. “It’s not been done by me, it’s happened within myself”, - these words by Saint Augustine are raised by Omar Chkhaidze to the level of a motto. By this, he describes his creative process, conveys his feelings. This interesting position may be treated dually: on the one hand, the artist seems to relieve himself of the responsibility, denies his works which exist in cultural and information medium by themselves, at the expense of their own energy vibrations. On the other hand, they are not the artists’ creation, but his soul, his deep nonreflexive self, originated in him against his own free will. This is the involuntary birth of energy and its transformation into an artistic concept. In other words – the transfer of what has “happened” to him onto canvas. Thereby, Omar Chkhaidze presents his “self” as the information about the Universe’s conformity received by him, by way of initiation, and implemented in his art by means of light and color; in other words, transformed into an artistic form.

Since XX century, the language of the signs and symbols in Western culture in general, and in visual art, in particular, superseding visual forms, becomes still more comprehensive. In the archaic times, the traditional symbols, stereotypic signs and codes were used to transfer information. In the modern age of dominating “Ego”, the artist himself creates his own system of signs. To what extent are these signs-symbols universal? Are they archetype? Is the archetype thing comprehended by means of one’s own mystic experience? This is a challenge facing the modern makers. Omar Chkhaidze is one of those who create his own symbols and signs, which are the means of transferring information, born in the depths of his soul, thus turning and transforming the subtle spiritual energy into an artistic form by various visual means.

Modern visual thinking is mainly conceptual; Omar Chkhaidze’s art may be called esoteric. Esoterism is a type of rationality in culture interpreting the world in its integrity. Esoterica, as a spiritual science, meaning the synthesis of sense and mind, is the closest to the artist’s mentality: “My paintings are being made by the harmony of soul and mind”. Thus, his artwork may be called an esoteric form of the world’s comprehension transferred by the signs-symbols, the keyword of which is “spiritual Light”. “Light” is an artistic metaphor, Light painting is the basic sense of his art. The stylistics of color and light signs used by the artist, is an artistic means for transferring his world-view. “I paint Light, spiritual Light”, - explains the artist. Light on Omar Chkhaidze’s canvases presents an embodied form of metaphysical Light.

Omar Chkhaidze’s art motivated by the sacral, seeks to bring a spiritual Light into material world. In this, the artist sees his mission and his predestination. “My way in art and life is Light leading to love, all-embracing Love for everything that exists”, - says the artist. The confirmation of this is the triptych “Substance” made in 2015. There are neither signs, nor form – only a harmony of light and darkness. This is an artistic-visual metaphor of Light presented by means of color. This is the substance, i.e. a vibration of a spiritual Light. This is the beginning and the end. All and Nothing. This is Love.

Lika Antelava,
Doctor of Art History,

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