Beseder Gallery

Date: 23.2. - 11.3.2024

We invite you to discover the fascinating world of the Gugunava family of artists, whose works will be presented at the Beseder Gallery as part of the project "JINÍ (OTHERS)" from February 23rd to March 11th, 2024. This unique exhibition offers a glimpse into the creative process of the older and younger generations of these talented artists.

The paintings of academic artist Jemal Gugunava take the viewer into a world of colours and emotions. Conceptual works by his wife, self-taught artist Nina Bendukidze, better known under her artistic pseudonym Nina Bee, invite the viewer to a discussion, going beyond the boundaries of art and artistic thinking. The sculptures of their son, Giorgi (Gugu) Gugunava and his wife Katja Neubert, who was born and raised in Germany,  show a unique perspective and the possibility of combining form, plasticity, contradictory concepts, states of rest and movement.

This exhibition is the second, extended, family show after the first, which took place in 2011, was held in Bristol, England and featured only father and son.

Immersing yourself in the history of this family, who left their homeland, Georgia, and moved to the Czech Republic back in 1992, you will be able to deeply feel the mood expressed in their works. Nina, a medical doctor with a PhD. in medical sciences, secured a job at the Prague IKEM (Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine), in the department of immunogenetics, and Jemal painted landscapes of the Czech Republic and copies of Dutch masters from morning to night to financially support his young family. The son, Giorgi, received his education, first at Střední uměleckoprůmyslovou školu sochařskou a kamenickou in Hořice v Podkrkonoší, and then at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle (Saale) (Germany). In 2002, Nina was invited to work at the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in Bristol. With the move to Bristol, a new stage in life began for the Gugunava family. Jemal focused on participating in prestigious exhibitions and getting large orders, while Nina showed her talents as an art manager: organizing his exhibitions, communicating with buyers and journalists. After completing his education in Germany, Giorgi not only began to exhibit in famous galleries, but also founded a monumental sculptures and landscape design private company. At the university, he met his future wife Katja, who creates contemporary sculptures, participates in numerous projects and exhibitions, and curates’ young artists exhibitions in Halle and Berlin. They are both winners of competitions organised by Münzkabinett Berlin, as well as holders of prestigious scholarships: Stipendium der Stiftung Kunstfonds / Landesstipendium Sachsen-Anhalt / Stipendium der Kunststiftung Sachsen-Anhalt.

The exhibition "Bonds/Pouto/კავშირები", uniting four creative people, is a journey into the world of search, emotions, connections, continuity, and the artistic development of a family, overcoming borders and time, through their diverse perspectives. We invite you to join us on this fascinating journey.

Artists' Statements

Jemal Gugunava (Džemal Gugunava in Czech Language)

I'm interested in visualizing everything that surrounds me. It could be a landscape, a street, an object, a person's face or a beautiful woman. As a classically trained artist, I incorporate a wide range of painting techniques into my work, from the Venetian method used by Titian to the modern impasto technique, which gives works a three-dimensional appearance. Although my life philosophy is harmony, peace, purity, deep reflection, beauty, contemplation, restraint, and simplicity of existence, I mainly do not just describe reality, but dramatize it a little, passing through my philosophical interpretations and events that happen around us. Minimalism is the leading element in my works. I strive to convey the essence of my subjects by cutting out unimportant details and directing the viewer's attention to the main subject. In my eyes, this creates a connection between the viewer and the work that is simple and focused on the essential.

My greatest passion is portraiture. Whether I'm painting people close to me who have a mysterious charm, or strangers with their aloof personality, each portrait reflects my mood and the spontaneous outburst of feelings I experience while creatively working with a model. Painting for me is not only about capturing a person’s appearance, but rather about capturing the fleeting time and state of their soul.

We live in a world of boundaries, restrictions, rules and responsibilities, aggression and wars, and the artist can ease tension and build connections between people, making us better and freer.

