Ciprian Adrian Barsan (CAB), founder of the Inﬁnitart Foundation, played a pivotal role in negotiation and agreement with the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and the National Gallery, under the guidance and support of Nikoloz Chkhetiani, Chairman of the Board of the Charity Foundation Cartu in spring 2022. This groundbreaking endeavor by Mr. Barsan was foundational for the exhibition series at both the Louisiana Museum and the Fondation Beyeler.
Barsan"s dedication and eﬀorts have rejuvenated interest and set the stage for the resurgence of Pirosmani within the Western art domain, as highlighted by the triumphant 2018 exhibition at the Albertina Museum in Vienna curated by Bice Curiger. This show garnered an unprecedented response, it set a historic record attracting over 415,000 visitors within three months. It was ranked internationally among the top ten most celebrated post-Impressionist and Modern art exhibitions of 2019, alongside exhibitions of Miro, Munch, Schiele, and Duchamp.
The Albertina exhibition, in its evocative display, illuminated not merely the breadth of Pirosmani"s oeuvre but also elegantly resurrected his 1916 vision through an eloquent table sculpture. This artifact, imbued with symbolism and echoing the somberness of a grave, stands as a testament to the dexterity and ingenuity of the globally venerated Japanese self-taught maestro and architect, Tadao Ando. Complementing these were unequivocal tributes to Pirosmani, articulated through the profound works of established artists like Adrian Ghenie, Georg Baselitz, Yoshitomo Nara, amongst others.
Embarking on this artistic odyssey, the exhibition series embodies Mr. Barsan"s aspiration to encapsulate "The Testament of Pirosmani." Having graced the distinguished halls of the Albertina and the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation in Arles — drawing an unspeciﬁed multitude — and the Louisiana Museum, captivating over a quarter of a million art aﬁcionados, the series has found its current abode at the Fondation Beyeler.
Renowned as one of the most prestigious art museums in Switzerland and Europe, this venue now hosts the consummate Chapter 1 of the Testament. The expansive narrative of "The Testament of Pirosmani" is envisioned to span four chapters, with the ensuing three chapters poised for unveiling in future epochs.
Intriguingly, Mr. Barsan chose not to attend the opening of the Pirosmani Vernissage at the Fondation Beyeler, an exhibition he facilitated. Instead, he symbolized his presence through a performance piece that featured a woman in a black dress, resonating with Pirosmani"s signature use of a black background.
The message of this performance: "DON"T CALL ME PRIMITIVE."
This bold statement underscores that Pirosmani should no longer be viewed as a primitive or naive artist, as his art surpasses such classiﬁcations.
This journey of artistic revival and redeﬁnition is encapsulated by a resonant quote: "Pirosmani"s art today is more than just non-conformism; it stands as a testament for all those marginalized and disregarded. It represents a place where the downtrodden ﬁnd aﬃrmation and the hidden tales of shattered dreams discover hope and resurrection."