ETERI CHKADUA (born in Tbilisi, Georgia) is a multidisciplinary artist. She leaves and works in NYC and Kingston, Jamaica. CONTACT Picturing a Georgian Artist as a New Amazon and Woman of the World Introduction by Lilly Wei It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to walk by the confident, confrontational, beautifully executed paintings of Eteri Chkadua without coming to an immediate halt. Closely observed, realistically depicted, moderate to large self-portraits - or portrayals of alter egos with intense, challenging dark eyes, red lips and abundant hair who bear a striking physical resemblance to the artist - Eteri Chkadua’s pictures appear more monumental than they really are and might be designated as magic feminism, an over-the-top, pop-oriented, fantastic foray into female role-playing and the uses of self as subject, a strategy much in evidence since the 70s feminists. In Eteri’s (she prefers the use of her first name) paintings, however, these roles almost always posit women as seductresses, sultry, eruptive beauties of a wild and wily kind, part trollop, part heroine (Borat’s dream girl?) who often return the (male?) gaze with an unflinching one of their own although they can, at times, be demure, even pensive. Eteri, who was born and raised in Soviet Georgia, based in New York since 1992 via Chicago, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Montreal and currently living in New York and Kingston, Jamaica, uses her many invented personae to create a construct of contemporary feminine identity, a container for social and cultural values that are ultimately Georgian, in dialogue with the multiple perspectives and displacements that characterize many of today’s peripatetic artists. Eteri, however, dresses her radiant, neo-dada pop babes in the painstaking, labor-intensive techniques of the old masters (she only completes three or four paintings a year) which includes the use of oil paint on a linen support, a brilliant palette and high-definition, mimetic skills worthy of a sixteenth century Flemish artist, techniques acquired at the Georgian Academy of Fine Arts. These are autobiographical works, even a travelogue of sorts a semiotics of high and low tourism keyed to events in her life as they unfold with flashbacks that recall and reinvent the country she has left, like Hollywood movie posters updated, with a Caucasus slant. In the ten paintings for Venice, which span several years, from 1999-2006, she appears, for instance, as a dancer wearing a Muslim head scarf, twirling four coppercolored braids, beautifully formed tears that seem actually wet shimmering on her cheeks (Dancer, 2006); a contemporary girl with her head wrapped in a coral scarf, her skinny tank top leaving her midriff exposed, sitting backward on a boldly striped zebra (Unfaithful Wife, 2005); a bare-breasted tourist in an orange sarong and flip-flops surrounded by the tropical flora of Jamaica or Miami with horns implanted in her head (Tourist, 2004); a sly devil of a black she-cat about to pounce (Demon, 2002-2003); a teasing, smiling, gloriously red-haired latter day angel or chorine wrapped in soft white fur that suggest wings, strong, rosy legs kicking out from a ruffled white tutu in free fall against a heavenly blue ground (Dowry, 2003); and a tightly coiffed, black-haired woman on her back, her long braid snaking across the width of the painting, erotically curved into a hybridized yoga and Kama Sutra position, legs compressed, sex exposed, floated on a subtly patterned white field with lotus-like red flowers (Sleeping Goddess, 1999). Eteri, like many of her compatriots, is steeped in Georgian lore and idiosyncrasies, with a strong attachment to her native land, despite her cosmopolitanism. Many of the objects in her paintings are Georgian objects, chosen for their specific cultural meaning although Eteri, feels free to incorporate what she wants and change what she wants. Nonetheless, they form a coded system of visual signification that is part of the content of her paintings, such as the filigreed sword that is found in most Georgian homes, the horn of hospitality, offered to guests, in particular late ones, filled with strong drink which must be emptied in one gulp in order to catch up with the others, traditional copper vessels, fine, elaborate jewelry native to the region, or a white sheepskin hat that is worn by Georgian men which may be one way to channel home. Eteri Chkadua, with great spirit and independence, blends the traditional with the contemporary, the Georgian with the global and represents a younger generation of artists who navigate with style and a sturdy optimism the complications and expanded fields of our brave, sometimes terrifying, new world.



            Upcoming exhibitions  :


            Eteri  Chkadua Retrospective, Tbilisi  MoMa; Tbilisi, Georgia ;

            Alien Bloom, collaborative installation with Gocha Chkadua Macro, Rome, Italy;

2018    Gaumarjos- Eteri Chkadua Paintings, The Pooll NYC Gallery, Milan, Italy, (upcoming ) ;

2017    East Side Bloom, collaborative Installation with Gocha Chkadua, Longhouse Reserve, East Hampton, NY;

2016    Since January,  collaborative Installation with Gocha Chkadua, Consulate of Georgia, New York;

2015    Anonymous,   Europa House, Tbilisi, Georgia;

2014    The Book,  Gala gallery, Tbilisi , Georgia;

2013    An Unusual Exhibition,  Museum of Literature, Tbilisi, Georgia;

            Bloom On The Edge, Installation for the  Kingston On the Edge, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies;

            Selvatica,  The Pool NYC gallery, Mexico City, Mexico;

2012    Colors Insulting To Nature,  collaborative installation with Gocha Chkadua,  NYC

2012    Eteri Chkadua Paintings, The POOL NYC gallery, Bolognia, Italy;

2011    Eteri Chkadua Paintings, Museum of Dolls, Tbilisi Georgia;

2009    Remembering heroes, Theatre of National Music, Tbilisi, Georgia;

            Eteri Chkadua Paintings, Luna Kulturhus Konsthallen, Sodertaljie, Sweden;

            Eteri Chkadua Paintings , June 2009, THE POOL NYC at     Palazzo Malipiero, Venice, Italy:

2007    La Biennale di Venezia, Georgian Pavillion, Venice, Italy;

2005.   Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn , NY;

2004    Casas Reigner Gallery , Miami,  Fl;

            Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, NY;

1995    Art Chicago, Maya Polsky gallery, Chicago, IL;

1990    Maya Polsky Gallery, Chicago, IL;




2018    Natural Proclivities, Fiterman Art Center New York, NY;

            East End Collected4,  South Hampton Art Center, South Hampton, NY;

            DIVAGAZIONI , Gian Enzo Sperone, Sent, Switzerland;

2017    VITEL TONNE, The POOL NYC gallery, Palazzo Cesari-Marchesi, Venice, Italy;

            ART 3 AM,  Sonchino Bienale,  Italy;

            APERTO 18,  Venice, Italy;

            60 Americans, Elga Wimmers gallery, NYC,

            A Palace With A View, The Pool NYC Gallery, Palazzo Cesari Marchesi, Venice, Italy;

2014    Neighbors, Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul, Turkey;

            Water Tank Project , New York, NY;

2013    Wide Shot, The POOL NYC gallery, Venice, Italy;

2012    Portraits / Self -Portraits From The 16-Th to the  21-Th Century, Sperone Westwater   Gallery, New York,  NY;

            En Plein Air, Stux gallery, New York, NY;

2010    Scope Art Fair, The Pool NYC , NY;

            Zacheta National gallery, Warsaw,  Poland;

2009    Gender Check, MuMok, Vienna, Austria;

            L’exposition Géorgienne d’Art Contemporain, Château de Saint: Auvent en Limousin, France;

            APERTO 12, Lido, Venice, Italy;

2008    Kingston on the Edge, Kingston, Jamaica;

2001    Art and Politics, Tribe, New York , NY;

            Dumbo Double Deuce, Brooklyn, NY;

1999    NUDE,  Aldridge Museum, Connecticut;

            Upton gallery, Buffalo State college Museum of Art and   Archeology, University of Missouri, Missouri;

            Kitchen, New York, NY;

1997    Reversing the Gaze, Indiana University (Northwest) Museum, Indiana;

            From Georgia to Georgia, International Art Exhibition, Atlanta, GA;

1996    Art Chicago, Maya Polsky gallery, Chicago, IL;

1995    Vrej Baghoomian Gallery , New York, NY;

1994    Art Chicago, Maya Polsky gallery, Chicago, IL;

1990    Maya Polsky Gallery, Chicago, IL;




1996    Visiting Professor of Painting, Drawing and Composition, Graduate Program, New York  Academy of Arts, NY;

1990    Visiting Professor, University of California, Department of Fine Arts at the College of Creative Studies, Santa Barbara, CA;




1998    Creative Time grant;

1997    New York Foundation for the Arts grant;

1994    Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.