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Mongolian Art - Arndean Gallery (preview)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

VALIANT Art is presenting two exhibitions of Mongolian Art at London’s Arndean Gallery – Mongolian Modernists (April 30 to May 6, 2007) and Mongolian Realists (May 7 to May 12, 2007).

A mysterious land evocative of 13th century conquerors, Mongolia is best know as the birthplace of Genghis Khan. The country, where 33 percent of the population still survive as nomadic herders, was a soviet satellite for most of the 20th century. The nomadic way of life, the glorious past of the Great Mongolian Empire and over 70 years of soviet dominance are prevailing themes in the paintings Elisabeth Koppa will bring to London for the exhibitions.

Mongolian artists, many of whom were educated in the Soviet tradition, treat these unique themes with a freedom of mind reminiscent of the vast Mongolian landscape. The result is innovative.

Horses, camels, dunes from the Gobi Desert are represented in bright colours using avant-garde techniques, somehow surprising in unknown painters working in this remote part of the world. Not only that, they also fuse the nomadic way of life with Surrealism, German Expressionism, and other movements from the vanguard of 20th Century art.

Elisabeth Koppa, entrepreneur and survivor of breast cancer, has been collaborating with Mongolian artists since she first gave her support to an emerging local artist; and has been helping to promote Mongolia’s most celebrated artists in Milan, Dubai, Miami, New York, Chicago and Spain. Following last year’s success at the New York Art Expo, the London exhibitions will be larger and more modern.

In addition, the first comprehensive book ever published on Mongolian artists will be unveiled in London, with personal appearances and book signing by three of the artists whose work is displayed within the pages of the book – a limited edition of 2000 copies. A collector’s edition of 100 copies, signed by all fifteen artists included within the elegant 370 page, album-like, silk-covered books, will be made available in London.

Venue: Arndean Gallery, 23 Cork Street, WIS 3NJ.

Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm.