Toma Stenko and Ellen Nash announce two new exhibitions

Award-winning female artist and fashion designer, Toma Stenko announces two new exhibitions by leading curator, Ellen Nash

Georgian-born artist, film director and fashion designer, Toma Stenko is delighted to announce two upcoming exhibitions curated by international art curator, Ellen Nash. Her compelling works will be showcased around the world as she explores the theme of love at a time when we need it most. Fragile Angel will take place in an exhibition space on the Grande Canal in Venice from 1 – 30 September 2022 and “Laura. The Muse of Love’  will open from 25 – 30 September 2022 at Qatar International Art Festival – one of the largest art festivals in Qatar featuring the very best of fashion, art and culture from around the world.

From family and motherhood to romance and sex, Toma Stenko is fascinated by the sweetness and dark side of love and the roller-coaster of emotions that we all share. Through a kaleidoscope of colour, Toma Stenko’s powerful and fragile artworks also give us an insight into her past as she lost her father when she was young and thus her paintings explore love in all its complexities and contradictions.

Fragile Angel at Scoletta dei Battioro e Tiraoro, Venice (1st – 30th September 2022)

Today, life has proven that no matter who you are, what race, religion, gender, economic class and profession you belong to and no matter where in which prosperous country in the world you live in, we can’t be sure that tomorrow will come. Fragile Angel is based on love, our fragile world and Stenko’s belief in angels to help create a better world.

Artists have been gathering at the Venice Biennale every other year for more than half a century to share their ideas with the world. On visiting the opening of the Biennale this year, Toma Stenko took inspiration from the Goddess of Fortune on the Golden Globe and thought it was an angel. After meeting Ellen Nash, one of Russia’s leading international art curators and broadcasters, united in their shared beliefs of today’s political and economic uncertainty, along with the concerns about climate change and hope for a better future, they came up with the concept of the show in which angels can help to navigate a world of peace.

Nash has also curated another exhibition at this year’s Biennale with a similar theme by Georgii Uvs’s entitled Mesozoic. Let’s start over!, a poignant exhibition which reflects the need to start over and build a new world following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nash is one of the few Russian art curators who has ensured that Russian artists have been able to exhibit at major art world events in 2022 from the Venice Biennale to Art Basel despite pushback from the international art world. She has also publicly spoken out on the difficulties of Putin’s war and its impact on the art industry.

Through their exhibition, Stenko and Nash are asking people to listen to the messengers – the literal meaning of the work ‘angel’ – forget about any differences and focus on common ground because “only love will save our fragile world,” says Stenko.Toma Stenko comments: “Venice is the perfect location for this exhibition, a place where it is necessary and possible to speak about unity and peace. In the past Venice has succeeded in unifying the East and West – together with Marco Polo and Venetian merchants, Venice opened routes to Asia and the Far East. It’s time to drop all “differences” and unite! Only angels will help us! Angels have no gender, race or religion, they exist in all forms. There is a reason why they have appeared in works of art since early Christianity and have been a popular subject ever since”.

“Laura. The Muse of Love” at Qatar International Art Festival (25th – 30th September)

Additionally, Toma Stenko will be exhibiting works at the 4th edition of Qatar’s International Art Festival, one of the largest art festivals in Qatar, taking place at Katara Cultural Village. Last year more than 300 artists from over 65 countries participated. Features of the unique six-day festival include fine art exhibitions, a live painting symposium, a fashion show, cultural tasks, a discussion session, Qatari cultural tours and a cultural dinner night.

Stenko’s exhibition ‘Laura. The Muse of Love’ is based on the premise that when two artistic women create something new together, i.e., Stenko and Nash, a love story about a third woman is born – Laura – ‘The Muse of Love’. This idea is also based on the story of Laura and Francesco Petrarch, the scholar and poet of the early Renaissance. Petrarch saw Laura at church one day and fell in love with her, stalking her for years and purchasing a small estate to be near her. There is no evidence to suggest they had a relationship or were even acquaintances. At Petrarch’s estate he wrote numerous sonnets about her that advanced the growth of Italian as a literary language. The exhibition is based on the premise that sometimes you don’t need much to create magic, just love.

Further information

Scoletta dei Battioro e Tiraoro | @Scoletta Battioro e Tiraoro di Venezia

Qatar International Art Festival | @qiaf_festival | @qiafmapsqatar

@toma_stenko | @ellennashart