Nina Bee

It all started with the fact that I could not perceive and understand contemporary art. Passion and a kind of aggression accumulated in me to somehow express my doubts. And I picked up the brush. It was important for me that the viewer understands what I want to talk to him about. When creating my paintings, I continue to be a viewer, collecting various kinds of information, and conducting in-depth research on the issue that interests me. My paintings and art objects are always a rethinking of the connection between classical and modern art, one or another philosophical direction. At the same time, the main means of communication is text, which allows me to simplify my personal perceptions of reality. It seems to me that my medical profession and life in different countries greatly influenced my works, which are acutely aware of the fragility of our existence, internal irrationality, and double individuality. My art is chaos of thoughts, chaos of events, chaos of perception, chaos of sound; like the scrolling feed on my phone, which can be simultaneously logical and completely absurd, defying any rules. Errors create meaning in it. And everything repeats itself again and again, chasing the endlessly receding horizons.

Giorgi Gugunava

In my works I explore the fusion of statics and dynamics. My focus is on the question of how sculpture can be viewed in motion without the use of kinematic means, and my research focuses on the impact of overall impression and detailed form-making. Plastic compositions convey peace, but are associated with movement, which gives them a unique quality. They provide insight into the individual creative process and raise questions regarding the perception of static objects and the role of the viewer. My artistic research concerns the beginning and end of movement of static objects. For many years I have been considering the apparent incompatibility of dynamics and rest in sculpture. It is an emotional representation of movement and refers to the theory of motion perception that I find in the photographic work of Etienne-Jules Marey. The use of fuzzy contours and indeterminate backgrounds allows the movement to be perceived as a whole, without breaking it into separate sequences. It seems to me that transferring these techniques into plastic, three-dimensional objects present a challenge that is overcome through innovative approaches and experimentation.

Katja Neubert

The starting point of my artistic work revolves around controversies related to the theme of the foreign within the self and the self within the foreign. I perceive this foreign element as something inherently within us, as indispensable and unavoidable. Against this backdrop, my work gives rise to visual snapshots and analogies in the form of objects, sculptures, and collages. They negotiate border figures of an indeterminate order, willing to undergo the transition from the familiar to the foreign to the extent that they can detach themselves from the familiar and consequently integrate the foreign into the familiar. A tension field that allows the foreign to become a part of us - depending on how and from which perspective we view it. To achieve this, I employ methods of alienation, fragmentation, and proximity. Materiality plays a crucial role in my artistic endeavours, with a focus on relatively unstable materials that inherently carry the possibility or, rather, the necessity of change.

Artists' short CV

Jemal Gugunava (Džemal Gugunava in Czech Language)

Jemal is a professional artist with BA and a Master of Arts degree in Fine Arts. He graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Art (Georgia) in 1974. He transfers everything that interests him to the canvas. It could be a landscape, a street, a building, an object, a person’s face, or a beautiful woman. Jemal likes to repeat the British artist David Hockney words: “I paint what I like, when I like and where I like.”

Nina Bee

Nina is a self-taught artist. She is a doctor, graduated from Tbilisi State Medical Institute (Georgia) in 1977. Art has always been a part of her life, but she became serious about becoming an artist only after she retired. She has attended art courses, participated in art residency in Japan and took part in various art exhibitions around the world. Her main means of communication is text. She works with mixed media using collages, stencils, photography, prints, canvas, cardboard, paper, metal, acryl, oil, enamel, etc. Her credo is: "Never give up". Nina lives and works in the Czech Republic and England

Giorgi Gugunava

Education: 1995-1999 Střední uměleckoprůmyslovou školu sochařskou a kamenickou in Hořice v Podkrkonoší (Prof. M. Moravec and J. Wagner); 1999-2000 Evening classes at the Academy of Fine Art, Prague; 2001-2002 – The College of Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (German Language, Archeology and Oriental Studies); 2002-2008 Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle (Saale), Germany. He works with a wide range of materials such as stone, metal, clay, plaster, and concrete. Georgi participated in numerous exhibitions around Europe. His work 'The Angel', made of stone, was exhibited at a very prestigious exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. Giorgi lives and works in Germany.

Katja Neubert

Katja Neubert completed her art studies at the Academy of Fine Arts (HfBK) in Dresden, followed by a specialization in sculpture at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle. In her works, she draws from a diverse range of techniques, materials, and expressive forms. From sculpture to collage and graphic art, her methods are versatile. She prefers working with materials such as plaster, wax, wood, metal casting, and paper. Katja Neubert lives and works as a freelance artist in Halle (Saale), Germany