Niko Pirosmani, Bear on a Moonlit Night, 1914. Oil on cardboard.
The ALBERTINA Museum is devoting a comprehensive solo exhibition to Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918). This autodidact, whose radiant and emphatic works frequently show animals or scenes from the life of old Georgia and its people, has come to be viewed as a hero of the avant-garde who deserves to be discovered. Niko Pirosmani’s conception of art is that of a wide-open field in which he, as a vagabond, has consciously chosen to lead a nomadic life. He wanders between city and country, inns and stalls, at the same time occupying the center of his community, with his works—produced in response to commissions—presented not in galleries and museums, but rather at inns, in taverns, and in shops. Niko Pirosmani thus embodies the vision of the artist as a clear-sighted outsider.
(Photo courtesy of Georgian National Museum, © Infinitart Foundation.)