Mostra Le sorelle oltre il mare

Mostra Le sorelle oltre il mare
Mostra Le sorelle oltre il mare
Biblioteca Comunale SMS
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'Sisters Across the Sea', an exhibition by Guri Madhi

28 November - 20 December 2022

Opening times: Monday to Saturday

Opening hours 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Free Entrance

The personal exhibition dedicated to Guri Madhi, Albanian painter active from the 1950s until 1988, the year of his death, is hosted in Pisa in the premises of the SMS Municipal Library. The exhibition is the result of the collaboration between the Municipality of Pisa and the Municipality of Tirana. The exhibition was inaugurated on 28 November, Albanian Independence Day. On display are 18 works, including 7 paintings and 11 sketches, in pencil or charcoal. 

Guri Madhi (1921 - 1988) was born in Korça on 15 May 1921. His family originated from the province of Opar (village of Misras). In 1917-18, his family was transferred to Korça, after their house in the village was burnt down. After finishing primary school, he started the Italian industrial high school in Korça, a school based on drawing. After finishing the second year, the school was closed, so Guri Madhi stopped it and after the competition he got a job as an advertising painter in the 'Lux' and 'Majestik' cinemas in Korçe. During these years, he made hundreds of drawings of families in Korçe to help his family.In 1938, Guri Madhi moved to Tirana and entered a competition to continue his studies in Italy. He won the competition but could not go to study for economic reasons. At the beginning of April 1939, Guri Madhi was in Korce during the big demonstrations against the fascist occupation. In December 1939, he enrolled in the Italian army. He enrolled in the 'Tarabosh' battalion and completed his military service in Tirana, Mamurras, Ulcinj until 1942 when he returned to Korça, once again as an advertising painter in the city's cinemas. After the liberation, Guri Madhi began working as a social welfare painter in Korça and later as a painter in the House of Culture. In 1947, he worked as a set designer at the Korce Theatre, together with the painter Vangjush Mio. In the years 1947-1949 he made his debut as an actor in this theatre, playing leading roles in the plays 'Platon Kreçiot', 'Under the Chestnuts of Prague', 'Kopraci' and many other plays.

In December 1950, he left for studies in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg), which he completed with honours in 1956 with the diploma 'Bajram Curri in the Dragobia Cave'. On his return to Albania, he began working as an art inspector at the Ministry of Culture. Later, at his own request, he began working as a teacher at the 'J.Misja' Art High School in Tirana. With the opening of the Higher Institute of Art (January 1961), he was one of the first three founding teachers. In 1962 he attended the Art High School again and in 1966 he was sent to the Garrison of Gjirokastra for two years as a standard bearer. In February 1967, Guri Madhi was expelled from the Communist Party of Albania (he had been a member since 1948). In March 1967 he left Gjirokastra and was unemployed for a year. In 1968, he resumed work in the field of educational tools, working on slogans, this time for primary schools. After 1970, Guri Madhi was granted creative leave. In 1973, he returned to the Art School again, until the end of 1974; then he devoted himself to free activity in painting, until 1983, when he retired.

From 1974 to 1988, he taught as an external lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana. Guri Madhi received his first painting lessons from the self-taught painter Spiro Xega. He then received lessons and encouragement to continue his higher studies from the People's Painter Vangjush Mio. Guri Madhi's creativity includes more than 400 paintings, such as compositions, portraits, still lifes, landscapes, thousands of drawings, watercolours, pastel works, etc. Among the most important compositions are 'Bajram Curri in the Cave of Dragobise', 'Turks Surrender Arms', 'Pellembe and Gjak', 'Idriz Seferi is Fighting', 'Skanderbeg's Victorious Return to Kruje', "Unite for Freedom", "Cherçiz Topulli", "South and North", "Battle of Mezhgoran", "Women of Sopot", "Women of Kurveles are thrown off the cliff", "Themistocles Germenji's Ceta", "Constantine and Doruntina", "Rilindasi" Bule Naipi and Persefoni Kokedhima before execution' and many others.

He participates in numerous fairs at home and abroad. He received first prize twice in national exhibitions, in 1959 with the composition 'Ali Kelmendi' and in 1973 with the composition 'Reforma Agraria'. Three solo exhibitions of Guri Madhi with painter Kujtim Buza were opened in Pristina, Gjakove, Prizren in February-March 1981. Several solo exhibitions were opened in Albania in 1981, 1987, 1988. In 1976 he was awarded the title of People's Artist (Painter) for his broad creativity. He died on 13 June 1988 in Budapest, Hungary.